Wednesday, April 15, 2015

tim ho wan.

I rarely ever cover Chinese food on this blog, mainly because there aren't that many Chinese restaurants which really peak my interest.  Tim Ho Wan, however, is an exception.  Boasting a very coveted Michelin star and having expanded world-wide, it almost seemed unforgivable if I didn't give it a go. 

It was over a one and a half hour wait to be able to get seats in the restaurant but we finally managed to score a corner table.  The restaurant has that brand spanking new smell to it with an open kitchen and over a hundred bamboo yumcha baskets decorating the upper walls of the place.  Busy waiters are scurrying around with plastic flaps around their face to avoid breathing on to the food and there is a definite buzz about the place that can only come from customers who have waited for so long to get inside.

Barbeque Pork Buns: $6.80

If there is one thing waiting in line for, it is for these little babies.  The outer layer is reminiscent of the classic pineapple bun (bor lor bau) you get from Chinese bakeries and was deliciously sweet and crumbly.  The inside was full of piping hot bbq pork (char siu) and char siu sauce.  For $6.80, it's a reasonable price although they're not exactly huge.  I could easily finish six of these buns in one go and still have room for more. But you know, that's just me.

Prawn Dumplings: $7.80
 You cannot go to a yum cha restaurant and not order har gao (prawn dumplings).  They say you can tell just how good a dim sum chef is by their har gao skin and filling.  These dumplings were okay.  The skin was lightly chewy and didn't stick to the paper, which is definitely a good thing.  The prawn filling was also noticeably seasoned with salt and pepper but lacking the bamboo shoots which I've become accustomed to.  The price was also pretty high for four small dumplings, even if they are part of the 'Heavenly Four' aka must tries on the menu.

Pork Dumpling with Shrimp: $7.20
 Shiu mai is also a classic at yum cha. Plump, juicy wonton-wrapped balls of fatty pork and prawn these were not.  It may have been due to the huge crowds which came in that day, but the shiu mai were slightly shrivelled, chewy and a little sad looking when they reached our table.  They're also served with goji berries instead of the traditional crab roe which is slightly weird.

Steamed Egg Cake: $5.50
This was also a strange version of the classic egg cake (ma lai gou in Cantonese).  The egg cake which I am accustomed to is a soft yellow, not brown.  It was very light and fluffy though, and not too sweet.  For me it almost tasted like soy sauce, but my fellow eater didn't taste that at all.

Pan-fried Carrot Cake: $6.00
I love carrot cake.  Whether it's sweet or savoury, I’m not fussed.  The traditional Chinese pan-fried carrot cake is supposed to deliciously fragrant and melt-in-your-mouth soft  with the right balance of white carrot piece, flour, Chinese sausage and dried shrimp.  Tim Ho Wan’s version was not close.  There were plenty of chunky carrot pieces which is always a good thing, but the flavour wasn’t really there.  It was fairly bland and not enough sausage or salt to counter the flour.  

Overall verdict?  Pretty average and definitely not worth the long wait.   There are so many other great yumcha places in Sydney that don’t require too long of a wait and with loads more options.  The only thing I would go back for would be the barbeque pork buns which were pretty amazing.  

Tim Ho Wan on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. HEY!!! Esther! Can I get in touch about your blog - regarding a story on ya? Thanks!
    My email,