Monday, June 2, 2014

Tim Ho Wan [添好運] - Now in Manila, Philippines!

After a long wait, Tim Ho Wan is finally open in Manila! Tim Ho Wan is known for being the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the whole world and the first Michelin Star restaurant in the Philippines.  To give you a bit of an info, the Michelin Guide is a reference published by Michelin, a French Company, to guide people on the best hotels and restaurants around the globe. The screening process is so strict that it only awards the 'Michelin Stars' to a few select establishments. According to research, the addition and the loss of a 'star' has a huge effect on the success of the restaurant.

As expected, anything new would gather up a huge line but thank God for an organized opening team, it went on smoothly. We wanted to try it a few days after opening day and I decided to invite my family to have dinner there. Thanks to a bit of miscommunication, they ended up eating there twice that day. Average line-up time was 45 minutes. Not bad! In Hong Kong, my uncle said that they sometimes have to line-up for an hour.

Prior to my Tim Ho Wan experience here in Manila, I've tried their famous baked bun with BBQ pork several times in Hong Kong on different occasions. It was really good and I considered it a treat whenever my uncle would go there and get that as 'pasalubong' for us. Once, we visited a relative who gave birth in Hong Kong and one of the visitors brought a tray full of those. It was one taste that someone cannot easily forget.

That made me excited to try out the local version made by the Hong Kong Chefs, which was still present when we visited last Sunday. In all honesty, it was good. It was as near as it could be except for the fillings. The BBQ pork was somewhat different tasting for some reason but it was nevertheless still a treat for us. Since the restaurant is just new and this baked bun is so hyped (it deserves it), you are only limited to one order per person. So to make the most out of our lining up, we decided to order one each and just bring home the extras. We then gave it to our uncle who always brings us the Hong Kong version of it whenever he buys them there.

Other than the buns, they have other food items in the menu. Not as many as I expected though but it was okay. Here's their entire menu.

We ordered several other dishes like:
Pan Fried Carrot Cake | P145.00
Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf (MaChang) | P190.00
Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp | P190.00
Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp | P120.00
I weren't able to take photos of the others like the:
[Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling | P140.00]
[Chicken Sausage and Mushroom | P170.00]
[Rice w/ Beef and Egg | P180.00]
[Congee with Lean Pork, Century Egg and Salted Egg | P140.00]
[Spring Roll with Egg White | P120.00]

So out of the 25 dishes in the menu, we ordered 10 different kinds. Had we ordered 3 more items, we would've ordered half of what's in the menu! For the drinks, we just ordered one pot of Jasmine tea (P60.00).

If you were to ask me my top 3 recommended dishes, my favorites were the vermicelli roll with shrimp, glutinous rice with lotus leaf and the baked buns. Others was also good but I don't feel any wow factor, or something that I would crave for like the first 3 I mentioned.

The overall dinner experience was superb. Good service, attentive waiters, quality food and clean everything (restaurant is new). Warning though to those who have back aches, the green chair with tiny back support is not for you. Good thing that we were seated outside and most of the chairs outside were the normal high-back chairs. Also, it's less chaotic and more spacious outside but it wouldn't be the complete Hong Kong Tim Ho Wan experience without the chaos and tight spaces.

More info:
Tim Ho Wan Website
Tim Ho Wan Facebook

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