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“Cheap Michelin-starred dim sum”

Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists
Ranked #232 of 11,366 Restaurants in Hong Kong
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Chinese
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Takeout
Neighbourhood: Mong Kok
Reviewed 3 March 2011

Reached at 7.30am on a Sunday morning (27/2/2011) with a group of 7. We took the MTR to Mongkok and asked our way around to there.The queue has not started yet but by 10am, there was a long line behind us. We got there early as we knew this restaurant had limited seating. This is not a place for family with toddlers due to lack of room and long waits.

Numbers would be given out by 10. 130 numbers for the morning session and 60 for the evening session. A blue piece of paper tapped on the door will be updated with the number being called. A good idea is to grab a piece of menu paper just by the door and write down your dishes prior being granted entry. Knowing Cantonese/ Mandrin is an advantage here as the servers will call your numbers in Cantonese.

Our dishes came almost immediately after we were seated. The har gow was fresh and we all loved the unusual char siew pau and yam leaf lo mai kai. The carrot cake, steamed Malay cake and cheong fun are a must try. They had an unusual dim sum which is a beef ball with a sort of tauhu mixed in. Their menu is not extensive but you get be satisfied with every bite. That is probably how they got their Michelin star.

Although there were reviews of rude servers, we found our elderly waitress quite nice and she joked around with us. Also she asked us how was the food and whether do we want more. They cleared the baskets as soon as we finished. We were grateful as the table were quite small and not much elbow room

Do not over order. We ordered 2-3 baskets of the same dish and discovered it is more than enough to feed 7 mouths. We spent an average of HKD55 per head for 8 different kinds of dimsum. After eating, everyone in my group came to the same conclusion, the 3 hours wait was worth every minute.

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7  Thank nilingzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 February 2011

Having queued 3 hours in the cold for the world’s alledgedly best sushi in Tokyo, the wait for a table at Tim Ho Wan was a piece of cake. Grab a number, then have a wander around the women’s market and come back 45 minutes later, to find it’s almost your turn. Trickiest part is to find the restaurant (no sign in English), but the crowds outside the door give it away.

Dim sum was very good indeed – am no specialist, but the pork buns were top drawer, as were the prawn har gow. Everything here was good, and the cramped conditions and hurried service added to the quirkyness of the experience. Anyone whining about bad service is clearly missing the point – this is great food at cut prices. Our only complaint is that no one told us we were clearly over-ordering, but total bill was still only £15 for 2 people!

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5  Thank rafkam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2011

For me this place is to be experienced for the quality of the food. And the food is worth it. I'm used to eating dim sum in massive rooms with hundreds of patrons served by random trolley deliveries from the kitchen. At a small neighbourhood place like Tim Ho Wan your order is taken from menu. Then you wait until the next batch of a dish you have ordered is completed, then all tables that have ordered that item receive it. Hence, you have little control of the order in which you receive the dishes, but they are all fresh from the steamer/fryer.

I'm not an expert but each of the dishes we sampled were better than the best we have ever tried. I couldn't understand why several nearby tables of locals were ordering such massive numbers of dishes. It turned out they were taking home half of it to eat later - great idea. Other patrons and staff all seemed friendly. Just as well since we are all packed so close together that major cooperation is required to get from the door to behind your table.

From deciding to go to Tim Ho Wan to finishing our meal took 4-5 hours including the very long wait for the table. There's lots of other things you can do in Hong Kong in five hours but if you appreciate dim sum I don't think you will regret it.

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3  Thank SimonWarms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2011

You don't go here for the service or ambiance - you go for the amazingly delicious food!!!!
Tim Ho Wan is worth the wait. We went after reading all the hype about the 'cheapest Michilen starred restaurant in the world', and the hype is well deserved. We went early - around 10am, expecting to wait. There's a crowd already gathered outside, waiting for tables to open. A nice mix of locals and tourists. We actually went for a walk around the neighborhood and our name had been called while we were away! The staff did all they could to fit us back in promptly.

We ordered all of the dim sum we could, and each and every dish was truly amazing. The steamed egg cake was a really nice surprise. The BBQ pork buns (bao) are a must: the pastry is the flakiest I've ever had.

I won't go through each and every dish, but know that it will be hard to find such amazing food for so cheap EVER again! It is a no frills, cafeteria style place, but the food is what you go for and if you love food, you will not be disappointed!!!!

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3  Thank dmoutsop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2011

Coming from another gastronomically critical Asian country, I must say I visited the place with the intention to debunk all the hype about this place.

Walked really far with my family in tow, I finally arrived to take a queue number with instructions to come back an hour later.

Went walking around checking out the gun shops and found this toy shop selling really cheap original Ben 10 merchandise for my boys.

Came back an hour later and to my surprise was given a seat almost immediately. The staff were rather friendly unlike the warnings I was given before my visit. The place is really claustrophobic but clean.

The food when served looked mediocre....but one bite and all my skepticism disappeared...Really Really Good....The signature Char Siu Bau.....the Carrot Cake....and everything else were Amazingly Good!! Really deserving the Michelin Star status.

If not for the wait we would probably visit there every day of hour week long trip. The prices are really reasonable...we had paid more in a "Char Chan Teng" in Tsim Tsa Tsui before.

Thumbs Up!!!

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2  Thank Clarence C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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