Tim Ho Wan (添好運) is a famous dim sum restaurant that originated in Hong Kong – in 2015, the HK locations even received one Michelin star. They’ve recently expanded to other parts of Asia, including Singapore, Philippines, and Taiwan. We actually accidentally stumbled upon it when we were at Top City department store in Taichung – the original plan was to have lunch at Din Tai Fung, but when we saw Tim Ho Wan right next to it, our plans changed! The line looked formidable, but was actually not too bad – our group of 4 was seated in about 25 minutes.
Apparently, the Daily Meal included Tim Ho Wan in their “101 Best Restaurants in Asia”. This was displayed at every table.
Instead of carts pushed around like in traditional dim sum restaurants, you actually place orders here – I guess it’s the newer style of dim sum, and the food is supposed to be more fresh this way. Anyway, here are a selection of what we ordered:
There are definitely various styles to turnip cake, and the type that I like has a higher turnip-to-rice flour ratio, which means that you can actually taste the individual strands of shredded turnip with each bite. I also like there to be a bit of fillings – typically, diced pieces of Chinese sausage. S likes it with more rice flour and an overall smooth consistency, and no fillings at all. Anyway, the version here is sort of a hybrid of what S and I like – the turnip cake itself is smooth, but there are Chinese sausages for filling – the best compromise for us, I suppose? It was steamed to just the right amount of tenderness, then pan-fried to give a beautifully crispy exterior. Overall, one of my personal favorites of the meal – and in fact, later I realized that this is one of their four “signature” items, and it was indeed quite impressive.
We picked one cheung fun, or rice noodle/vermicelli roll – their signature is a ground pork one, but we ended up choosing beef. Instead of beef slices, they use ground beef, which was quite flavorful and actually a pretty good idea – you get a consistent amount of meat in each bite, which isn’t always the case with the slices. The noodles themselves were bouncy and had a nice “pull” to it, and a citrus(?) soy sauce was added when the dish was brought out to us.
Our three items from the “Steamed Items” part of the menu – these are all classic dim sum dishes, especially the shrimp dumplings (har gow), which again had a really nice wrapper and juicy, plump shrimp for the filling. I wasn’t as big of a fan for the pork dumpling (siu mai) – it wasn’t bad, just not impressive. I did really enjoy the chicken feet, with fall-off-the-bone skin that was braised in an abalone soy sauce. The tofu skin underneath was also quite nice, as it had absorbed a lot of the delicious sauce. I know that most people cringe at chicken feet, but it’s one of my favorite dim sum items, hehe.
This is another one of their four “signature” items – I wish that I had gotten a better photo of it after we cut it open, but it turned out super blurry *sadface* The bun outside has a crispy, sweet top layer (basically a pineapple bun), and filled with char siu, Cantonese-style BBQ pork. While the bun was really delicious, I felt that the BBQ pork was a bit on the sweet side (they usually roast it with honey, but I felt like there was a bit too much, especially with the sweet bun).
These crispy tofu were my second favorite item for this meal, aside from the turnip cake! They use egg tofu, which is really tender and smooth, and the crispy exterior was perfect. As for the confusing “Dried Meat & Seaweed Mix” in the name, it’s actually pork floss, or rou song, that has dried seaweed also mixed in.
S wanted a rice item (since he doesn’t eat shrimp and couldn’t partake in several of the dim sum dishes that we got) and chose the beef & fried egg. It’s served in a really cute little metal tin, and actually the fried egg covers the top of everything. I forgot to get a picture of everything mixed together… sorry! The same citrus-y soy sauce is poured over it, which I liked but S’s sister was not fond of.
Overall, I was quite happy with the dim sum experience at Tim Ho Wan. I’ve only been to dim sum at one other restaurant in Taiwan (Citystar 京星 in Taipei), which wasn’t that impressive to me, but I liked the food here. The price point is also actually not too bad, considering the restaurant’s fame – still cheap by American standards!
In addition to the Taichung Top City location, there are three additional locations in Taipei, as well as stores throughout Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. (Hopefully it will follow Din Tai Fung and come to the U.S. soon, too!)
Tim Ho Wan 添好運