Tim Ho Wan: Is it worth the hype?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

tim ho wan singapore review

You probably have walked past it countless times, often greeted by an almost never-ending long queue which makes dining there almost impossible or had your Instagram and Facebook feed spammed with photos of it.

Yes, I am talking about the world's cheapest 1 Michelin Star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan aka the Dim Sum Specialist.

I was over at Westgate with my partner-in-crime one evening for some shopping after having brunch at Hatched Holland Village. We had wanted to go to D' Good Cafe initially but the super pretty swing seats weren't available hence we settled for some egg benedicts at Hatched, located just beside it.

Despite feeling a little full still from our brunch, we knew we had give the legendary Tim Ho Wan a try when we saw that there wasn't any queue at Tim Ho Wan Westgate. We were the 1st in queue, can you imagine that?       
We were brought into the restaurant by a waitress whom seated us next to a couple when there was another 2-seater just beside. Frankly speaking, I don't understand why servers love to seat diners so close to each other when are there other seats available. To let you have an idea of the space in between our table and the couple's, it is the amount of space that allow one person to pass through when walking sideways so you could imagine how close the tables were.

The ordering process is pretty straightforward. You will be given a menu, just tick whatever you want to have on the ordering chit provided on the table and pass it to the staff. After which, the staff will repeat your order before processing the order and serving it to you. Payment is to be made at the cashier located near the entrance by bringing along the printed slip with your order.

We ordered the legendary Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉燒包 and Shrimp Vermicelli Roll.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉燒包 

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork
Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, $4.50++
tim ho wan review (2)
When Char Siew Bao meets Bo Lo Bao

I know of people who go to Tim Ho Wan just for Tim Ho Wan Baked Bun with BBQ Pork. Many say it is the best Char Siew Bao.

Prior to my visit to Tim Ho Wan, whenever my family and friends mention their dining experience at Tim Ho Wan, they couldn't quite describe the legendary Tim Ho Wan Baked Bun with BBQ Pork to me beyond adjectives such as, "crispy, baked, unique'.

My verdict? Tim Ho Wan Baked Bun with BBQ Pork is the most unique char siew bao I had till date. It is best described as Char Siew Bao with Pineapple Bun Bo Lo Bao's crust or Pineapple Bun Bo Lo Bao with a thicker and more fluffy crust. I'm a fan of both actually so no points for guessing that Tim Ho Wan Baked Bun with BBQ Pork won me over with the juicy and well-marinated BBQ Pork filling. While it is easily one of the best Char Siew Bao that I have tried, still it doesn't justify as the best char siew bao because traditional Char Siew Bao is steamed and served hot, some has opening on top (commonly found in dim sum places) while some don't have opening on top (Kopitiam version) which serves as a good reminiscence of the days when my late Grandma would buy me a Char Siew Bao whenever she picks me up from school.

Shrimp Vermicelli Roll 韭王鲜虾肠  
Tim Ho Wan Shrimp Vermicelli Roll
Shrimp Vermicelli Roll, $5.50++

For Vermicelli Roll, the most common would be BBQ Pork. We settled for the Shrimp Vermicelli Roll. The shrimp were crunchy 爽脆 and succulent like how it is in any regular dim sum place. I found the vermicelli roll to be a little too thick for my liking. It is however of the same thickness as the vermicelli we had in Hong Kong. The sauce was very fragrant and a joy to dip in for an extra boost of flavour. 

The total bill came up to $11.75 after service charge and GST.

Would I visit Tim Ho Wan again? Yes I will for the food. You will be sure that I will order the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork again. Don't have too much expectations on the service though as they operate like a no-frills restaurant based on my experience over at Tim Ho Wan Westgate.  

If it is your 1st time dining at Tim Ho Wan, you might want to give these items below a try. They are supposedly the best-selling and must try items in Tim Ho Wan.

Big 4 Heavenly Kings 四大天王

香滑马来糕 Steamed Egg Cake 1pc
黄沙猪润肠 Vermicelli Roll with Pig's Liver
酥皮焗叉燒包 Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 3 pcs
香煎萝卜糕 Pan Fried Carrot Cake 3 pcs

Tim Ho Wan Singapore outlets

Tim Ho Wan Westgate
Jurong East #01-13/14
Nearest MRT: Jurong East

Tim Ho Wan Bedok Mall
Nearest MRT: Bedok

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura 
Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut

Tim Ho Wan Toa Payoh 
Nearest MRT: Toa Payoh
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