The opening of Tim Ho Wan in Manila in May 2014 was met with great enthusiasm by many Filipino diners. In fact, Filipinos were so enthusiastic for the brand that the looooong line of people waiting to be seated never failed to catch the attention of shoppers at SM Megamall, where the restaurant opened their first store. The crowd was crazy, and they were crazy for a good reason: the sumptuous food.
What started as a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Hong Kong had become so popular that the Michelin Guide, the definitive guide to the best restaurants in the planet, couldn’t ignore the good food served by the humble good establishment. Because Tim Ho Wan is hardly considered as fine dining, the restaurant is said to have “defied all odds” to earn its place in the Michelin Guide in order to be known as a Michelin-starred restaurant.
One of the restaurants bestsellers is their Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, which goes for Php 145 for three pieces. It’s a delightful snack item, and one that you might not be able to get enough of. Because of its baked nature, the exterior of the Baked Pork Bun remains crumbly and fluffy, and the bread melts in your mouth seamlessly mixing with the sweet and salty combination of the BBQ-flavored pork filling. The bun on its own is delicious, but the savory filling makes it perfect. I am willing to bet that more than half of the people lining up for their seats at Tim Ho Wan are going to order a set of three Baked Buns on top of the other delicacies in the menu.
We were already very contented with our Pork Buns, but we still got one rice meal each for good measure. Tim Ho Wan has four rice meals available, including Rice with Beef and Fried Egg (Php 180), Rice with Chicken, Sausage, and Mushroom (Php 170), Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf (Php 190), and Pork Ribs Rice (Php 170). We went for the Rice with Chicken, Sausage and Mushroom, and the Pork Ribs Rice.
At first, we couldn’t believe our eyes when the waiter started serving a small stainless bucket with what appears to be our food in it. The choice of plating could have been better to jive well with the branding, but they decided to go with a stainless bucket, so that’s that. Half the bucket is filled with steaming hot rice topped with the viand. I was also surprised at how little the viand is compared to the amount of rice packed into the bucket. All these sentiments got wiped out in an instant when we started to dig in and found that the bucket contained more food than we can hold in one sitting. The small bucket suddenly felt bottomless, and we wished we had settled for just the Baked Buns + one rice meal instead. The rice meal is good for sharing, especially if your getting other side dishes or other dishes on top of the heavier offers.
Taste-wise, I preferred the Pork Ribs Better because of its spicy flavor and savory combination with the rice. The rice with Chicken, Sausage, and Mushroom seemed the more bland choice between the two, and I had a hard time finishing mine.
Other dishes that I look forward to sampling soon include the remaining three of the Big 4 Heavenly King Dim Sum from Tim Ho Wan: Pan Fried Carrot Cake (Php 145), Steamed Egg Cake (Php 85), and the Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver (Php 150). These were regarded as must-tries by many other fans of the Michelin-starred eatery. I am personally looking forward to try their Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf and I’ll be sure to come back for the Baked Buns <3 , but everything else feels a tad too expensive and less authentic when placed next to the dimsum restaurants of Binondo Chinatown. I love the authenticity and the dining atmosphere at Binondo, and would most probably head over there to satisfy my dimsum craving every once in a while.
Have you tried the dishes at Tim Ho Wan? Which dishes did you especially like? Sound off in the comments section below! I would love to hear from you!-HANA