The cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world has the crowds flocking. Open 10am-10pm, the queues start from the morning right through to the night. And they come from all over the world, next to me were three Japanese girls, next to them a Spanish couple, and a few tables further an American couple.
I came at 4pm to miss the crowd but there was still a 10 minute wait, sped up by the fact that I was one person and could share a table with an odd numbered group.
Tim Ho Wan is headed by chef Mak Pui Gor formerly a sous chef with the Four Seasons hotel working under Chef Chan Yan Tak, the first Chinese chef to be awarded three Michelin stars.
But Tim Ho Wan is after a totally different market to the Four Seasons crowd, the yum cha here is genuinely cheap, my selection ranged from HK$12 – HK$19 each, that’s actually cheaper than the relatively average yum cha place I went to recently.
I ordered the usual popular yum cha fare, har gao, siu mai, steamed vegetable dumplings, rice noodles and something another guest suggested, baked bbq pork bun.. apparently a Tim Ho Wan specialty.
And the hype is justified, everything was delicious, high quality ingredients, great balance of flavours.
Despite everything I read about the staff being surly, my experience was anything but. They were polite, helpful and were patient, within reason, it’s a very busy place.
A few tips:
- Use the photo above as reference as there’s not large English signage outside the shop
- It’s open 10am-10pm, to avoid queues go at off peak dates like early in the week and times, I went at 4pm and the wait was only around 10mins.
- Make sure you get a number from the lady outside the shop and at the same time the piece of white paper to fill out your order. She’s likely to give you the Chinese version, ask for it in English
- Once inside, the place is SMALL so don’t come with bags of shopping or make too many wide, sudden movements