Review: Tim Ho Wan (Kowloon, Hong Kong)

G/F 9-11 Fuk Wing Street
Sham Shui Po
Kowloon, Hong Kong
+852 278 81226

Tim Ho Wan, the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, was always going to be on my ‘must go to or else’ list when I was in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I wasted so much precious eating time going from shopping centre to shopping centre that I couldn’t even squeeze in time for lunch at supposedly one of the best yum cha restaurants in Hong Kong, if not the world. So what did I do?

I went there for breakfast instead.

There are several Tim Ho Wan restaurants all over Hong Kong, the most famous one being the Mongkok branch which sadly had to close due to space limitations. I ended up going to the Sham Shui Po restaurant as it had the earliest opening time of 8:00am.


I was surprised to find that I didn’t have to wait for a table. I know it was very early in the day (I rocked up just after 8) but I was expecting some sort of queue. After all, this was THE famous Tim Ho Wan restaurant! Not that I was complaining; I saw an empty seat at a table filled with several Cantonese woman so I grabbed it and started filling out the order sheet. No trolley service at this yum cha joint (or most yum cha restaurant in Hong Kong, for that matter).

Baked BBQ pork buns (HKD$18 (AUD$2.73))
Baked BBQ pork buns (HKD$18 (AUD$2.73))

My food came out as quick as my friend Nick’s rabbit, Bruno. Even though I wanted to sample as many dim sum dishes as I could, I knew I could not skip Tim Ho Wan’s famous baked BBQ pork buns even though they were going to be super filling. To me, skipping those was just rocking up to a Crowded House concert and leaving the venue just before Neil and co start playing ‘Mean To Me.’


The buns were blow-me-away amazing. The super crunchy exteriors gave way to an incredibly soft and slightly chewy dough. The best bit of the bun, however, was the pork filling. Sweet, but not one dimensional.

Steamed fresh shrimp dumplings (har gow) (HKD$25(AUD$3.79))
Steamed fresh shrimp dumplings (har gow) (HKD$25(AUD$3.79))

I rarely visit a yum cha restaurant without sampling my favourite dim sum of them all, the har gow. These babies were covered in skins that were thicker than what I’m used to – but I love thick skins so I was happy. The filling was also pretty fantastic, it was obvious that they used super fresh prawns and that made all the difference.

I was in and out in less than 20 minutes, which meant that I was back in my hotel at Tsim Sha Tsui East even before the others had woken up. That’s how good the service was. Okay, I may not have seen a single waitress smile but who cares when the service is THAT efficient? The bill came to HKD$45(AUD$6.82) including tea, which made this meal excellent value. Hell, next time I’d be happy to line up for hours if I knew I was going to get quality Michelin-starred food like this for less than a tenner.

I eat too much.


  1. Choc Chip Uru
    February 19, 2014

    Wow, that sounds incredible! Those buns do look delicious and so reasonably priced 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Em
    February 19, 2014

    Yum, love Tim Ho Wan, especially those buns. Shame about the Mongkok store closing, part of the experience was lining up and being crammed into the tiny space.

  3. ChopinandMysaucepan
    February 20, 2014

    Dear Libby,

    This place is an institution and I am not surprised about the efficient service without a smile. Looks like great value too.

  4. The Squishy Monster
    February 21, 2014

    Those dumplings look fantastic!

  5. yummychunklet
    February 21, 2014

    Wow. Sounds like a great place.


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