Tim Ho Wan, Singapore

Last Wednesday, I was sitting in the study room while mulling over my moot the following day and at 1030 am it dawned on me that Tim Ho Wan has officially opened in Singapore and my day was suddenly a lot better. (Good food is very important to me, don’t judge.) On Monday, after everyone in our tutorial group finished our moots, we decided to celebrate by going to Tim Ho Wan.

The queue was insane! My friends arrived at 1120 am and started queuing. I only reached at 1.05pm so I didn’t get the full experience of queuing up for Tim Ho Wan.

So here goes my virginal Michelin star restaurant dining experience at Tim Ho Wan, the one Michelin star restaurant! Image

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The sitting area in Tim Ho Wan is pretty small. I went with a group of 13 and we almost had to split up because it was difficult to get a table that could fit all of us. Initially, 13 of us squeezed  to fit in table that would sit 8 comfortably but when the table next to us cleared, the staff kindly let us add on one more table so it would be more spacious.

One of the waiters advised us to order everything at once because if we order for a second time, the waiting time would be about an hour. So we went crazy and ordered almost everything on the menu, I kid you not.

Throughout the whole meal, our table was so full so the waiters kept stacking the “longs” of dim sum. I didn’t take much photos because I was too busy eating but here is a photo of our table at the start. This is probably about 1/3 or 1/4 of what we ordered because we really ordered a crazy amount of dim sum.

Dim Sum Level: Asian

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Tim Ho Wan which originated from Hong Kong is famous for their Baked Buns with BBQ Pork (Char Siew Bao). I have never been to the Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong so I am not sure if they have the same practice but in Singapore, they limit everyone to 1 plate of 3 Char Siew Baos.

The heavenly Tim Ho Wan Char Siew Baos.

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For someone who does not like pork and is not a fan of Char Siew Baos, I have to say that I LOVE the Tim Ho Wan Char Siew Bao. I was prepared to only try one and give the other two away to one of my classmates, but nope. After tasting the first one, I had to eat all three. It’s not the typical Char Siew Pao. The dough is crispy and the filling was sweet and had a slight alcoholic taste, although I’m sure there wasn’t alcohol inside. But it was really really really good. My words do not do the Char Siew Baos justice, you have to eat it for yourself.

So if you go to Tim Ho Wan, ordering the Char Siew Baos is mandatory! In fact, it is one of Tim Ho Wan’s “Big Four Heavenly Kings”. The other 3 items on the “Big Four Heavenly Kings” list would be the Steamed Egg Cake (Malai Kou), Vermicili Roll with Pig’s Liver (Chee Cheong Fan) and the Pan-fried Carrot Cake.

The Malai Kou was soft and fluffy. The first thing I thought of when I ate the Malai Kou was:

“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” 

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I gave the Chee Cheong Fan with pork liver a miss because I’m not a liver person and definitely not a pork liver person. I tried the Chee Cheong Fan with Char Siew and the Chee Cheong Fan with Prawns and both were really good. One plate of Chee Cheong Fan has about 3 vermicilli rolls. Somehow, we ordered at least 10 plates of it so it was really an overkill and we were all struggling to finish the Chee Cheong Fan. I definitely ate enough Chee Cheong Fan to last me for awhile.

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The Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Roll With Shrimp and the Deep Fried Spring Roll With Crab Meat were both amazing. I ate a lot of Spring Rolls and Beancurd Skin Rolls on Monday :>

The classic Siew Mai

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These were the main dishes that stood out for me. Of course the classic dim sum dishes were on the menu too, like the Siew Mai and Har Kao, although I thought they were not exceptional. There were a few dishes that were unavailable though, probably because it had already sold out by then. It was a pity that we were unable to try any of the beef dishes save for the Steamed Beef Balls with Beancurd Skin. We also didn’t get to try the Congee which was a bit of a disappointment because I wanted to try their Congee With Lean Pork, Century Egg and Salted Egg. But I guess I will be back there soon, after exams! :>

Don’t forget to leave space for desserts! Although they have very few desserts on their menu, but they are pretty amazing. I love the Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake. It came in a plate of three and it was really so good. My friend had two plates to herself! The other item on the dessert menu is the Yam Puree with Sago. The yam puree was quite thin but it was to my liking because the taste is not overpowering.

Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake

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When I said we ordered a lot, I really wasn’t kidding. The manager told us that he never saw a receipt as long as ours.

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This is a bit of an over-estimation (of the length of the receipt and my height, haha) but our receipt is ~160 cm long!

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The manager was evidently very pleased with us because we chalked up a crazy bill of around $520 bucks. When I told my friend about how much we spent (around $44 per person, since we treated our tutor to lunch) she said “OMG how can you spend so much?!” Another friend said “Even if you go to Imperial Treasure, you still won’t spend $44 per person on dim sum!” I think the exorbitant bill can be attributed to the fact that there were 13 of us plus how we over-ordered. Overall, I think the items are relatively wallet-friendly (if you don’t order the way we did). Although, as my friend pointed out “We queued for two hours for this! So we should eat as much as we can!”

Here’s a mandatory outside-Tim Ho Wan-shot with the long-ass receipt that we chalked up.

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A shout out to the crazy bunch of law school friends that I went to Tim Ho Wan with :> Thank you for a crazy 1 year of Legal Analysis Writing and Research (LAWR) together and for sharing in this crazy dim sum experience with me! Good food and good company was a great way to start this week!

I can’t wait for exams to be over! I will definitely go back to Tim Ho Wan again and next up on my Food Bucket List would be Ladurée, for macarons!

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