Tim Ho Wan – Is it worth the LONG wait?

photo by Richard Ilagan

The lines are long. They’re ALWAYS long especially on weekends. They open at 12 noon so no matter how early you line up, the first people in line will get seated at 11:45. So be prepared – bring food and water when you line up. I also suggest not lining up very hungry because you will really end up waiting for quite a while.  Also, they’re very strict with groups – if you’re lining up for a big group, make sure that you are complete before you are seated.

Chard and I lined up for dinner one Saturday and we waited for 45 minutes before we got seated. We lined up around 5:45pm and thought that it’s not that long of a wait. 

Now for the food. The menu isn’t as extensive as most chinese restaurants and I actually like it that way. We ordered the following items from the menu:

  • Beefball with Beancurd Skin – 120 php
  • Pork Dumpling with Shrimp – 150 php
  • Pork Rib with Blackbean Sauce – 120 php
  • Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp – 120 php
  • Dumpling Teocheow Style – 120 php
  • Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp – 120 php
  • Prawn Dumpling – 160 php
  • Baked Bun with BBQ Pork – 145 php
  • Panfried Carrot Cake – 145 php
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Prawn Dumpings

These prawn dumplings are awesome. You will taste fresh and plump prawns at your first bite. Love the dumpling skin because it has the right amount of thickness that complements the delicious prawn bits.

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Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp

This is one of my favorite dimsums and this version tops all the ones I’ve ever tried. Sometimes other restaurants fill this with too much meat/extenders that your stomach gets full right away. Tim Ho Wan’s filled with just the right amount of meat.

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Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (Siomai)

What I like about their dimsum is that the meat is not ground very fine. You can actually taste the pork meat mixed with shrimp and at that bite you know it’s of superb quality.

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Beefball with Beancurd Skin

The beef ball didn’t make much of an impact to me. I remember it tasted like kinchay. It’s not bad, but it’s not overly impressive.

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Dumpling Teocheow Style
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Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp

These last 2 dumplings were great too! I have never had these dumplings in another restaurant in the past so I could not compare it to anything. The best thing about these is the dumpling skin. It’s so soft and chewy and blends very well with the delicate ingredients inside it.

Pork Bean and Blackbean Sauce (sorry no photo). THW’s version is the best I’ve ever tried because there is a lot of meat and the meat didn’t have too much fat in it.  You can taste how delicate and fresh the meat is. I remember eating this at Gloria Maris during their unlimited dimsum promo and half of the serving is fatty pork pieces.  Bleh.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork. (no photo) TMW is most famous for these buns and I understand why. The slightly sweet bread is so buttery and crumbly – it’s so goooood. <3 And the filling tastes sweet and salty and full of bbq pork goodness! Nomnomnom.

Panfried Carrot Cake. (no photo) I find it weird that this is called carrot cake when this is really radish cake. It smells like radish cake, it tastes like radish cake.  I like the fact that you can taste pieces of radish in it and I like the taste of chorizo in it. Unfortunately, this is too oily for me to order it again.

I think what struck me with the dimsum here is not so much of the robust flavor but the quality of the ingredients used in them. For me, the use of great quality ingredients bring out the best flavor of their dimsum. They actually have condiments to go with it but you don’t need it, really.

So is it worth the long wait in queue? I’d tell you a story. We were seated at a table right outside the restaurant, near the queue. A guy approached our table and asked, “Hi. Sorry to bother you. I just want to ask. Is it really good? Is it worth the wait?” I couldn’t help but just nod and say, “YES. IT IS REALLY GOOD.”

 *Tim Ho Wan is located at the ground floor of SM Mega Fashion Hall.