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Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Big 4 Heavenly Kings Dim Sum - BBQ Pork Revealed

The revered Tim Ho Wan is officially opening its doors this Wednesday in Singapore at the new Plaza Singapura wing, Atrium@Orchard. If it’s one good thing about the Singaporean ‘kiasu-ness’, it’s that our penchant for queues—often beginning 2-hours before the 10am opening time of the Michelin-starred Mongkok outlet—has convinced Chef Mak Kwai Pui to choose Singapore as his first overseas outpost.

The humble and affable Chef Mak brings to the 100-seater Singapore outlet a highly concise menu of less than 30 items, featuring only his tremendously popular and affordable Hong Kong dim sum spread, that has thankfully not been compromised.

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Big 4 Heavenly Kings Dim Sum - Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

Just one bite into the beautifully browned Baked bun with BBQ pork (3pcs for $4.50) is enough to validate its spot as one of the legendary ‘Big 4 Heavenly Kings’ of dim sum. Each mouthful is crusty, buttery then a divine flood of sweet, flavoursome barbecue pork that really hits the spot. It’s no wonder people are willing to queue 1-hour and upwards for this—though we hear Chef Mak is planning for a takeaway counter for his Singapore flagship in the decent future.

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Big 4 Heavenly Kings Dim Sum - Pan Fried Carrot Cake

Other ‘Big 4 Heavenly Kings’ include the brilliantly soft Pan fried carrot cake (3pcs for $4.50) with just the right touch of charring that seems to fall apart on the tongue, and the pillowy light, fluffy Steamed egg cake ($3.80)—not to be confused with a ‘Huat Kueh’—that pairs excellently with tea.

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Big 4 Heavenly Kings Dim Sum - Steamed Egg Cake

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Big 4 Heavenly Kings Dim Sum - Vermicelli Roll with Pig Liver

Chef Mak’s Vermicelli rolls (chee cheong fun, $5-$5.50) are also superb, so much so he offers up 5 variations in his menu. Traditionalist will love the quintessential barbecue pork version, though the one to try is the Vermicelli roll with pig liver that lends a much unique twist to this childhood memory, and Vermicelli roll with beef with that classic Hong Kong orange peel tang.

My personal favourite though remains the Vermicelli roll with shrimps—the delicate white sheets contrasting nicely against the texture of firm, fresh shrimps, enhanced by the superior soy sauce.

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Vermicelli Rolls

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Steamed Dim Sum Selection

As the famed dim sum specialists, it comes as no surprise that their selection is splendid—with the exception of the very forgettable Steamed beef ball with beancurd skin (3pcs for $4.20). Must-tries include the crisp Deep fried spring roll with crabmeat (3pcs for $4.20), tender Steamed pork rib with black bean sauce ($4.20) and Steamed Teochew style dumpling (3pcs for $4) with mushrooms, chives, peanuts and dried radish bits to play up the texture.

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Steamed Rice with Chicken, Sausage & Mushroom

While not the most appealing, the unassuming Steamed rice with chicken feet & pork ribs ($6) turned out to be a winning dish. The rice is moist and made flavourful from absorbing all the juices, and had us thinking of seconds even though we were stuffed. If you don’t enjoy chicken feet, opt for the Steamed rice with chicken, sausage & mushrooms ($6) that comes a close second.

Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura The Atrium@Orchard - Interior

In order to cope with the impending queues that are sure to come with their grand opening, Tim Ho Wan will be employing an SMS alert system to notify patrons when their table is available. Look out also for their upcoming outlet located near the Toa Payoh HDB Hub in the decent future.

Note: This was an invited tasting.



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