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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.

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Here’s The Scoop On Tim Ho Wan, New York’s Newest Michelin-Starred Dim Sum Joint


Photo: Eater NY

New York City should get ready for some epic dim sum, because one of the world’s affordable Michelin-rated restaurants is finally making its way onto U.S. soil.

Hong Kong-based dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan began its soft-opening period in New York today, selling traditional dim sum dishes to already staggeringly long lines of customers waiting to get a taste. Eater NY reported that dozens of people were already outside the New York location an hour into opening to try this vaunted dim sum.


Photo: Eater NY

Often regaled as the world’s most affordable dim sum restaurant, Tim Ho Wan began as a small 20-seater in Hong Kong and was opened up by Michelin-starred chefs Mak Kwai Pui and Leung Fai Keung. The pair teamed up to sell high-quality plates of dim sum for under $5.50 each, making their food not only extremely delicious, but also extremely affordable. Within just a year, they had their first Michelin Star, a unique feat for a restaurant selling such cheap food – but at the highest quality imaginable.

Since then, Tim Ho Wan has spread to multiple locations globally, with several earning their own Michelin stars. Instead of serving the same dim sum at every chain, the food is tailored to the palate of the region, with traditional dim sum being sold in a way customers will enjoy. In New York, for example, the restaurant will include exclusive items like a vegetable spring roll and custard-filled French toast.



Photo: Eater NY

The prices at the New York location, like everywhere else worldwide, will be under $5.50 per dim sum plate, making it easily affordable for people to come grab a bite of this world-class dim sum.

During the soft opening period, the restaurant will be open from 10-3 and 5-10 every day. After Tim Ho Wan’s official grand opening in New York on January 18th, the restaurant will be open 10 am – 10 pm Sunday through Thursday, and from 10 am – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Considering how long the lines are already, we’d get there early if you want to try this incredible dim sum for yourself. Based on the lines and accolades this chain has garnered around the world already, though, it’s definitely going to be worth your wait.


This Noodle Shop Has a Michelin Star but Its Most Expensive Dish is Just $5.40

Tim Ho Wan

Michelin stars are awarded to the crème de la crème, top tier restaurants of the world. More often than not, this translates to expensive establishments. However, the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant is a dim sum joint named Tim Ho Wan.

Located in Hong Kong, Tim Ho Wan defies Michelin stereotypes. It’s a hole-in-the-wall experience that offers most dishes for $1.50 and under without sacrificing taste, from crispy pork buns to steamed rice noodle rolls. As for the restaurant’s most expensive dish, diners will have to shell out a cool $5.40 for noodles that (we can only assume) are superb.

Even though the joint has been much busier ever since their star was awarded, they don’t plan on racking up prices anytime soon. Sure the decor might be lacking, but that’s not what Tim Ho Wan is about. The restaurant’s focus on simply excellent dim sum speaks for itself.

H/T Reddit + Picthx Tim Ho Wan