Features Going In Restaurants Video

The 5 Dishes You Absolutely Have To Try At Tim Ho Wan, The Michelin-Starred Dim Sum Spot

Tim Ho Wan has garnered an international reputation as a Michelin-starred dim sum spot. Naturally, when one opened up in Irvine, California, just outside the Foodbeast backyard, we had to go see what the deal was with this renowned restaurant.

As part of our research into Tim Ho Wan, myself and fellow Foodbeasts Reach, Marc, and Elie embarked on a dim sum version of Going In, where we eat the entire menu, rate it, and pick the top dishes to try.

After sampling all of the food Tim Ho Wan had to offer, and some contentious culinary debates, we narrowed it down to the below five dishes that are a must whenever you pop in to this dim sum legend.

Braised Beef Brisket with Rice Noodles

The braised brisket is pull-apart tender, and the broth is light and savory while still delivering big on flavor. The chunks of daikon radish inside offer an interesting texture as well. Of all of the noodle dishes we had, this one was the most filling and captivating.

Baked BBQ Pork Buns

Tim Ho Wan’s signature dim sum dish, these buns are light, flaky, and airy all at once. The sweet barbecue pork plays into all of that nicely, and the dish almost feels like a pastry more than a bun.

Deep Fried Eggplant with Shrimp

This was a sleeper on our list, but the combination of the eggplant and the juicy shrimp was one that was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

Pan Fried Turnip Cake

A dim sum classic, these pan-fried turnip cakes come loaded with dried shrimp and cured Chinese sausage, which has a sweet yet deep flavor to it that permeates the entire slice.

Deep Fried Silky Milk Sticks

Nobody at the table had seen anything like these milk sticks before. They were like deep fried rectangles of panna cotta, a welcome and enjoyable end to the meal.

Of course, we all had other favorites that didn’t make it into this top five (including Tim Ho Wan’s famous rice rolls with BBQ pork), but the above five represent our unanimous can’t-miss dishes.

To see how we felt about the entire Tim Ho Wan menu, you can view the full episode of Going In above.

Culture Feel Good Restaurants

A Used Car Dealer In Japan Earned A Michelin Star Selling $7 Ramen Bowls

When you think of Michelin star food, images of fancy white tablecloths, elaborate tasting courses, and hefty prices likely come to mind. What you probably wouldn’t expect is that one of these prestigious culinary honors would be given to a man selling ramen out of his used car dealership.

Stock Photo by Peter Pham//Foodbeast

That just happened to Katsumi Yoshida, whose Hot Air ramen concept, run out of his auto shop, just received a Michelin star in the most recent edition of the Tottori, Japan guide. Yoshida’s ramen typically sells for about 800 yen, or $7.10 US Dollars, placing it in the “Bib Gourmand” category of restaurants delivering top-notch quality and service for under 5000 yen ($44.39 US).

According to Spoon & Tamago, Yoshida started serving bowls of his ramen in 2012, but had been developing the recipe to his additive-free broth for much longer. Some of the ingredients he uses include chicken bones, sardines, and salt, and he’s got the precision of ingredients down, almost like an engineer.

Yoshida converted a meeting space in his dealership into a place to sell his ramen, and news of it quickly spread by word-of-mouth. As Hot Air’s reputation spread, a Michelin judge eventually came to the auto dealer to scope it out. After tasting the food, he was apparently impressed enough to recommend it for the Michelin Guide.

The addition of Hot Air to the growing global list of Michelin restaurants makes it one of the cheapest in that category in the world. Only Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan and Singapore’s Hong Kong Soya Sauce Rice and Noodle (from street vendor Chan Hon Meng) offer less expensive Michelin-quality food, while South Korea’s Hamo sells their dishes for about the same price as Yoshida.

If you’re in Tottori and want to try the ramen for yourself, keep an eye on Yoshida’s Twitter, as he regularly updates the restaurant’s hours and days open there.

[h/t Nextshark]

Adventures Deals Restaurants

The 50 Cheapest Michelin Star Meals Around The World [INFOGRAPHIC]

When you think of Michelin Star restaurants, there’s usually two polar opposites that come to mind. One is the fancy, French Laundry-esque establishment that’ll set you back a few hundred bucks. The other is the heartwarming story of somebody like Chan Hon Meng, whose simple version of chicken and rice in the streets of Singapore was good enough to earn the prestigious culinary title.

cheapest michelin star meals Photo courtesy of Traveloka

Chan Hon Meng’s story is also proof that you don’t need to have a ton of cash to burn to get a plate of some of the best food in the world. To back that up, Traveloka just came out with a report that showcases the 50 cheapest Michelin star meals from across the globe. They took into account price changes when calculating the total cost, so everything below is in US Dollars and uses exchange rates to make the data as accurate as possible to August 2018.

