Locations: Upper Ground, SM Mega Fashion Hall; SM Mall of Asia; Glorietta (Beside Globe); Upper Ground Floor, SM North Edsa Main Building
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 9:00pm
Official Website: www.timhowan.com
Facebook: Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan Philippines Menu
Filipinos have always been a lover of fad. From Ramen Nagi, to Todd English Food Hall, and now to Tim Ho Wan here in the Philippines, everyone has to have a piece of Tim Ho Wan posted in their Instagram accounts. It’s now a preamble to every foodie, every fad-follower.
But is Tim Ho Wan just more than a fad? Has the World’s Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant finally found its place in a strongly developing food industry? Will it be able to sustain itself?
The answer speaks in the consistency of its food. As a Michelin Star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan has to uphold its standards and not lose its quality. Keep in mind that Tim Ho Wan earned its stars at its Hong Kong branches. This newly opened restaurant at SM Mega Fashion Hall has yet to earn its star. The fact that its so easily to pass all of the Tim Ho Wan brands as Michelin Stars could come across as inaccurately judged.
I won’t go through the nitty gritty of Tim Ho Wan’s substance and history, much of which I have already blogged previously here.
添好運. These three Chinese characters mean that the heavens will always, continuously pour its blessings and prosperity ~ in this case, food! So without further ado, I’ll show the hit and misses of each dish. Let the foodgasm and ultimate dimsum foodporn begin.
Be smart in ordering. Tim Ho Wan’s dimsum isn’t exactly cheap and you will find yourself going overbudget just to fill your stomach. But if you’re here to indulge, by all means, go ahead and get whatever you want.
The waitstaff will tell you that there is a 1:2 ratio for pork buns. One customer can have 2 orders of pork bun. You can also order for to-go but you’ll have to dine in, and pack the dimsum on your own for to-go.
Also order the pork buns according to the maximum number of people already if you intend to have it for to go, because you cannot order these anymore after you’ve ordered on the first time.
The Big Four Heavenly Kings: Baked Bun with BBQ Pork – P145
There is no doubt. Tim Ho Wan’s pork buns are legendary. It’s amazing how they could replicate the Hong Kong signature taste here, with the crusty buns offering that much texture, depth and sweetness to it. I found the buns a bit too sweet, but nibble in dimsum in between bites and the buns will offer much variety to your palate.
And yes, its filled with sweet pork. I noticed that some pork buns were served hollow. We were lucky to get pork buns that were stuffed!
The Big Four Heavenly Kings: Pan Fried Carrot Cake – P145
Tim Ho Wan’s pan fried carrot cake, or in our words, Raddish Cake, is better versus other dimsum restaurants, although I can argue, Choi Garden’s is loads better. I only like that it provided raddish meat, and could have been slightly larger piece.
The Big Four Heavenly Kings: Steamed Egg Cake (Malay Sponge Cake 馬拉糕)- P85
The Steamed Egg Cake was springy, spongy and provided that variety in taste I was looking for. Most of the time, I had myself eating the Steamed Egg Cake just to remove the oily-ness of the other dishes we ordered. Thus, its best accompanied with something oily!
The Big Four Heavenly Kings: Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver – P150
I was tad bit disappointed in this dish. I love rice and vermicelli rolls. These have to be delicate, and not too thick. But Tim Ho Wan’s Vermicelli Roll was a bit thick in this case, a Chee Cheong Fun brother. I had better rice rolls.
Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork – P160
Similarly, I wish the roll could have been less thick in this Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork.
Pork Dumpling with Shrimp – P150
I was extremely disappointed with Tim Ho Wan’s pork dumpling, or commonly known as Shumai. You know where I’ve tasted better Shumai? Check out Summer Palace and Choi Garden, where the shrimp sitting atop of its succulent meat is beckoning and glistening.
“The siomai is very meaty, with a clean taste of shrimp and pork, and a very thin wrapper.” – Whoever said this must be trying to overhype the quality.
Pork Rib with Black Bean Sauce – P120
Tim Ho Wan’s Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce calls for a rice accompaniment. It’s sauce was extremely oily. As I ate its meat I could feel oil trickling down my throat. Nevertheless the meat was tender. Without hesistancy, I quickly took a bite of that Malay sponge cake to soothe it.
Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp – P120
Tim Ho Wan’s Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp was a clear winner. Dimsum calls for something always healthy, and there’s no better representative than this tender, steamed Spinach Dumpling with succulent shrimp. I really like this and could eat an entire order by myself.
Spring Roll with Egg White – P120
I am a fan of Tim Ho Wan’s Spring Roll with Egg White ~ on my first roll. The succeeding rolls I ate were too oily for me and I found myself stuck in the norms of fried Hong Kong street foods.
Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling – P140
If there was anything that defined Tim Ho Wan’s innovation for dimsum, it’s packed in the meaty shrimp in each of these three Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling. It’s a genius, slightly reminded me of Boon Tong Kee’s pan-fried shrimp toast.
Rice with Beef Fried Egg – P180
Whoever said this, “The beef was really soft. It’s like tapsilog but prepared the Hong Kong way”, must have been trying to overhype things AGAIN. I found nothing special in this bowl of rice. The rice was overtoasted at the bottom, and the beef was too bland in taste. The egg, well, was just an egg I could easily fry on my own. Nothing Michelin Star. I was just amused when the waitstaff poured soy sauce on it.
Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf – P190
When I first tasted Tim Ho Wan’s Glutinous Rice, also known as “machang”, I thought the smell reminded me of Hong Kong whenever I would walk the narrow alleys and streets filled with street food. I was partly nostalgic. Then I started to dive into it, wanting to be transported back to Hong Kong, then I never got there again. There was a distinct taste that I loved in this dish, but I never found it in succeeding bites. It was just at the very first.
Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin – P120
Sitting under soft, chewy beancurd skin are these beef balls that I really liked. The meat is succulent, very tender and flavorful. I’d recommend ordering this dimsum.
Rice with Chicken, Mushroom and Sausage – P170
For me, Tim Ho Wan’s Rice with Chicken, Mushroom and Sausage is loads better versus the Beef and Fried Egg. This is more flavorful, and unlike the beef, it doesn’t come across bland and the soy sauce poured on it cuts through the tender chicken.
Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables – P90
If I had the opportunity to eat this everyday, I would. I always liked the simplicity in poached vegetables. No fatty oils, no guilt. We were served with poached bok choi, a true symbol of prosperity in China. I hope we are served with some poached lettuce on our next visit. And it’s cheap too.
Tim Ho Wan Philippines Versus Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong and Singapore
It will be extremely hard to judge its fate at this point, where it’s just a month old, and with its HK Chefs all flown here to oversee its quality. The real test ~ and a test for Tim Ho Wan Philippines to earn its Michelin Star ~ is whether they will be able to keep up the quality of their dishes over time. And some have already experienced, there was nothing special with Tim Ho Wan, save for their Pork Buns, and could no longer find themselves waiting in line.
But then, there’s nothing better than eating at a hole-in-a-wall Cha Chaan Teng, with the hustle and bustle of seemingly, flurry Cantonese words in the Kitchen, versus a highly commercialized one that’s exceedingly hyped. Maybe I should fly to Hong Kong for a day trip in Tim Ho Wan instead.
P.S. They say the best time to queue is on a weekday at 3pm. But in case you don’t want a late lunch or early dinner, be patient in line as their queueing system is quite fast already compared to IHOP and Ramen Nagi. And no, contrary to rumors, there are no special queues for seniority.
TIM HO WAN Philippines Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.3 / 5)|