Tim Hou Wan Dim Sum Specialists in Hong Kong

Tim Hou Wan

Tim Ho Wan is reportedly the best dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and even the concierge at our hotel recommended the place when we asked where we can eat dim sum.

Tim Hou Wan queue

I was already dead set on eating here before I even got to HK. I finally convinced the ex to head down to Mongkok to check out Tim Hou Wan Dim Sum on our very last day there.

Tim Hou Wan kowloon

You see, the problem was that the concierge told us that it’s the best dim sum in Hong Kong but you might have to wait up to 3 hours. I have heard about the legendary waiting time but also about the equally impressive food so I really wanted to go.

Tim Hou Wan order

Tim Ho Wan has a lot of branches now but the original is in Mongkok. It is run by an ex Lung King Heen (a prestigious 3 Michelin star restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel) chef and the reason why it’s so popular with the locals is coz it’s cheap and delicious.

Tim Hou Wan HK

We waited for over an hour before we managed to get in – the menu is very limited and you choose what you want before you enter the restaurant. There’s a perpetual long queue in front of the dim sum shop. I think Tim Hou Wan has had some altercations with its neighbors coz everyone was told to keep within the confines and not stand in front of the shops beside it.

Tim Hou Wan dim sum

Anyway, we were finally seated in the extremely small and cramped dim sum restaurant. I love the ambiance though – it’s just people enjoying dim sum and you don’t feel pressured to leave (which I half expected).

har kow

Har Kow (Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings) – HKD 22
I loved it! I always like har kow, it’s an order I judge each dim sum place by and Tim Ho Wan did not disappoint. The prawns are huge and juicy and the wrap is delicate and thin. It’s perfection!

chicken feet

Steamed Chicken Feet With Black Bean Sauce – HKD 14
I like how the chicken feet came out just right. Dim sum is cooked fresh in Tim Ho Wan and the black bean sauce complements the chicken feet nicely. It has a spicy note from the chillies too! Delicious.

pork knuckle

Braised Pig Knuckle in Sauce – HKD 15
Hmm…this was a major letdown. There’s more bone than meat or skin/fat and I’ve had much better braised pig knuckle in Malaysia. I would avoid this. It’s very meh.

pig liver chee cheong fan

Vermicelli Roll Stuffed with Pig’s Liver – HKD 16
OMG! This is like an orgasm in your mouth! It’s chee cheong fun, except it’s stuffed with pig liver.

pork liver chee cheong fun

Here’s what it looks like. Don’t be fooled by the simple presentation – the vermicelli roll wrapping is translucently thin and the pig liver is extremely creamy with a very rich mouth-feel. Highly recommended!

dim sum rice

Steamed Rice with Beef and Pan-fried Egg – HKD 17
This was a mistake. I wanted to have the lou mai kai but my ex accidentally ticked this one instead coz she thought it was lou mai kai in Cantonese.

rice beef egg

It was alright, but we didn’t come here to eat a rice dish.

lou mai kai

The actual lou mai kai (sticky glutenous rice) looks like this – unfortunately it’s our neighbors and we didn’t know them well enough to ask for a bite. ;)

famous bbq pork bun

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork – HKD 14
This is what Tim Hou Wan is famous for. It’s their signature dish – almost everyone I saw ordered at least one basket of this. There are three buns in a basket and it’s not enough!

crispy baked char siew pau

The bun is has a layer of crispy goodness and the rest is exquisitely soft and fluffy. I don’t know how they managed to achieve that texture complexity but it works very well. It’s basically a baked char siew pau but it’s so delicious that I was tempted to order more. The BBQ pork filling is sweet and savory, tender, done to perfection. I could eat this all year! You *have* to order this.

Tonic Medlar and Petal Cake

Tonic Medlar and Petal Cake – HKD 10
I don’t know what this is. The translation doesn’t even make sense but Jeanie told me that it’ll be delicious…and damn was she right!

goji berries chrysanthemum flowers dessert

It’s made with goji berries and Osmanthus flowers. Those are the only two things I could identify, but there’s a host of herbal goodies inside the jelly. You can taste the flowers and berries when you bite into the jelly – they’re whole and intact! It’s like drinking (eating?) tong shui that has been solidified into Jello. This chilled jelly is wonderful – a perfect ending to a near perfect meal.

dim sum hk

Tim Hou Wan Dim Sum Specialists might be a tad overrated but it’s still great dim sum at unbeatable prices. It only cost us HKD 112 (about RM 46) for two, inclusive of tea. The baked char siew bun is absolutely fabulous!

Tim Hou Wan Hong Kong

However, be prepared to wait to get into Tim Hou Wan in Mongkok – it’s usually about an hour, so it’s not too bad. Also, the tables are really small so if you order a lot of non-stackable items, you’ll have to eat them really fast, lest you invade another table’s space. :)

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33 thoughts on “Tim Hou Wan Dim Sum Specialists in Hong Kong

    • Heh! Yeah it’s delicious! :)

      I love eating dim sum in Hong Kong too – but this place is a bit overrated, some of the dim sum isn’t that great, but what they do well, they do AWESOME! :D

      It certainly merits a visit, one of the most popular dim sum places in HK. :D

    • Hmm…I could be very, very mistaken but I thought the two things are the same!

