When is the last time you queued for dim sum in Singapore? I remember doing so once at Red Star Restaurant, so I did not understand what was the fuss about queuing for another dim sum restaurant. Apparently, this was not any restaurant serving dim sum, but the first overseas branch of a Michelin Star dim sum restaurant from Hong Kong. Opened by famed chef Mak Kwai Pui, the outlet in Plaza Singapura has thus seen a strong and steady flow of diners who would not be deterred by queues of any length. So what can you expect to find in its menu?
Congee with Lean Pork and Century Egg: What’s dim sum without a hot bowl of zuk? I love the smooth velvety texture of the gruel, signifying the long hours taken to cook. In addition, the chunky bits of century egg and lean pork are just perfect complements, resulting in a savoury-tasting and flavourful bowl of congee. This is absolute comfort for the tummy.
Baked Bun with BBQ Pork: One of the Four Heavenly Kings of THW, these Char Siew babies are must-tries. Deeply marinated and tasty char siew form the core of the bun. On the outside, the barbecue pork is enveloped by baked pastry glazed with sugar and butter. I personally found the buns a little too sweet, inside and outside. But it wouldn’t stop me from ordering it the next time I’m there again.
Pan-fried Carrot Cake: Slightly charred on the sides, the carrot cake is starchy and flavourful. Definitely serves well to satisfy, but not the best though. It could do a bit more crispiness and oomph.
Steamed Shrimp Dumpling: Also known as Har Gow, this dish is a must-order for me whenever I have dim sum. Succulent shrimp steamed to perfection, the dumpling skin is slightly too thick for my liking but still moist and tasty.
Steamed Vermicelli Roll with Prawn: THW serves a unique version of Chee Cheong Fun. The rice rolls are served plain straight to the plate before the waiter pours a warm sauce over the rice rolls from a metal teapot. Definitely not a local custom. But unfortunately, I love my rice roll drenched in the saltish sauce and could do with a bit more.
Steamed Pork Dumplings: THW may not serve orgasmic siew mai, but it’s undoubtedly delectable. The moist dumpling skin is harmonious with the meat filling, binding each dumpling together as one.
Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake: Diners should be warned that this dessert is only for the sweet tooth. Otherwise, you may find the cake too sweet and a little hard to stomach at the end of all the baskets of dim sums. I love the refreshing sweetness of the flower but struggled to continue after the first one. Definitely recommend to share with more people.
Before I gave this place a try, I heard many people claiming how disappointing it is and that it is stupid to queue to have dim sum. And now that I’ve had my share of queuing and food-tasting, I can only tell this people that
1. Queuing to dine is the norm in our overly congested country. And not counting the fact that the outlet in Plaza Singapura is only a 100-seater. So naturally, long lines will form for a newly opened restaurant.
2. Expect less and you will gain more. When you expect too much of your food, do not expect to enjoy yourself.
Tim Ho Wan
68 Orchard Road #01-29A
10am – 10pm