I’d been to Tim Ho Wan a couple of years ago when it first opened in Plaza Singapura but wasn’t too impressed by most of their dishes so didn’t return for a while but I decided to give it another go the other day since the restaurant was reasonably quiet and I was in the area with a craving for dim sum. For those of you who haven’t heard of Tim Ho Wan, it has been dubbed as “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant” as it’s original branch in Hong Kong was awarded a one Michelin star with a few of it’s other branches also awarded the coveted one Michelin star afterwards. Unfortunately for Singapore none of it’s seven branches have received the award as the food hasn’t quite lived up to most people’s expectations.
Tim Ho Wan has four signature dishes which they call the “Big 4 Heavenly Kings” – their Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver, Pan Fried Turnip Cake and Steamed Egg Cake. I had tried all of these dishes last time when I was there and they were all good apart from the Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver which I didn’t like as I found the pig’s liver to be too gamey. This time we decided to get the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork as this was amazing last time, the Steamed Egg Cake, Wasabi Salad Prawn, Spicy Prawn Paste Char Siew Stew Noodle, Beancurd Skin with Pork and Shrimp, Pork Ribs with Yam and Black Bean Sauce and BBQ Pork Vermicelli Roll to share between my friend and I.
Within minutes of handing the waitress the order form, out came the Baked Buns with BBQ Pork.
This has got to be their best dish and the only one that I remember being exceptionally good from my last visit which hence made me come back again to give the place another go. The buns were nearly just as good as I remember them being apart from them not being as hot and freshly baked from the oven as they were last time. They were nevertheless very good. The outside of the buns were sweet, crispy and crumbly and the inside was filled with juicy sweet and salty barbecued pork. If you’ve ever had a Hong Kong Bo Lo bun or a Japanese Melon Pan then the outside is similar to one.
Next came the BBQ Pork Vermicelli Roll which was ok and had a decent amount of BBQ pork filling but the vermicelli roll itself was not as thin and delicate as you would normally find in a good dim sum restaurant.
The Spicy Prawn Paste Char Siew Stew Noodle was nice, it had a good spicy prawn flavour with plenty of BBQ pork slices, cabbage and carrots in it and the handmade noodles had a good texture.
The Wasabi Salad Prawns which is a bit of a spin on the usual dim sum dish of Deep Fried Prawns with Salad Cream was a disappointment. The skin of the dumplings were thick and hard and not light and crispy as they should have been. They were generously filled with prawns though and the flying fish roe on top was a nice addition but I couldn’t taste the wasabi in the wasabi salad cream.
The Beancurd Skin with Pork and Shrimp was quite nice, the beancurd was stuffed with a lot of juicy pork and shrimp filling but the sauce could have been a bit more flavourful.
The Pork Ribs with Yam and Black Bean Sauce was also a dish that lacked flavour, in fact you couldn’t even taste any black beans in the sauce. The pork ribs however were very soft and tender but had too much fat.
To finish off we had the Steamed Egg Cake which was very light, fluffy and moist with just the right amount of sweetness and I had a warm homemade longan drink to wash everything down with which also wasn’t too sweet.
We were very full by the end of the meal, 6 or 7 dishes is probably just the right amount for 2 people. I wouldn’t recommend eating here if you’re looking for good dim sum as there are only 2 or 3 dishes here that are worth eating however it is handy that they serve dim sum all day as a lot of places only serve it during lunchtime. The restaurant itself is not the kind of place you would want to sit and enjoy a long relaxing meal as you will basically find yourself sat side to side with strangers as most of the tables are communal. Service is very efficient but lacks any friendliness whatsoever. I probably won’t be back again here to eat but I’ll definitely be stopping by their newly opened takeaway counter just next to the restaurant to pick up some of their Baked Buns with BBQ Pork!
Tim Ho Wan (Plaza Singapura branch)
Address: Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, #01-29A, Singapore 238839
Tel: 6251 2000
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 10am – 10pm, Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 9am – 10pm (last order at 9.30pm)
Hope you’ve enjoyed my Tim Ho Wan review, please feel free to leave a comment below with your own review or if you have any questions!