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Hello, I'm Cliff Anderson! Why Cliff(y), you ask? Well, a lot of people I've met since primary school till now have always called me Cliffy! Anyway, for every 50 posts I come up with, and every 25,000 pageviews, I'm donating a sum of money to the World Food Programme. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Monday, March 12, 2012

HKG: Tim Ho Wan

One Michelin Star - Awesome tonic medlar and petal 'cake'!

Actually I have two mid-term papers to sit for tomorrow, but I really have no idea what to study. Anyway, today I'm going to review the world's cheapest One Michelin Star restaurant. Tim Ho Wan (lit. add good luck) has been in business since the 1920s. Oh, actually I had dim sum at another popular One Michelin Star restaurant, but since I'd like to go back to that place, I'll review Tim Ho Wan first (get the hint?) :P


Pika's advice 1: Yes, the advice comes before I even show you what I ordered. NEVER WALK AWAY ONCE YOU'VE GOT THE QUEUE NUMBER! I admit that I reached there pretty late (read: around 11.00am) on a Saturday morning. The number 77 was written at the back of a slip of paper which happened to be a receipt dated three days before, and it was given to me as a queue number. At that time, the queue number 23 was the last one to be crossed out from the list, which made me decide to walk around instead of waiting in the crowd. When I came back 1.5 hours later, the last queue number crossed out was 43. I thought, "Wowwww, that's damn slow!" I couldn't stand waiting there, and decided to take another round of walking. Another 1.5 hours passed, and I found myself back in front of the restaurant, only to find out that the last queue number crossed out was 49, but eventually came to a realisation that a few of the later queue numbers, including 78, had already been crossed out! Okay, it was high time to stay still. True enough, a few minutes later, the person called for two people in Cantonese and I immediately gave him the queue number. He then checked if anyone had a queue number lower than 77, and soon I found myself seated in the small eatery. Okay, so much for the story. Haha...


Vermicelli Roll Stuffed with BBQ Pork HK$16.00 (~S$2.65)
Taste: 7.5/10

The chee cheong fun was a bit too thin for my liking, but the filling was given pretty generously. The BBQ pork tasted slightly sweet, which was balanced by the soy sauce.


Steamed Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce HK$14.00 (~S$2.30)
Taste: 8/10

The chicken feet weren't that meaty, but they had really absorbed the savoury black bean sauce which wasn't diluted. Also, the dish wasn't greasy.


Steamed Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce HK$14.00 (~S$2.30)
Taste: 8/10

Heh, I love sucking on bones, and I guess you can't go wrong with steamed spare ribs. Oily, yes, but full of flavour.


Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumpling HK$22.00 (~S$3.65)
Taste: 7.5/10

If I'm not mistaken, there were two crunchy, somewhat juicy shrimps in each har gow. One major problem was that the dumpling skin was too thick to be fully enjoyable. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed with the har gow, especially after the hellishly long wait.


Steamed Pork Dumpling with Shrimp HK$22.00 (~S$3.65)
Taste: 8.5/10

Thankfully, the siu mai managed to cheer me up. Juicy and succulent, the dumplings were rich in flavour. A whole shrimp was inserted into each dumpling instead of chopped up together with the pork!


Steamed Dumpling in Chiu Chow Style HK$10.00 (~S$1.65)
Taste: 7.5/10

I'm not a really big fan of these, but I was tempted to try them out. One of the cheapest items on the list, I guess the dumplings were slightly better than average. Each of them was filled with peanuts, chives and dried shrimps, among other stuff. 


Baked Bun with BBQ Pork HK$15.00 (~S$2.50)
Taste: 8/10

Die-hard fans of these buns abound, but I'm not too sure if I'll join them. Yes, they were good with the sweet crust and piping hot BBQ pork inside, but I think they were somewhat overrated. Pika's advice 2: Although the buns don't seem to be very hot, I guess it'd be better to break them into halves as the filling is very hot! A friend of mine burned his tongue after one bite.


Deep-Fried Dumpling Filled with Meat HK$12.00 (~S$2.00)
Taste: 8/10

I think these meat dumplings didn't lose to the BBQ pork buns above. The skin was a delightful marriage between glutinous texture and crunchy sensation. Each of the dumpling was filled with well-marinated pork and mushroom.


Glue Rice Dumpling HK$22.00 (~S$3.65)
Taste: 7.5/10

Yes, it's translated as GLUE rice dumpling in the menu! Anyway, it wasn't as good as expected, especially since it lacked the sauce, evident in the colour of the glutinous rice. Also, the filling given wasn't enough. 


Congee with Preserved Vegetables and Spare Ribs HK$16.00 (~S$2.65)
Taste: 6.5/10

The eatery only offered one type of congee, which I found to be too watery the other day. There were only a few spare ribs inside, but the preserved vegetables were quite nice and crunchy.


Steamed Egg Cake HK$12.00 (~S$2.00)
Taste: 7.5/10

The egg cake was soft and of adequate sweetness, but lacking in the eggy taste I was looking for.


Tonic Medlar and Petal Cake HK$10.00 (~S$1.65)
Taste: 9/10

Truth be told, the best item of the day was the wolfberry and osmanthus jelly. I'm really not used to say tonic medlar haha... Oh, I'll show you a better picture.


Definitely a refreshing end to the meal, the jelly was heavenly. It wasn't overly sweet, but the fragrance was worth dying for! Just a small note: the jelly was quite fragile. A few seconds after this picture was taken, it tore apart and fell (onto the plate, luckily).

Melon's Rating
Taste: 8/10
Ambience: 4/10
Service: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

You have to bear with the crammed environment inside the eatery with tables and chairs only a few centimeters apart. Also, don't expect high-class service like in most Michelin Star restaurants. No smile to be seen, but at least they served the food somewhat efficiently with only one or two items arriving a bit late. Oh, they have two more branches, but everyone advises that you should go to the main branch in Mong Kok.

Tim Ho Wan

2-20 Kwong Wa Street
Shop 8,  Taui Yuen Mansion Phase 2
Mong Kok
Hong Kong
(Daily: 10.00am - 10.00pm)

*Prices quoted are nett prices.

Have a nice meal,
Cliff(y)

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