Photo courtesy of Traveloka

Turns out the Chan Ho Meng’s spot is the cheapest place to get Michelin-star food in the world, although the famous dim sum from Tim Ho Wan is not too far behind. Interestingly, while Michelin meals tend to come with a hefty price tag here in the US, one spot did crack the top 10: Al’s Place, in San Francisco, where you can get a meal for $18.

Still, the price gap from the cheapest to most expensive on just this list alone shows how wide spread the cost of a Michelin-starred dinner can be. Whether you’ve got $2.20 or $109.50 to shell out on a meal, there’s no reason you can’t get some of the best from around the world.

Celebrity Grub Restaurants

Andrew Zimmern Slams The Michelin Guide, Thinks It’s Becoming ‘Irrelevant’

The Michelin Guide has long been considered one of the most reputable lists of the top restaurants in the world. However, it has come under harsh criticism in recent years, particularly with the Guide’s low number of female-headed eateries, and the pressure that has driven chefs to request being taken off of the list.

You can now add chef, author, and TV personality Andrew Zimmern to that list of critics, as he just took the Michelin Guide (amongst others) to town in an interview with Extra Crispy.

A post shared by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on

“I do not believe Michelin stars are relevant anymore at all,” he said, calling out the Michelin Guide and the San Pellegrino 100, another prestigious list of restaurants, in the interview.

Zimmern feels that these guides are growing out of touch because of the vast amount of territory they choose to not cover.

“You look at the vast majority of restaurants in the San Pellegrino 100 for example, or the vast number of restaurants that have received Michelin stars, and they ignore such a large volume of the world’s culinary scene, it’s shocking to me. South Asia, Africa, and even with as much South American representation as there is, so much is ignored. I’m really stunned by it.”

To Zimmern, these guides and their restaurants are just the “tip of the spear” as to what food really can be. That makes sense, given how little global coverage the Michelin version actually has. It only covers 25 different countries in total, and even then, has guides more specific to cities rather than entire nations. Even in the United States, culinary bastions like Charleston and Austin get stiffed because no guide for their town exists, and the food can be just as good or even better than the restaurants getting stars in other locations.

Zimmern also feels that “ethnicity, ethnocentrism, and sexism” has become “extremely hurtful” in how those guides are constructed. “You don’t have to look very closely at any of it to see that it’s an old white boys’ club,” he said.

So if you are looking for some of the top food wherever you are, what do you turn to if not the Michelin Guide or the San Pellegrino 100? “You have a cell phone,” Zimmern says, describing it as the best tool to find the tastiest eats in your area. “You can access food writers, chefs, line cooks, and local publications in three minutes on Twitter to vet the five best eating experiences in any city or town in the world.”

A post shared by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on

As for the guides, Zimmern believes he can lend a hand in making them more relevant.

“There are not many people who are well suited to critique how that list is done,” he states, “I happen to think that I’m one of them. The reason that I do and say that is because I’m actually traveling all over the world eating at these places.”

It’s a spicy take from Zimmern to call out those prestigious guides in such a way, but it may be a wake-up call that they can use to diversify their lists to make them more contemporary.

Culture Restaurants

This Michelin Star Dim Sum Brunch Buffet Celebrates Chinese New Year In Style

The Cantonese words for “dim sum” literally translate to the phrase “to touch the heart.” That’s because the small bites and delicacies are supposed to bring a smile to your face and stomach as you dive into them. If you’re looking for an extravagant experience of these feel-good bites for Chinese New Year, you need to look no further than this Michelin star dim sum brunch buffet in Vegas.

Michelin Star dim sum brunch buffetPhoto courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

Conceived by chef Ming Yu at Wing Lei in the Wynn, this banquet of Chinese fare truly brings out all the bells and whistles. As the first Chinese restaurant to receive the coveted Michelin star in North America, you’d expect the meals here to be something truly special. What Chef Yu has designed, however, blows away all expectations.

It starts off with an elaborate table-side presentation featuring virtually every dim sum item out there. These include scallop dumplings, pan-seared radish cakes, puff pastries filled with Chinese BBQ pork, and a wide variety of other options.

From there, the various stations of available grub offer up a mix of Las Vegas flair and authentic Chinese fare. There’s your typical Sin City seafood presentation, with an abundance of crab, lobster, and oysters served on ice. There’s also sushi, prepared by the master chefs of nearby restaurants Wazuzu and Mizumi.

