Tim Ho Wun (添好運) – cheapest michelin star restaurant

G/F, Phase 2, Tsui Yuen Mansion
2-20 Kwong Wa St
Mong Kok, Hong Kong
2332 2896

Over the coming weeks / months there may be a few posting regarding some of the ‘highlights’ from my trip through bits of Southern India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macao and China earlier this year.

The first stop: Hong Kong. Arguably the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world: there is next to no service, no panoramic views, they use plastic crockery and a tick sheet menu. It has an almost sardine-squeeze of an interior, scattered with puny tables and spaces in between just enough to allow the waiters to pass. This place relies purely on its divine dim sums, and has conquered the extremely picky palates of Hong Kong and brought in eager foodies from across the globe – end result epic queues of 2-3hours+…

Note: since the entire menu is in Chinese, I’ll have a crack at translating…

晶瑩鮮蝦餃 (“har gao” – crystal prawn dumplings with chives and shrimp). The skin is so delicate, with just that right amount of bounce! Heaven!!!

鮮蝦燒賣皇 (“siu mai”- pork and mushroom dumpling) Super juicy meat! I wonder if they used pork lard to make it so nice…

潮州蒸粉果(“chao zao zheng fan guo” – sticky-skinned and translucent Teo chew dumplings)  Just look at how transparent and glistening the skin is!

陳皮牛肉球 (“gnau yok kao”, or steamed beef meatballs wrapped in tofu skin) Each piece literally melts in your mouth. Wrapped in tofu – where???

韭黃鮮蝦腸(“sin har cheung” – steamed rice noodle roll, prawn); 兔治牛肉腸 (“ngao yok cheung” – steamed rice noodle roll, beef); 蜜味叉燒腸 (“har siu cheung” – steamed rice noodle roll, barbecue pork – sorry no photo…). The silky smooth skin of the rice noodle rolls was divine~! Whilst it was so soft and paper thin, it was able to hold together with just the right amount of elasticity. Oh my god, I want more! P.S. Apologies to Ms BL for having her hands in a lot of the photos, since she was sitting opposite the camera, and clearly very very eager to dig in.

鮮菇棉花雞 (Cotton wool chicken – ie. super soft)

Bottom right: 欖角蒸魚滑 (marinated fish); top right: 香滑馬拉糕 (“ma lai go” – steamed sponge cake), top left: “Har Gao”
豉汁蒸鳳爪(“fong zao” – marinated chicken feet) I wonder where photos of this went…hmm. Soft and gelatinous!

酥皮叉燒飽 (crispy skin rendition of char sui bao – barbecue pork buns) This was probably one of the highlights of the day!

…”These are not your usual puffy white pork buns. We tear the incredibly short pastry open to find a filling of sweet smoky char siu pork floating in velvet-smooth hoisin gravy. Its delicious sweet saltiness echoes the flavours of the buns’ crumbly pastry, which I suspect has been made with lots of sugar, salt and lard, hence its decadence. (The Flower Drum sometimes serves a similarly decadent pastry made with foie gras that has the same lightness of texture).

It is an OMG moment when pastry and filling marry in my mouth. Pig fat loves sugar, and with the dark richness of the sauce and that ridiculously light pastry, it’s like tasting with a full orchestral backing. This is a char siu bao to spoil me for every other version I have had, or suspect I will ever have. Now I understand that the silence was out of respect for the food.”… (See: The Age Epicure )

家鄉咸水角 (“ham sui kok” – deep fried savoury pork and taro dumpling) The crunch is marvellous with a thick dollop of savoury good’ness inside.

臘味蘿蔔糕(“lo bak go” – pan fried radish cake) Soft and crisp all at the same time! Radish aroma was soooooo sweet.

