Tim Ho Wan

China, food, Hong Kong

I visit a Michllen starred restaurant and try Dim Sum for the first time.

Tim Ho Wan is the world’s cheapest Michellen starred restaurant. Anthony Bourdain’s show “The Layover” payed homage to this Dim Sum mecca. Each item is around $1-3 usd, yet is some of the best quality Dim Sum in the world. We had heard about tourists and locals having to wait in line upwards of 2 hours, but we were prepared to wait. From the bottom of Victoria peak, it was just a short walk to the IFC mall, where Tim Ho Wan was situated. It took us a while to navigate the mall, and we had to read multiple maps before finally reaching the correct line of shops. The restaurant was so unassuming, so casually situated, that we almost missed it.

Tim Ho Wan in the IFC mall

Tim Ho Wan in the IFC mall

By this point, it was already about 2:30pm, and we found ourselves at the front of the line immediately! We suspected that this might have just been a single branch of the Tim Ho Wan chain, and that another somewhere else must be the famous one, but we didn’t care. This was my first time trying Dim Sum, and I was excited to get my chopsticks dirty.
We were provided with a large pot of tea with infinite refills (for only $3HKD/$0.39USD) and a single paper menu. The menu was half in Cantonese and half in English, and we were meant to write down numbers next to each item to clarify how many we wanted. Barbecue pork buns, chicken feet, multiple variations of dumplings, turnip cake, vermicelli noodles stuffed with pork, shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, oh my!
The food came as fast as it went.

My first ever Dim Sum

My first ever Dim Sum

We split each item between the five of us, so that we had a chance to try everything. My favorite was definitely the Barbecue pork buns, although it’s possible that could have just been because that’s what I dug into first. The most exciting was definitely the chicken feet, and I’m glad I felt adventurous enought to try. Not too crazy about the texture, but the taste was fine. By the end of the meal, we couldn’t bare to stomach another bite. I chugged down one more cupful of hot tea (surprisingly refreshing in hot and humid weather) and we went to the 7/11 next door to buy giant water bottles. 7/11s in Hong Kong are an experience in themselves. The shops boasted such items as green tea kitkats, coconut oreos, and all sorts of other oddities that could never be found at the 7/11 counterparts in the US. Looking forward to seeing all the odd 7/11 items in Chiang Mai!


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