Tim Ho Wan, them michelin star yum cha joints from Hongkong (previously posted about here) is now officially in Australia with a popular and much attended opening weekend with queues out the door. We check in for dinner about a week later and do Tim Ho Wan the VIProom way. No queues, walked right past the crowd and into dim sum heaven. The prerequisite for the VIProom booking is 10+ guests and an agreed minimum spend of $300 which really isn’t bad.
Located in The District, Tim Ho Wan’s first store in Australia is housed in a large food hall type space and the very first shop you’ll encounter up the escalator/stairs. All the stalwarts of Sydney’s food stores will be here. You’ll also note the ever present queue – we’ve heard that for their 10am openings over the Easter break, that queue starts at 6 in the morning. Crazy huh.
Tonight’s Queue looks a little like this.
The Tim Ho Wan Vip Room sits 10-14. There’s a autoslider door that closes to provide you with a more intimate dining environs. We dined tonight with @patrickfriesen and the team from Devon + Devon on Danks.
Tim Ho Wan is yum cha/dim sum eats and its quite amazing that you basically can get and will eat all day yum cha here – this was a dinner visit. We did try just about most things on the menu and for the most parts they were delicious with an array of standout eats and 1-2 duds.
Their Braised chicken feet with Abalone sauce. It’s not a dish we’re particularly fond of and normally, its a lot more braised with the collagen breaking down and bits almost jelly like. THW’s version was quite under with chewy chicken feet (intentional??). Not many at the table liked this. It was probably the singular misfire.
Baked Bun with BBQ pork $6.80 These are THW’s legendary baked buns and yes, they’re delicious and worth the queueing for. Delicate dough skin with what tasted like cheese on the outside and delicious char siu filling. More please. Our table tried to get takeaway after but the kitchen had closed.
Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf $8.80 is a largish serve of sticky glutinous rice with chicken (and/or pork). This was delicious in of itself and like the signature Heavenly King Pork Buns an essentials at THW.
Vermicelli Roll with Sesame Sauce was a very nice dish. We quite liked these and kept going back to this.
Two rather atypical yum cha eats. Shrimp Dumpling $7.80 and their Spinach Prawn Dumpling $6.80 were both really good. The latter came in a fantastic super transparent skin and both were great eats.
On the dessert front, we went with their Steamed egg cake and Pomelo Mango Sago and it’s got to be noted that both are light and classic. Its not the atypical mango pancake you get at most places but that Pomelo Mango was a light, not overtly sweet cold soup that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Steamed egg cake was light and airy and a hit also.
So what’s Tim Ho Wan like? Its a great joint in a space that’s less chinoserie glam and Scandinavian foodcourt sombre – for all day yum cha. there’s heaps to like here; service was great and the eats were really quite good. Ex Mr Wong’s Eric Koh runs Tim Ho Wan and the food comes in a timely fashion, maybe even possibly a bit too fast as our table gets cluttered with eats and dim sums as you can see from that pic above. Our bill per head worked out to be about $35 and that’s a great value eat.
You know you’ll be here. Yum Cha’s way more fun when you have numbers anyhow. Its enables you to order more and taste everything. Wrangle the numbers for the private room. And if you can’t wait? We’d queue. Tim Ho Wan is going to up Sydney’s yumcha game and we can’t wait for the other stores to open. That CBD one is going to be a lot of Sydneysiders favourite late night eat.