杞子桂花糕 (“guai fa go” – Goji Berry & sweet osmanthus sweet cake) – floral and sweet. Very ‘Q’ (Asian equivalent for al dente, but used to describe the bouncy nature of noodles, gelatins and what not)

Rating: Yummy+2 ~ exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes. Best ever yum cha I’ve ever had in my life!!! And only for what? A measly $200+HKD between 4 people. That works out to be around $9AUD each. IF ONLY I lived permanently next to this place…

Photos courtesy of Mr CK. And many thanks to Ms BL, Ms AL and Mr CK for coming with me, so I could try more of their awesome dim sums. =)

20 Responses to “Tim Ho Wun (添好運) – cheapest michelin star restaurant”
  1. blubbles says:

    definitely nice and cheap, will definitely go again, only wish is that it doesn’t take too long to get in 😛

  2. Gosh, you have really been pumping out the blog posts! How do you find the time?! 🙂

    The yum cha looks awesome and OMG, it’s so cheap!! This is definitely on my places to visit when I visit Hong Kong!

    • Well, being in Bendigo and all meant I really didn’t have much better to do. And was clearly too mentally drained to be studying… after a long days work.
      Actually maybe I should type out a list of places (mostly food) to visit for hk =). I researched quite extensively; in fact bought a couple of books from a famous HK food critic who unfortunately for my arteries loves pork lard laden food (it was in Chinese to my dismay…twice as long to read). Though I didn’t go to many “high-end” places… due to “student” economy HAHA.

  3. Phil says:

    Was there about 3 weeks ago and love Tim Ho Wan too. And I agree the Char Sui Bao were the best thing we tried.


  4. Thanh says:

    Firstly, I agree with April, how have you found time between being a doctor and writing all these posts?

    Secondly, if I ever go back to Hong Kong, I’m lining up for hours to get into this place. My friend lined up three days consecutively before he got in.

    • HAHA – I may have said before, its final semester, exams don’t count, we already have job contracts with our respective hospitals and its more just a formality. Though in a few months time when the REAL thing starts I’ll probably disappear off the face of the earth =P (ie. over-worked).
      And Tim Ho Wun wise, if you’re unlucky you may have to wait many hours. But if you stay nearby or have a fairly free-ish morning / arvo then best go early and obtain a ticket, go explore / shop / snack around Mongkok. Though you might want to come back every hour or so, so you don’t miss your number (that would mean have to re-queue…). Note: you probably don’t want to snack very much anyways… considering you could eat until you can’t eat no more based on how cheap it is relative to Melbourne.

  5. Great food porn, made my mouth water.

  6. I really wanted to go there but decided on LKH instead because I heard that the queue was crazy. And from your post, indeed it was.

    I am now going to look around your blog for HK related posts. I have a chunk of them as well. 😀

    • there aren’t any more hk ones yet… they are yet to be blogged =P
      i presume quality of LKH is more or less same as THW, but more fine dining =).

      • Well, i don’t know. my mom says that LKH’s dishes are some of the best dishes she has tried but it’s just too expensive really. i guess good food and good service comes with a good price. pls blog more about hk! i love reading about posts on hk. 😀

  7. Alisa says:

    If I ever go to Hong Kong, I would definitely go to this place. They look so delicious! I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won’t mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget at the end of this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

  8. Hi – nice to meet you at the picnic today!

    I am thinking of going to HK in March and this is top of the list of places I would like to eat at. Looks SO amazing. Thanks also for posting the Anglicised Chinese names – always helps at yum cha rather than having to ask for “the footballs” (ham sui gok) !!

    That’s also really interesting about the “Q” characteristic. Very cool!

  9. oooh will have to try this out next time Im in HK. but be prepared to queue for a while I guess! amazing…:)
    Heidi xo

  10. heard so much about this place last year after i had come back from HK too, cant wait for my next HK eating trip, dis will def be the 1st on the to-eat-list.

  11. crushedguava says:

    I actually had to stand there for an hour (well, at least Only an hour). You got to wonder (sic) around for an hour; that’s not even counted as waiting!

    • hhahaha =P, why didn’t you wonder around? just come back every 10-15 min if the line isn’t TOO long. Just hope that they don’t skip TOO many numbers. I think we were quite lucky that some people didn’t come back in time, and we were shuffled forward quite a bit.

  12. I think I need to head to HK before heading to Canada… I miss HK! Food and shopping.

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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