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Michelin Star Tim Ho Wan (添好运) Dim Sum Comes to Singapore May 25, 2013

Posted by gurkhason in food, media invite, singapore.
Tags: , ,

Tim Ho Wan LogoHands up if you have not heard of Tim Ho Wan, the new kid on the block and Michelin star restaurant arrived with much fanfare at Singapore. Located at the new wing of Plaza Singapura, throngs and throngs of people stood outside the restaurant; rain-or-shine; creating a good problem for the restaurant.  Tim Ho Wan when literally translate into English means “Adding Good Luck”.  It is a very auspicious name for the restaurant as well as for guests that visits the store.  Do you want to Tim Ho Wan?

Sitting Area at Tim Ho Wan Singapore

I was very lucky to be invited to a media tasting at Tim Ho Wan.  So I get to sample all the Tim Ho Wan dim sum delights without having to queue for the crazy 2-4 hours.  Many thanks to Tim Ho Wan and Brand Cellar for their hospitality during the visit.

Without further ado, I present the 4 Heavenly Kings of Tim Ho Wan.

Tim Ho Wan Baked Bun with BBQ PorkBaked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉烧包 ($4.50)

Imagine the excitement when we were presented with the baked bun with BBQ pork.  Before I even get to bite into the bun, this baked bun has already won me over with its crusty top and fluffy buns when I tear it open.  The bun is filled with a lot of moist char siew and bursting with the sweet goodness you would expect from a char siew bun.  It is no wonder why Tim Ho Wan won the Michelin Star because the bun is so well executed, stimulating your senses of taste, smell, and touch.  And best of all it is very affordable at $1.50 per piece!

Pan Fried Carrot CakePan Fried Carrot Cake 香煎萝卜糕 ($4.50)

Pan fried carrot cake is not unusual in our dim sum scene.  What makes it special is that you can still bite into bits of carrots which are thinly shredded rendering a texture beyond taste.  Lap cheong are also bigger bits and hence more fragrant compared to other dim sum places.

Vermicelli Roll with Pig's LiverVermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver 黄沙猪润肠 ($5.50)

The vermicelli roll with pig liver however is rather unusual.  Most common we have are shrimps, char siew, mushrooms or you tiao.  So this ought to be quite a signature for Tim Ho Wan.  I personally like it as it is quite special with a tangy and rustic taste.  It would be better if their vermicelli rolls are more generous with the soy sauce as it will create a better balance taste so more people will appreciate it.

Tim Ho Wan Steamed Egg CakeSteamed Egg Cake 香滑马来糕 ($3.80)

When the steamed egg cake are served people screamed “huat kueh” or 发糕.  A common cake that people used as an offering to deity for good luck.  However it doesn’t taste like that at all as the steamed egg cake is really soft and spongy.  It has a very light caramelised taste that is very pleasant.  It made for great start for the seafood and meat heavy dim sum or as an intermission between them.   This steam egg cake really bewildered the guests because more traditionally the steamed egg cakes are yellow in color but their’s brown.

Prawn DumplingsPrawn Dumpling 晶莹鲜虾饺 ($5.50)

Pork Dumpling with ShrimpsPork Dumpling with Shrimp 鲜虾烧卖皇 ($5.00)

How can dim sum comes without Har Gao (虾饺)  and Siew Mai (烧卖)?  They are both served piping hot and steaming from the bamboo baskets. You can taste the undeniably fresh ingredients used to prepare these dim sum.  More noteworthy is the siew mai because it has distinctive layer of prawns on top and pork below.  The outer layer of yellow lye skin is very also smooth so it is very pleasing to the palate.

Chicken FeetChicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce 鼓汁蒸风爪 ($4.00)

Pork Rib with Black Bean Sauce 鼓汁蒸肉排 ($4.20)

Two other common “should-have” are chicken feet and pork ribs.  When I was a kid, my parents would forbid me to eat chicken feet because according to them, if we eat them we can’t count properly (and may fail in maths).  Luckily after upper secondary school when my Maths were tops, I started venturing to chicken feet and there’s no turning back since.  If you don’t know, chicken feet are rich in collagen making your skin glow!  The chicken feet here are well marinated fragantly with mild taste of the spices and the skin is a quite Q (soft and chewy), although I would have preferred if it is soft and soggy – which are not what good class restaurants would serve as it’s overcooked.

Beancurd Skin Roll Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp 美味焖鲜竹卷 ($4.00)

Beancurb Skin Roll with ShrimpBeancurb Skin Roll with Shrimp 鲜虾腐皮卷 ($5.50)

Steamed or fried?  You can beancurd skin roll served in two ways.  Personally I prefer the steam version here because I perceive it to be more healthy without the deep-frying.  Probably also it is softer, smoother and more flavourful with the sauce.  The deep-fried version still taste good when dipped into the dark vinegar.  The sour taste of vinegar whet the appetite and blends well with the crusty beancurd skin and shrimps.

