Best Cheap Michelin Starred Dim Sum @ Tim Ho Wan Singapore

This modest Hong Kong eatery selling dim sum defied the odds to earn itself a Michelin star and many food critics worldwide have raved on about its delicious but affordable fare – especially their famous Baked Bun stuffed with BBQ Pork.

Tim Ho Wan.

Tim Ho Wan.

Now, Singaporeans don’t need to travel to Hong Kong to taste the yummy dim sum at this eatery. For Tim Ho Wan is now in Singapore and they have two branches, located at Plaza Singapura and Toa Payoh. They plan to open a third shop in Bedok Point later this year.

I recently had the chance to go to the Plaza Singapura branch to see whether the dim sum here is indeed worth the hype. Here are my comments.

The Menu

Patrons tick the dishes they want on a menu-cum-order form.

Dishes include their famous “Big Four” items – the steamed egg cake, Baked bun with BBQ pork, pan fried carrot cake and the vermicelli roll with pig liver.

Others include a range of fried and steamed dim sums, such as prawn dumplings, glutinous rice dumplings, fried bean curd skin rolls and Hong Kong congee.

My eating companion and I were feeling quite hungry, so we ordered a number of dishes. These included two of the “Big Four” items. These were the steamed egg cake and the famous Baked bun with BBQ pork. We also had a mixture of other items from their other

sections of the menu, so that we could get a wide variety of dim sum choices.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

Famous BBQ Pork Buns.

Famous BBQ Pork Buns

Compared to most BBQ pork stuffed buns, this one is golden-brown on the outside, because it has been baked instead of steamed.

I absolutely loved how these buns tasted. When I bit into one, I found that the outside was so light and crunchy. At the same time, the inside was piping hot and moist. The flavour of the BBQ pork inside was divine too. It was not overpowering and combined perfectly together with the bun.

These buns cost $4.50 for a serving of three pieces.

Steamed Egg Cake

Steamed egg cake.

Steamed egg cake

This is a light steamed egg sponge cake – which was heavenly.

I particularly loved the Tim Ho Wan version, because when I took some of the cake, it was so light and soft that it practically melted in my mouth. At the same time, there was a caramel flavour that made it even more yummy.

The sponge cakes are $3.80 each.

Prawn Dumpling

Prawn dumplings.

Prawn dumplings

These are har gow prawn dumplings and the Tim Ho Wan version is particularly good. Unlike some other types that I have had, these ones contain an entire prawn, which tastes very fresh and the dumpling pastry does not stick to the teeth.

These will set you back by $5.50 for a serving of 4 pieces.

Pork Dumpling with Shrimp

Pork dumplings with shrimp.

Pork dumplings with shrimp

These are actually siew mai dumplings. Here, they are served piping hot and the shrimp and pork filling is soft and moist. Together, the meat flavours mix really well.

These dumplings cost $5.00 for three pieces.

Steamed Bean Curd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp

Steamed bean curd skin roll.

Steamed bean curd skin roll

I quite enjoyed this dish. The bean curd skin was really moist and soaked up the delicious soya-based gravy really well. Like the siew mai, these came out piping hot too and the bean curd skin that the fillings were wrapped in, helped to make them even more delicious.

This dish will set you back by $4.00 for three pieces.

Fried Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp

Fried beab curd skin roll with shrimp.

Fried beab curd skin roll with shrimp

This item is similar to the steamed bean curd skin roll, except that it is deep-fried. The result is a crunchy and fragrant piece of dim sum, with a soft and moist shrimp filling inside. I thought this was really good, because the shrimps were fresh and juicy. The crispy skin also added a yummy crunch to the item.

This item costs $5.50 for three pieces.

Rice with Chicken, Sausage and Mushrooms

Rice with chicken, sausage and mushroom.

Rice with chicken, sausage and mushroom

This is a clay pot rice type of dish, with the chicken, sausage and mushrooms cooked together and served inside a small pot of rice. I thought this item was absolutely divine. Because of the ingredients inside, the rice was packed with flavour. However, there could have been a more generous amount of ingredients inside the dish, because there were only a small piece of chicken, two Chinese sausages and a handful of mushrooms in the pot. The flavour more than made up for this minor disappointment though. This dish costs $6.00 for a single serving.

Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp

Vermicelli roll with shrimp.

Vermicelli roll with shrimp

This is chee cheong fun with shrimps inside. And it is definitely one of the most delicious versions of the dish that I have tasted. Once again, I really loved the freshness of the shrimps. The vermicelli roll pastry was also yummy and with the soya sauce based gravy, the sensation in my mouth was truly divine.

This dish costs $5.50.

Beef Ball with Bean Curd Skin

Beef Ball with Bean Curd Skin.

Beef Ball with Bean Curd Skin

These are generously sized beef balls that are wrapped in bean curd skin and served in a soya-based gravy. However, unlike many other dishes at Tim Ho Wan, I was quite disappointed with this one. Strong herbs and spices seemed to have been added to the dish, including coriander, which spoiled the taste for me (not being a coriander fan).

This item costs you $4.20 for three pieces.

The Queue and Service

Queue for the food.

The usual long queue!

I have heard a lot about the long queues at this eatery. So I was not surprised to see an extra long snaking line standing outside the Plaza Singapura outlet, when I got there. But surprisingly the turnover was really fast. It took roughly between 20 to 30 minutes, from the time that I started queuing to the time that we were seated. The food arrives really quickly too. Within less than five minutes of ordering the dishes, the first item was already on our table. I must admit that I was rather impressed by the sheer speed here.

Overall Verdict

I am definitely impressed with the service of this eatery. As well, the food is also tasty. I have not tried the original Hong Kong version so I am not able to compare this one to the original eatery, but from the yummy taste and flavours of most of the food at this Singapore outlet, I will definitely be back in line at Tim Ho Wan, when the dim sum craving strikes me again.

  • Tim Ho Wan @ Plaza Singapura
  • 68 Orchard Road #01-29A, Plaza Singapura
  • Singapore 238839

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