Sunday, April 27, 2014

First time lunch experience at Tim Ho Wan

I've long heard of Tim Ho Wan for its famous dim sum when its first opened the first outlet at Plaza Singapura around last year. Tim Ho Wan is a popular Michelin starred Dim Sum restaurant in Hong Kong. Singapore is its first overseas outlet. I heard people queued for as long as 3 hours just to get seated in the Plaza Sing outlet when it first opened. I was quite put off by the long wait so i thought now would be a good time to go there since it already has 4 outlets in Singapore and probably the queue will not be that long after 1 year.

I went to the Bedok mall outlet with my family at around 1:45pm just now. I thought there won't be many people there by this time but i was absolutely wrong. The restaurant was fully packed and there were about 20 people queuing outside. We actually walked off thinking the wait would take at least an hour. Luckily as i was walking off, i saw about 10 people being brought inside the restaurant and the queue shortened quickly. Decided to queue now since not too many people. Within 10 mins even before we decided on what to order, we were already brought into the restaurant. They had a very good system of organising seats for its customers. Every thing was in proper order.

You may be thinking why am i blogging about food and more so expensive restaurant food in my finance blog? Well, i don't usually eat at restaurants except when i give my parents a treat like this time. This is one of those occasions when i'm less concerned on money. Its good to splurge on food especially when it comes to good food with your own family. Good things are meant to be shared with your loved ones aren't they?

Tim Ho Wan is dubbed the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world. I would say it is affordable for an average income earner. Michelin starred restaurants food are quite expensive elsewhere. You may wonder what's so special about Michelin star? I did some research and here are the findings:

"The term "Michelin Star" is a hallmark of fine dining quality. Michelin awards 0-3 stars on the basis of anonymous inspections by reviewers. The reviewers are supposed to concentrate on the quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of the food, not on interior d├ęcor, table setting, or service quality." 
 "The reason Michelin stars are so coveted is that most restaurants receive no stars at all. For example, in the Michelin Guide to France 2009, 3,531 restaurants are included, but just 548 received a star. Most of these restaurants -- 449 -- received one-star, 73 received two stars, and 26 received three."

It seems like not many restaurants have been awarded even one star. Having just one star is already an achievement. So did this Dim Sum restaurant lived up to its standard?

Here are some of the food i ordered:

This was the famous BBQ pork Bun. It's so nice and round that it would capture the attention of anybody who walked past. The bun was really soft with juicy BBQ pork inside. 3 buns for $4.50. It was special and unique in its own way. Don't think i've tasted any other bun as good as this in Singapore before. A must try if you're there.

The inside of the bun. Juicy BBQ char siew pork. (Pardon my dirty plate)

This chicken feet was a chef recommendation in the bedok outlet. Cost was $5/plate. To me this was nothing special. I've tasted better chicken feet elsewhere.

Glutinous rice with lotus leaf. $5 for this one. This was quite good. The rice is seasoned perfectly and the texture was smooth. Recommended to try when you're there. 

Prawn dumplings for $5.50. The filling was really full of fresh prawns. Quite worth the money. However to me, the taste was only average. Could be seasoned a little bit better. 

This was a famous egg cake which i've seen other bloggers recommend. $3.80 for this one. I'm not a fan of cakes or bread stuff but i have to say this is really fluffy and soft. Taste was perfect with just the right amount of sweetness. However, i would think the cake is a little on the dry side. Not sure if its suppose to be like this? 

In total, i ordered a total of 11 items with one chinese tea drink each. Some items i did not take pictures of it. Total cost was $68.62 including GST and service charge. Not too expensive considering the good service and the quality of the food. 

Other items i ordered include wasabi fried prawn dumpling, fried hong kong style noodles, beef vermicelli, carrot cake and pork congee. 

Another food i would strongly recommend is the pork congee or some may call it porridge. It's $4.20 for a small bowl but i would say its worth every bit of the price. The taste was just fantastic and the congee just melts in your mouth. I saw almost every table ordered this.

Overall, the experience was good. The restaurant was not understaffed and food came in fast even though the place was fully packed. The staff were polite and didn't rush us at all. Can see that they are trained professionally. Thank you for reading my first attempt on food review. Hope you liked this little twist in my blog. 

Enjoyed my articles? 
You can Subscribe to SG Young Investment by Email 
or follow me on my Facebook page and get notified about new posts.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Uncle CW,

      Yes it can especially when its money well spent.

    2. Flavor of the Week for blogging - Spent money to buy happiness.


    3. haha, i see other financial bloggers blog on spending money too. Well, we don't always have to cut expenses but also try to increase income. As long as the money spent does not affect my financial position its ok to me.

  2. you made me hungry. good job!

    SG Wealth Builder

    1. Hi Gerald,

      Looks like the post did its job well.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi FoodieFC,

      Sure. Great blog you have there too.

  4. Hi, Tim Ho Wan only came to Singapore last year

    1. Hi,

      Oh no, I must have mixed that up. Always thought that it has been opened for very long. I should change my date there.

  5. The only thing i find quite special there would be the bun , variety wasn't alot .

    For Dim Sum , you could also give Swee Choon at Jalan Besar area a try. The Liu Sha Bao is ....sedap....

    1. Hi Small Time Investor,

      Yup, variety wasn't a lot. I shall check out the swee choon you recommend. Thanks!

  6. Hi SGYI,

    I've been to the bedok branch quite a few times. But I think I've made a conclusion - Canton paradise's dim sum is better. Price wise is not much different, but in terms of ambience (no need to rush, more space, no need to queue unless peak), it beats tim ho wan hands down. Try the one at Katong IL2...see for yourself :)

    1. Hi LP,

      Shall check it out. Thanks for the recommendation. If ask me to queue for tim ho wan, I dont think its worth it. Maybe next time will only take away the buns.

  7. Hi SGYI,

    You shd try the pig liver cheong fan too! Surprisingly matching taste!!

    1. Hi aceirus,

      Was thinking of that but I'm not a fan of pig's liver and my mum has high cholesterol. So had to give it a miss.

  8. Hi SGYI

    Ive waited for 3 years since it first opened and I thought the queue would shorten. Guess like I need to wait for another 3 more years before I can finally tried the dimsum. Ive mever tried the one at tim hor wan but I like the one at lei garden. So far its suited the best for my buds... but I gotta try one at thw one day ;)

    1. Hi B,

      The hype of thw is just crazy. I can't believe it still has long queues until now. The Michelin must be the main cause of it. Thw is like fast food. Food comes really fast. The only thing is the queue outside but seems like it clears quite fast. Best to avoid lunch and dinner hours. Tea break would be a good choice.

      Lei garden seems so atas. Must be really expensive. Thw is considered quite cheap for the food they offer.