Eating Hong Kong: Tim Ho Wan

This is sadly the only picture I snapped, I was too busy shoving dumblings in my face.

Let me start this out by saying this is the best Dim Sum I have EVER had.  And that’s a bold statement, seeing as I grew up in SF having Dim Sum pretty much every weekend and I had my Bat Mitzvah party in the Yank Sing banquet hall- that’s how much I love Dim Sum.

But let’s get back to Tim Ho Wan.  Tim Ho Wan is the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.  When I was in Hong Kong I had to check it out- located in the literally inside of the Hong Kong Station Metro station in Hong Kong Central, this cheap, fast and easy meal will do nothing short of knock your socks off.

We got there after taking the L1 metro line and not leaving the station.  At about 9:30 am, a mere 30 minutes after opening there was already a line out the door.  This tiny train station restaurant- I swear the kitchen is bigger than the actual seating area- features long sharing tables only separating sections by a row of condiments.  Before even entering the restaurant or putting your name down, a short and stout Chinese woman shoves a paper menu in your hand and hands you a golf-sized pencil to start circling your order.  When your table is called, you are expected to not only have your menu filled out but also hand it over to the brute hostess who brings you to your table.

While the elbow room at the tables is very far from abundant, the quality of food makes up for it.  Don’t expect to have a leisurely meal there- this place is really a sit and go type of place.  There was actually a girl seated sort of across from me on her laptop and got a lot of dirty looks from the waitresses.

Atmosphere aside- the food was INCREDIBLE.  Let’s start with the BBQ Pork Buns (bao)- holy sh** where these amazing.  The pork buns have this amazingly sweet and soft bun that is crystallized with sugar (?) and the mouth feel is just amazing.  The shrimp dumplings (har gow) were amazing with a super bamboo/shrimp flavor inside and a perfectly gummy rice casing.  Shui Mai, excellent, spare ribs, excellent, rice noodle crepe/roll (or chee cheong fun) excellent.  The only thing that was kind of eh and confusing was that we checked the box for the side veggie and expected pea shoots (domio or chow dau miu), maybe bok choy or Chinese broccoli but no, we got steamed ice berg lettuce, which was pretty bizarre, but let’s be real, I still ate it.

Over this is Dim Sum NOT to miss when in Hong Kong and will knock any other Dim Sum experience you have ever had out of the park.  (Don’t let the fancy restaurants in Hong Kong be the only thing you eat).

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