Tim Ho Wan Dumpling Teochew StyleDumpling Teochew Style 潮州蒸粉果 ($4.00)

Garlic, Mushroom, Spinach DumplingGarlic, Mushroom, Spinach Dumpling 金蒜香菇菠菜饺 ($3.80)

These two dumplings probably would make into the list of my own 4 Heavenly Queens, maybe because they provide a good respite from all the seafood and meat from the dim sum.  I love particularly the Teochew Style Dumplings.  As I grow older (though I am really not that old), I tend to like veggies more than meat.  When I bite into whole peanuts in the Teochew dumplings, my eyes sparkled and I was thinking “oh!  so traditionally Teochew style indeed!”.  Most restaurants avoid using peanuts in the Teochew dumplings as a lot of westerners have allergy to peanuts.  The garlic, mushroom and spinach is also very delightfully vegetarian and the skin so crystal and thin you can see colorful fillings of their ingredients.

Beef Ball with Beancurd SkinBeef Ball with Beancurb Skin 陈皮牛肉球 ($4.20)

Not a common dim sum dish people will order, but these beef balls are really devilish.  The beef is very smooth and soft.  I will say one of the best that I have eaten in a long time.  Something that I will order in my next visit at Tim Ho Wan.

Spring Roll with Egg WhiteSpring Roll with Egg White 赛螃蟹春卷 ($4.20)

This deep-fried spring roll is very interesting because the of the contrasting texture of the crispy skin and the egg white and shrimps.  The filling is very tasty and special maybe because I would expect radish but it is the smooth egg white instead.  For sure this will enter my 4 Heavenly Queen dishes.  This must be also one of the signature because I have not tried a spring roll using egg white.

Yam Puree with Sago (Hot)Yam Puree with Sago, Hot 荔茸西米露 ($3.50)

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake (Cold)Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake, Cold 杞子桂花糕 ($3.50)

Dessert time! Yam puree and sago boost a “yammy” taste but I would prefer to have it more chilled.  The Osmanthus cake is very unique and beautiful.  I simply love the golden-yellow colour with the hints of the red wolfberries and Osmanthus flowers.  This jelly-like cake is perfect to end the meal.

Tim Ho Wan 添好运
68 Orchard Road
#01-29A Plaza Singapura
Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 63832828
Open Daily: 10am to 10pm

Now, the golden question is:  worth the wait?

Long queue at Tim Ho Wan Singapore

As the saying goes “good things are worth waiting for”. But, would you queue 2 to 3 or even up to 4 hours to try out the dim sum at Tim Ho Wan?

Some 13 years ago, I stood in the queue multiple times and even overnight for once for the McDonald’s Hello Kitty & Dear Daniel series of plush toys during year 2000.  During our younger days, we do such crazy things that forms a unique part of our memories and experience.  While many people are lambasting the people who queue for long hours just to savour dim sum that they could have gotten easily in other restuarants, but eating is all about the whole experience, not only the food.  So I see no harm if done in good fun.

Life has choices if one choose to queue with some friends to try out really famous dim sum that used to be available only some 2,500km in Hong Kong, why not?  The euphoria created from the long waiting may also make the dim sum more tasty, further enhancing the taste, and especially so when one is hungry, food is more tasty!

Having said so, I probably wouldn’t have stood and wait in the queue because my opportunity cost would have been much higher.  Maybe when the queue system that Tim Ho Wan has wanted to implement is rolled out, or when they open more outlets in Singapore cutting the queue time in the only outlet in Singapore.



1. Koh Grill & Sushi Bar @ Food Republic, Wisma Atria | Thoughts on Air - July 31, 2013

[…] mind standing in a queue to wait for a table.  Other than those that are exaggerating like Tim Ho Wan, I need my friends to enlighten me all the time.  I was pretty stress about this particular dinner […]

2. Koh Grill & Sushi Bar @ Food Republic, Wisma Atria | Thoughts on Air - July 31, 2013

[…] mind standing in a queue to wait for a table.  Other than those that are exaggerating like Tim Ho Wan, I need my friends to enlighten me all the time.  I was pretty stress about this particular dinner […]

3. Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant 瑞春点心拉面小笼包 @ Jalan Besar | Thoughts on Air - September 23, 2013

[…] Tim Ho Wan @ Plaza Singapura […]

4. Lilliana - November 3, 2013

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5. http://www.tokyointernational.org/xoops_en/userinfo.php?uid=64226 - November 3, 2013

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6. Tim Ho Wan @ Bedok Mall | Thoughts on Air - December 16, 2013

[…] For the review of other dim sum dishes, you can refer my earlier post of Tim Ho Wan @ Plaza Singapura. […]

7. Tim Ho Wan Grand Opening @ Westgate & Bedok Mall | Thoughts on Air - January 6, 2014

[…] Tim Ho Wan @ Plaza Singapura […]

8. Tim Ho Wan Celebrates 1st Anniversary! | Thoughts on Air - April 28, 2014

[…] Ho Wan debuts with great fanfare in Singapore seeing long snaking queue at its first outlet in Plaza Singapore.  Within a year, it has opened other 3 outlets at Toa Payoh ERA Centre, Bedok Mall and Westgate […]

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