Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tim Ho Wan

There are so many Tim Ho Wan outlets in Singapore that it's a bit ridiculous to go to a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong. Right? But someone, I forgot who, once told me the Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong makes better food than the branches in Singapore. And the selection is far wider. Ridiculous, right? I felt outraged enough to seek out a Tim Ho Wan outlet in Hong Kong.

We were on our last day and time was not on our side. In the end, we went to the outlet at Central because it was convenient. Except it was so hard to find.

We kept going back to this map but it was no help. Eventually we asked a guide working at the mall and she gave us directions. We still missed the correct escalator but hubs saw another escalator further away and once we figured that out, we managed to find Tim Ho Wan.

There were 2 queues outside the restaurant. One was to pay and the other one was for entry. We had gone through so much trouble to find the restaurant so we queued up.

While in the queue, we were handed an order chit. Since we were familiar with Tim Ho Wan food, we knew what to order. There were menus with photos available as well. The food selection looks more or less the same as what we get in Singapore.

The restaurant was incredibly cramped. We didn't get our own individual table and was stuck in a community row. On my right were four large Filipinos. On my left was a large Chinese man with two women. They spoke Cantonese.

After we got in, the queue outside grew even longer!

We ordered two cups of Chinese tea (HK$3 total) and were given two empty tea cups. When I asked for the tea, the waitress said to take from the teapot on the table. When hubs tried to take the teapot closest to us which was from the table of the Cantonese customers, one of the women held on to the teapot, scolded him and wouldn't let hubs have it. So hubs had to take the teapot from the Filipinos who didn't mind. It was very weird. In Singapore's Tim Ho Wan, none of this shit will happen. The waitress pours tea into our tea cup and if you need a refill, you'll just have to ask for it. Sometimes, a waitress goes around refilling your tea anyway.

Steamed rice rolls stuffed with barbecued pork or as we call it in Singapore, Chee Cheong Fun. In Singapore, a different diluted soy sauce is provided. Here in Hong Kong, you're expected to use the regular more concentrated soy sauce placed at each table. I half expected a fight with the Cantonese women over the sauce but they didn't raise any objections. Seriously folks, eating Chee Cheong Fun with regular soy sauce just ain't right.

Deep-fried beancurd sheet roll filled with shrimps. I notice the beancurd is very crispy despite the light colour. This was delicious!

Steamed dumplings chiu chow style. I didn't know hubs didn't like this and ordered it. When I don't like any food, I announce it to the world but hubs keeps it to himself.

 Steamed rice with beef and pan fried egg. Hubs was quite shocked by the tiny size of his order.

 Pan fried turnip cake. Unfortunately, Tim Ho Wan's turnip cake is NOTHING compared to Dimdimsum.

Sweet potato soup. I love sweet potato soup but I didn't understand why I ordered it. Maybe I wanted something comforting? Honestly, all sweet potato soup tastes the same.

We noticed the 4 Filipinos couldn't eat any of the chicken feet. They ordered 4 plates! Perhaps they were misled by the name on the menu - "Phoenix Talons with Abalone Sauce". Guys, you do know phoenix aren't real. In case you're wondering, I'm in the "never ever gonna eat chicken feet" camp. My mother used to tell me eating chicken feet is good for the skin or was it a cure for arthritis? Anyway, I decided not to believe her.

Oh, something wonderful happened while we were eating. The Cantonese women and guy companion had finished their meal but continued to sit at the table chatting. One of the women had left and they were waiting for her to return. A waitress came and ordered them to leave. The woman tried to explain that they were waiting for someone but the waitress would have none of it. She said there were so many customers waiting and they could wait outside the restaurant. Ha ha. It made hubs' day.

Three new customers came to take their places - two Cantonese speaking men and a Caucasian lady. The guy who sat next to me wore a mask and only took it off to eat. I kept wondering if he was afraid to catch something or pass something? It really bothered me. The waitress brought a new pot of tea and placed it beside me and guess what? The guy sitting next to me immediately grabbed it and placed it far away from me. You've got to be kidding me. I don't think the Cantonese speaking customers understand how the tea system in Tim Ho Wan works!

Another interesting thing happened. A single lady sat beside hubs after the Filipinos had left. She ate a few items and she had brought her Starbucks coffee in. (so daring) When she left, the waitress made her take the Starbucks coffee container. And then the staff realized she didn't pay and someone had to go chase her. There was Cantonese shouting and I expect a lot of embarrassment for someone.

Not a bad price for a very full meal. We definitely over ate. Other than the sauce for Chee Cheong Fun, I think the food in Hong Kong and Singapore are exactly the same. What we do have in Singapore that's different are the monthly specials.

IFC Mall MTR Shop 12A, Central

Read about my trip to Hong kong here:
4Days 3Nights in Hong Kong
Tea at Australia Dairy Co
Breakfast at Capital Cafe
I heart Dimdimsum
Tsui Wah Everywhere
Goose or duck?


Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'd eat chicken feet either, but everything looked SO GOOD.

Christel Goh said...

We tried Tim Ho Wan in HK too, and were really disappointed. Guess we had some expectation for this Michelin star restaurant :( Our theory is that THW must have been really good before they got the award, but after they expanded & had branches everywhere, the quality dropped. Sighs.

Projects By Jane said...

The first time I ate at Tim Ho Wan in Singapore, I thought the food was so-so. After a few more visits, I've come to get accustomed to the quality and taste. Expectations play a huge role in how we find the food.

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