Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong (12 Must-Try Dishes in 2019)
Officially crowned as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, Tim Ho Wan dishes out beloved dim sum offerings (think: steamed rice rolls, prawn dumplings, and sticky rice with lotus leaf). Here’s our guide on what to order + must-try dishes, which outlets to go to, and more!
1. Char Siu Bao (Steamed Pork Buns)
Look for a crumbly, flaky, sweet *and* savory bun stuffed to the gills with barbecued pork. What’s so special about this bun is that it’s actually different from the typical Char Siu Bao — typical Char Siu Baos are encased in a fluffy white bun. Tim Ho Wan’s version is flaky and melt-in-your-mouth delish!
👇 Someone tried to recreate their buns, and they came pretty close 👇
2. Chilled Osmanthus Cakes (aka the jiggly cakes)
These guys are technically desserts, but who cares. What’s so special about these dessert cakes? Well, they jiggle. They also are baked with osmanthus infused in, and is meant to cool the palate with each bite.
👇 Watch how it jiggles 👇
3. Cheong Fun (Steamed Rice Noodles)
These hand-pulled rice noodles are silky to the touch (trust me, it tastes better than it sounds!). Choose from a variety of stuffings including pork and shrimp. I would recommend you opt for the pork since you’ll be shrimping out in the other dishes below!
4. Har Gow (Shrimp Dumpling)
Tim Ho Wan’s Shrimp Dumpling is a clear show-stopper. Look for succulent shrimps stuffed inside a translucent skin. I seriously could eat these all day. Every day.
5. Sio Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumpling)
These delicious dumplings complement the Har Gow pretty well in that they’re different textures. Sio Mai dumplings are encased in a pork and shrimp combo (and are a tad more flavorful thanks to the pork).
6. Teochew Dumpling
Last dumpling. I promise. Unlike the Sio Mai and Har Gow dumplings, the Teochew Dumpling originates from Chiu Chow cuisine, and it’s not necessarily Hong Kong dim sum nosh. It’s packed to the gills with nuts, radishes, and minced meat. Thanks to the nuts, there’s a lot more mouthfeel in the dumpling.
7. Beancurd Skin Roll With Shrimp
Everyone orders the classic Spring Roll. But you should actually order the Beancurd Skin Roll with Shrimp every time. Here’s why. Even though there’s less rolls — four rolls with the Spring Roll and three rolls with the Beancurd Skin Roll — the Beancurd Skin Roll is MUCH harder dish to execute.
Handy Tip: If you order this dish, you can basically skip Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp. They’re basically the same dish, but the one with Pork & Shrimp is steamed whilst the one with Shrimp only is fried.
8. Lo Mai Gai (Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice)
Looks can be deceiving. Especially Tim Ho Wan’s Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice. These packets of goodness are filled to the brim with mushrooms, scallions, pork as well as sausages. Truly delish!
9. Steamed Beef Meatballs
Don’t miss out on these meatballs — especially the bits of crunchy water chestnut and chopped scallion with every bit.
10. Lo Bak Go (Fried Turnip Cake)
Perfectly fried, these Turnip Cakes sport a delish, crunchy golden crust that’s a delight to bite into.
11. Glutinous Rice Dumplings
Again, this item is usually overlooked on the menu. But, Tim Ho Wan executes this dish perfectly; the batter provides a great crunch, and the dumpling is filled to the brim with minced meat. A great gem on the menu!
12. Mai Lai Go
Tim Ho Wan’s Mai Lai Go, is fluffy and feathery, but not sticky. This traditional Cantonese dim sum dish is perfectly executed and tastes on point!
What To Avoid
13. Chow Mein
To be honest, there’s nothing special about this dish at all. It tastes just like regular chow mien you’ll find anywhere in the city. For some reason, it’s also a bit too greasy for my liking as well.
14. Steamed Pork Ribs
This dish is pretty bland, and not something that I enjoyed very much on the handful of times that I ordered it. Unless you’re really in the mood for ribs, I would skip.
Tim Ho Wan has six locations located throughout Hong Kong, and each one has it’s own quirks. Since you can’t make reservations, here are the top three locations.
1. West Kowloon Station (Opened in Fall 2018)
Nestled in the brand new West Kowloon Train Terminus, this outlet’s turns tables around very fast. Given that the clientele here are mainly travelers (they have trains to catch), table wait times are kept at a minimum. Plus, what’s great is that while you’re waiting, you can just saunter outside and hang out in the newly constructed West Kowloon Station terminus and take in the panoramic views of Hong Kong Island.
Nearest MTR Station: Kowloon Station (just walk through the Elements shopping complex, and follow the signs to the West Kowloon Train Terminus)
2. Olympian City III (Local Favorite)
This location is frequented by locals heavily since it’s location is pretty difficult to find. The restaurant is located *outside* the shopping mall complex and there isn’t any clear signage within the mall that points you to the right way. The downside of this location is that wait times can be quite long given that table turns aren’t as fast as those found in the West Kowloon Station outlet.
Nearest MTR Station: Olympic Station (Follow the signs to Olympian City III, continue onto the footbridge, and descend down the escalators till you arrive at a large atrium with a MUJI. Exit through the doors between Cafe Habitu and the fake Apple store. Tim Ho Wan should be on your left).
3. Hong Kong Station (Underneath IFC Mall)
I have a love-hate relationship with this location. It’s constantly slammed thanks to it’s Central location.
Tip: Order takeaway to skip the hordes of people. After you get your piping hot dim sum, take the glass elevators and go up to the very top floor (i.e. the roof deck). There are benches and tables there to enjoy your dim sum with views of Kowloon to match. The roof deck is a “public space” so feel free to wander around.
Nearest MTR Station: Central / Hong Kong Station (Follow the signs to Hong Kong Station, and proceed to the basement level).