How can you not eat dim sum when you’re in Hong Kong, the dim sum paradise? My family and I went to a dim sum place near our home at Tseung Kwan O call Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan is a very famous dim sum place. Originally, they only had one location in Hong Kong. It was rewarded as one of the michelin starred restaurant. Don’t expect service here, they are one of those typical Chinese restaurant that don’t care about their customers and only concentrate serving the food. One of the other reason you won’t expect service here is because its a damn small restaurant. Its not one of those typical dim sum place where the whole family would chill and enjoy tea for 2-3 hours. Once you’re done, you can feel the pressure to leave. Oh and did I mention this? Expect long long long wait time! I can ensure you 30 minutes after opening time, there will be at least an hour to an hour and half waiting time. After Tim Ho Wan was rewarded with a michelin star, their business went up hill. They decided to start opening flagship stores, this is why there was a location near Tseung Kwan O.
When they call themselves a specialist, expect them to be specialists – aka limited choices. There’s not a lot of dim sum to choose from if you compare them to common dim sum places like Maxims. I would say about 25-28 savoury dim sums and 5-7 dessert dim sums. My family ordered 8 dim sums.
Rice noodle rolls stuffed with pig’s liver ($20HKD / approx $2.74CAD) and rice noodle rolls stuffed with shrimp and greens ($22HKD / approx $3.01CAD). The rice noodle stuffed with pig’s liver is one of the four signature dim sums at Tim Ho Wan. They are famous for the ingredient quality of the liver. It was a nice rice noodle roll cause the rice noodle is not thick and floury. Fact, they make their rice noodle rolls fresh in store! Yes, even the rice noodle wrap!
Next on the list is also one of the four signature dim sums at Tim Ho Wan – Baked bun with BBQ pork ($18HKD / approx $2.47CAD). Common dim sum place usually serve steam bun with BBQ pork or honey glazed bun with BBQ pork. Tim Ho Wan made stuffed their BBQ pork in “Mexican buns.” No idea why it was called “Mexican buns” but thats how Hong Kong named the buns. Its soft bun with a crispy sweet layer on top. Similar to classic Hong Kong pineapple buns. Super crispy texture and soft hot BBQ pork inside… YUM!
Since I’m already on the signature dim sum list, here’s the third out of four signature dim sum we got… The steam egg cake ($32HKD / approx $4.38CAD)! Steam egg cake is made with brown sugar, and is super soft and fluffy. You’re just looking at one little corner of the cake. These traditional Chinese steam cakes are steamed in a super big bamboo container that is as big as normal family size pizza. Usually its considered as dessert but I don’t care. Cause once they go cold, its not good anymore!
The last signature dim sum is pan fried turnip cake. We didn’t get that dim sum, but if you’re familiar with Chinese New Year, its the same turnip cake we’re talking about.
A few other dim sums that I didn’t regret ordering is the lotus leaf steamed rice, and spring rolls.
The lotus leaf steam rice is huge! And I love how they have a good amount of ingredients in there. If I ordered the same thing at local dim sum places like Maxim’s, I can ensure that I won’t get as much ingredients inside the steam rice. ($25HKD / $3.42 CAD)
The spring roll is very different. Its stuffed with what we Chinese call choi pong hai. Choi pong hai is essentially scrambled egg whites. But the cooking method is intentionally imitating crab meat. I loved it. Its something new, something you don’t usually get in spring rolls. And the spring rolls were perfectly fried. Sometimes dim sum place over fried them and it tastes really dry. ($20HKD / approx $2.74 CAD)
Egg plant is my favourite veggie all times. And everytime I go to a dim sum place, I will order egg plant. 1) Cause I love egg plant 2) cause I love everything they stuffed in egg plant! I know.. bias.. haha! Hence, I ordered black bean paste steamed egg plants stuffed with fish paste ($16 HKD / approx $2.19 CAD). But I must say that this is a good dish cause most dim sum place’s black bean paste is way too salty.
Dim sum, how can I not order some classic dim sum? We had the shrimp dumplings ($25 HKD / approx $3.42 CAD). I can’t tell what is special about it..Probably its because I’m overly spoiled in Canada. Large large large shrimps in large large large shrimp dumplings! These tiny ones couldn’t beat the ones in Canada. Don’t get me wrong… They are not bad dumplings. The skin wrap is nice, thin and smooth. Its just that Canada have better value ones. 😛
Although I don’t really consider this last one as dim sum… I guess I’ll call it dim sum for now 😛 Last dim sum we got is the steam rice bowl with chicken leg and short ribs in black bean paste sauce. (Sorry forgot to record price value for this dish!) This is one of the classic steam rice bowl you get at dim sum places. The best way to eat this is adding sweet soy sauce in the rice. The meat on top produces juice and it soaks down onto the steam rice. Giving the rice some oil. Yum! The meat was cooked perfectly.
The last thing I want to add is the tea cost. Each person is mandatory to pay a tea cost of $3HKD (approx. $0.41CAD) per person. Very common in all dim sum places. Even in the States or Canada.