Tim Ho Wan’s BBQ Pork Buns – It’s More BUN in the Philippines!
It’s so cool how international our city is becoming. We now have a comprehensive list of foreign clothing brands, fitness facilities, and restaurants that have come to shore. Recently, a One Michelin Star restaurant has found its way to SM Megamall’s Mega Fashion Hall, as well. Say hello to Tim Ho Wan!
Tim Ho Wan originated in Mongkok, Hong Kong, opened by the dimsum genius Chef Mak Kwai Pui. A Michelin star in a restaurant is a mark of pure excellence in the food that they serve and Tim Ho Wan is the most affordable Michelin-star restaurant in the world. The budget per person to dine here is only between Php 150 – 300, even if they have to import up to 60% of their ingredients from Hong Kong to make sure that they achieve the exact same taste of the creations of Chef Mak.
I have been wanting to go to Tim Ho Wan since they opened their doors early this year, but the restaurant has not had the chance to rest since then because of the line that awaits them everyday. The franchise was brought to Manila by the experienced restaurateur Rikki Dee, who also brought us Todd English Food Hall.
I was finally able to try their food for the first time yesterday and I am so happy to share my experience with you.
Without further ado, please prepare to drool over the food porn that is about to come your way.
Baked Buns with BBQ Pork
Tim Ho Wan’s BBQ Pork Buns
Ok, first of all, there is just so much complexity to the technique of this dish. When the bbq pork buns are set on your table, you can immediately smell the sweetness of the pastry. Since I was so excited to taste it, the few minutes of waiting felt like forever. When you pick up the bun, you will immediately notice how flaky the top part is; it’s like a separate dough was melted on top of the soft bread dough. When you break it open, smokey warm BBQ pork will ooze out. Try to catch all of the flakey cookie-like bits on top and make sure they don’t go to waste, then bite into the pillow soft bread that is like HEAVEN in a roll. These bbq pork buns are so delectable!
As I always say, not all things are created equal. However, if there were a Siomai god, he definitely must have spent a little more time on the siomai at Tim Ho Wan. The perfect siomai is the kind that is soft and almost a little jiggly (try jiggling it!) when you shake the tray. It uses the right kind of meat to make it tender, as well, along with just the right amount of fat to make it moist, and just the right amount of massage to make it very soft. As you bite onto Tim Ho Wan’s siomai, it will fall apart into your mouth and the rest will stay firm on your fork for the next perfect bite. BEST SIOMAI I have ever had!
Shrimp Dumplings / Hakaw
Hakaw, aka shrimp dumplings, rely so much on fresh ingredients. The freshness of the shrimp is key to this BEST HAKAW I have ever had in my life! This is even harder to make than siomai because the translucent skin dries up quickly after making the dough. This means that the skin has to be made shortly before it is cooked. Achieving this perfection is a real challenge.
So, those were my top 3 favorites at Tim Ho Wan, but not falling far behind are the rest of the dim sum I tried there:
I would definitely say that if you had to fall in line to taste these delicious bbq pork buns, and the perfect siomai and hakaw, the 30-minute wait is well worth it. As Mr. Ricki Dee said: It’s More Bun in the Philippines!
TIM HO WAN
Ground Floor, SM Mega Mall, Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City
Open from 10:00AM to 10:00PM (mall hours)