      Osmanthus is “kui hua” in Chinese right? “Kui hua cha” is Chrysanthemum tea. :D

      …but then again my Chinese is awful and they could be two completely different things.

      It was just the impression I got when I went to Guilin last year.

      Thanks for that Michelle, I shall go and research more! :)

    • Hello Michelle! :)

      I got someone to check the Chinese words and you’re right, it’s Osmanthus!

      Thanks for the correction Michelle! :D

  1. this is a no brainer, but not the best. i’ve personally tried another michelin star chef at macau wynn casino called 永利軒. best dim sum bar none.

    • Macau isn’t Hong Kong bro. ;)

      Well, Tim Hou Wan is certainly the most popular one amongst the locals – it’s the price and quality, and I have to agree, on that they deliver. It’s very affordable dim sum and delicious to boot.

      However, I personally feel it’s a bit overrated. Some of the dishes are very meh, but the ones they do well, like the baked cha siew pao is awesome! :D

  2. Oh gosh! So many people… Don’t like crowded places and don’t expect me to queue even for the best food in town. But I’m sure Hongkong dim sum’s the best…not like KL’s – so very coarse unless you go to the classier Chinese restaurants.

    • Yeah, Tim Hou Wan tends to be very packed, especially the original outlet in Mongkok.

      The place is really small and too popular (it is headed by a 3 Michelin star chef who started his own place) coz it’s cheap and serves nice dim sum.

      It has very limited offerings though – that small chit of paper is all their menu items. :)

      Yup, Hong Kong has very good dim sum but I was disappointed with some of their dishes. It’s mostly delicious stuff though, better than the dim sum here. :D

  3. HB, well I see it indeed not bad you waited for a seat in that place. Some of their special dim sum seem very good. The crispy topping char siu bao is so different no where else make . Pork liver cheong fun so something San Francisco won’t find for sure. Rice bowls are popular for breakfast but too filling. Been to a few tea house in Hong Kong but your have special dim sum I like to try next time when I am there. Good price only thing long wait for seat but that same in San Franisco for popular tea house also.

    No Reservation host Tony did had a meal on a real sampan that serve fresh seafood. Tour guide plan it for him. There are other sampans out there that does that also .

    • Yup, this place has the best crispy char siew pau I’ve ever eaten. :)

      I see…never managed to see a sampan in Hong Kong, perhaps it was arranged. I’ll go look next time.

      Cheers! :D

  4. owhhh mann the food roll from HK hasnt ended yet!

    Har kow, bbq pork bun and the final gelatinous looking thing looks so appetizing!

    I heard tht having proper dim sum in HK is also about shoving around the restaurant to get the best and freshest food straight from the kitchen. did u have to do that?

    • Heh! Yup, still have a lot of food posts from Hong Kong and Macau.

      We did a lot of eating there. :)

      Hmm…I guess it depends on the place. It can be a bit rowdy in front when people are waiting and the person in charge of the queue can be a bit loud, but we didn’t have to shove around coz we pre-ordered. :D

        • Heh! Great! I know said it’s a bit overrated but you seriously must try their BBQ pork buns. It’s delicious! :)

          Check out the place for their awesome BBQ pork buns when you’re in HK, you won’t be disappointed bro. :D

  5. we actually planned to have brekkie there on our last day. but we tak larat stand so long for the queue there so we skipped it and mum-ed at other place nearby :S. we have done too muchy walking the days before. seriously traveling in HK is all about walking :S

    • Oh too bad! It’s REALLY worth the wait, if only for the crispy char siew pao.

      That is the best I’ve ever had.

      Yup, we walked a lot in Hong Kong too. It’s a small place anyway. :)

  6. 1 hour is too long to wait i guess.. haha.. but if it’s good, patience is virtue :)
    certain selection of dim sum looks uniquely different from ours here.. nice!

    • It’s not too bad – it’s about the same time as Penang Lorong Selamat CKT during peak hours. :)

      Yeah, the dim sum in Hong Kong is really good. I like the crispy char siew pau and pig liver chee cheong fun. Delicious. :D

  7. WAH the bbq bun rocks! Looks so unique and the jelly you have eaten is a dessert during the olden days which are served to the royalty. It must be really awesome.

    • Nice! Thanks for the information Eiling! :)

      I didn’t know that about the dessert. I think my ex knew though coz she really wanted to have it. Heh.

      The crispy BBQ bun is awesome! :D

    • Hello Mandy! :)

      Okay, you should try this place next time you go to Hong Kong.

      It’s one of the most popular ones and reputedly the best dim sum for the price. :D

    • Hey, interesting information Kim! :D

      Thanks for that!

      The choice of evil empresses. Haha! Too bad I don’t watch TVB series but I think my ex does. Probably why she ordered it in the first place. :)

    • Hmm…good question Charmaine!

      I wouldn’t say it’s bad service, maybe it’s blase or a bit impersonal in char chan tengs and siew mei places but generally it wasn’t rude, so I wouldn’t call it bad service. :)

      The franchise dessert places and other such restaurants have excellent service.

    • Yeah, that’s why this place is so popular bro. :)

      It’s cheap and it’s good.

      I’ve never seen chee cheong fun with pig’s liver in Malaysia too! I think it might be a Hong Kong thing but it’s delicious! :D

    • Heh! It’s really good eh?

      I like how the texture and taste goes so well together. Goji berries and osmanthus in jelly. Perfect combination. :)

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