The authentic Chinese food stations are just as luxurious, with one offering up bowls of warm, hearty congee and plenty of slurp-worthy noodles. And at the atypical carving station, Peking duck is paired alongside the more common cuts of prime rib and herb-crusted rack of lamb.

Dessert brings this same blend of Vegas flash and Chinese flavor, with custard buns, lychee mochi, and plenty of other sweets adorning the buffet table.

The entire banquet is a masterful and decadent way to ring in the Year of the Dog. Those hoping to sample Chef Yu’s Michelin star dim sum brunch buffet will need to head there between February 15-21. A seat for this celebration costs $68.88, with a $10 discount available for kids under six.

Hit-Or-Miss Packaged Food Products

You Can Eat Japanese Michelin-Star Ramen For About $3, Right Now

Nissin, the noodle company who makes your Cup Noodles, just took one of Japan’s most highly-rated ramen and put it in a cup.

Nakiryu in Tokyo received a Michelin Star rating last year for its Dan Dan ramen noodles, but those in Japan no longer have to go to the restaurant itself to enjoy the famous ramen, as it is available nationwide in Cup Noodle-form, for just 200 yen ($1.80) per cup, according to Rocket News 24.

Being rated by the Michelin Guide is the highest honor a restaurant can get. Anonymous eaters rate all restaurants around the world, and if they’re worthy, they’ll earn between one to three stars in the guide. As you can imagine, Japan has some of the best ramen in the world, and Nakiryu is one of two ramen restaurants to be awarded a Michelin Star rating.

That bowl of Ramen lived up to the hype and then some. Wow!!! ⭐️👍🏼🍜 #Tokyo

A post shared by Jason Gurfink ✈️🌎📷 (@jasongurfink) on

Rocket News 24 tried the Cup Noodles and said the taste is actually comparable Nakiryu. Imagine that, $2 for some of the best tasting ramen in the world. Nissin describes it as a “perfect balance” of sweet and spicy, getting its sweetness from sesame, and spiciness from red peppers.

If you’re not in Japan and want it badly enough, you can order a cup in the secondary market for 360 yen ($3.22), plus some obviously pricey $6 overseas shipping.

For Michelin Star ramen, I think I might just dish out the $10. I’ve spent more on less.

Features Restaurants

Map Shows The Quickest Route To Every Michelin-Star Restaurant In The U.S.

Being awarded a Michelin Star is the highest honor a restaurant can receive, and eating at one can be a special culinary experience.

There are 159 total Michelin-starred restaurants in the U.S., and if you wanted to dine at every one of them, travel site Orbitz put together a road map that would provide the most efficient way to do so.

With the help of University of Pennsylvania scientist Randal Olson, Orbitz’s map shows that to hit every restaurant in New York (77 restaurants), San Francisco(54), Chicago (26) and Washington DC (12), you would have to travel about 3,426 miles over five months if you dined at one spot per night.

The longest drive between restaurants would be 2,111 miles, from two Michelin-starred Bouchon in Yountville, California and the one Michelin-starred El Ideas in Chicago. Once you’ve made it to the other side of the country, though, things get a bit easier.

Aside from the road map, the Orbitz site even went out of its way to list every single restaurant in alphabetical order, separated by state, and even provides how many Michelin stars each has.

Hey, if you have the vacation time and the money to hit the absolute best restaurants in America, here’s your map. If anything, this might spark your interest to at least hit up one.

News Restaurants

A Humble Burger Joint Was Accidentally Awarded A Michelin Star, Here’s Why


Photo taken with Google Streetview

By standards, you’re awarded a Michelin star because your restaurant is top-quality, has amazing service, and serves out-of-this-world, revolutionary food.

Other times, you’re awarded a Michelin star because the Michelin Guide accidentally confuses you with another restaurant.

That’s what happened to Le Bouche à Oreille in Bourges, France, who was awarded a Michelin star based on the interactive map released by the Michelin Guide earlier this month. However, according to the New York Times, the Michelin star was actually meant for a restaurant with the same name — but over 100 miles away, in Boutervilliers.

The differences between the two restaurants could not be more stark. The Bourges location is a small, lunch-only bistro that offers burgers, fries, a buffet, and specializes in sausage and lentils, all priced at less than $13.50. The Boutervilliers Michelin-starred location has lobster, turbot, and foie gras regularly on the menu, and it’s prices can range from 20-60 Euros.

Despite all of the confusion, Le Bouche à Oreille in Boutervilliers will be keeping its Michelin star, and the mix-up has since been fixed. However, the Bourges location did benefit from all of the media attention it’s getting as a result — and the owner even has an invite to come eat at the Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name.

What a great silver lining to this Michelin-starred mishap.