Official Website: http://www.timhowan.com
Address: ERA Centre #02-02; 450 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh Singapore 319394 (Map)
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 10.00pm
Budget: $10 – $25++ (we spent $88 for 3pax, because we really ordered a lot, including take-away)
Recommendations: Baked bun with BBQ pork, Pan Fried Carrot Cake, Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp, Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake and Mango Pomelo Sago (Menu)
Disclaimer: I will keep this post short and sweet (more photos less words), because we all know how awesome Tim Ho Wan is and are all rushing to join the queue NOW. (P.S: photos taken with iPhone because we were famished after class).A wise man once said that food indulgence can cure all ailments, pain, depression or suffering. That’s what happened for us after a long week, although we had to queue about 45min for the much-raved Tim Ho Wan, newly opened at Toa Payoh ERA Centre.
Four Heavenly Kings
Every blog post starts with the Baked bun with BBQ pork 酥皮叉烧包 (3 for $4.50) as the highlight of the 4 Heavenly Kings. This comes as no surprise because it was indeed the most unforgettable dish for the meal and the dish that we went home with. We ordered 6 plates and each person consumed an average of 4 for dinner! And here comes the good news: since the opening of the Toa Payoh outlet, they have done away with the restriction of 1 plate/pax. Therefore, you can order all you want! (The server was extremely delighted to see us order more, and I secretly wished the pastry chef in the kitchen could be my Godmother. Ok challenge accepted!)
Next up is the Pan Fried Carrot Cake 香煎萝卜糕 (3 pcs $4.50), which felt like a time shuttle that brought me back to Hong Kong. There are also bacon bits in the smooth carrot cake, which makes it even more authentic. Must order.
We did not order the Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver 黄沙猪润肠, because we heard that the prawn rendition of the Vermicelli Rolls tasted superior. Indeed, Mr Muhsroom, Muscle Man and I agreed that the prawns were fresh and succulent. Topped with the superior soya sauce, the vermicelli rolls were simply superb.
Mr Mushroom is a sucker for fried food and was amused by this dish. However, we would say that Tim Ho Wan’s fried dishes do not fare as well as compared to 126 Dim Sum, which probably serves the best and most affordable fried food in Singapore. The Wasabi salad dressing tasted mediocre, while the roe looked more like a garnish than levelling the gratification index of the dish. Though the prawns tasted equally fresh, we would advise that you can probably miss this dish.
We came to know of this dish when we visited Swee Choon, another famous supper spot for Cantonese and Shanghai dim sum. Our friend calls it the “Orgasmic Beancurd Roll”, because it induces so much pleasure bordering on copulation. However, after visiting Swee Choon for so long, we were pretty much desensitised and were expecting something more at Tim Ho Wan. Unfortunately, we would say that you might have a better chance ordering the steamed version of the Beancurd Roll instead.
If you’re health-conscious like Muscle Man and I, opt for the Steamed Item of the Beancurd Roll, dipped in Oyster Sauce. The Pork and Shrimps were thoroughly infused with the sweetness of each other, coming together as a harmonious union. Added with the savour of the oyster sauce, we loved this dish so much more than the fried beancurd roll. And more, it’s also cheaper.
Order this if you absolutely love prawns. My only grouse was that it didn’t arrive piping hot, and the luminous skin was a little starchy.
Tim Ho Wan’s rendition of the Siew Mai is a little different – they top their siew mais with a wolfberry, which instantly increased its medicinal value and external appeal. I am not a big fan of Siew Mai, but I think lovers of pork dumplings will love this.
Have you seen this dish served in Hong Kong Dramas featuring the Princesses or consorts enjoying them and raving about how it boosts their complexion? Yes, now we can haz it too! Generous portions of wolfberries and osmanthus are added and you can literally taste them in the soft translucent jelly, unlike other stalls that merely use extract or concentrate. Feel like royalty today!
According to Mr Mushroom, this is a must-order. Initially, we were so full that we couldn’t consume any more desserts. However, Mr Mushroom has been craving for Mango Pomelo for ages and he swore that he will finish it by himself. Not a fan for Mango Pomelo Sago, I actually tasted it once and…asked for a second helping. It was good. The mango puree was sweet and not sour, and the pomelo only had a tinge of bitterness. So you get a dessert that’s not too sweet, not bitter and very smooth. Another “just send me to Hong Kong now” dish.
The verdict is, we have overeaten and we need to hit the gym now; but because it was almost 10pm when we finished dinner, we only paid the nearby SAFRA Toa Payoh gym a short visit without working out. Rubbish aside, if you’re looking for good and affordable dim sum, Tim Ho Wan is definitely worth the wait of 45min. If you reside or intend to visit London, also visit Yauatcha, another Michelin-starred restaurant famous for their delicate dim sum, innovative desserts and value-for-money high tea. However, if you’re temporarily stranded in Singapore, do visit Tim Ho Wan – you will leave a happier person.
P.S. There are highs and lows at Tim Ho Wan – I guess we visited Tim Ho Wan at its high, and Muscle Man did comment that this outlet’s food tasted better. So we would recommend this outlet instead of the Plaza Singapura outlet for the time being. Until the outlet in the West is opened!