Tim Ho Wan – Waikiki, HI

I like to think that when I try new restaurants, I can let you folks know if it’s good or not to save you time. Well, let me save you some time. I don’t think Tim Ho Wan is worth it. There’s a bit of hullabaloo because they are a Michelin-star restaurant. Does that apply to all their chain restaurants too? Not too sure…when I visited Hong Kong in December 2017, I got to try them for the first time: click here for that post. They pride themselves on being the most affordable michelin-star dining experience, I don’t think that translates too well in Hawaii. I’m sure the rent they pay here is high, I personally don’t think the dim sum is that great. You can get better in Chinatown. And guess what? Hot tea, it costs $1.50 PER HEAD. When is the last time you heard a Chinese restaurant charging for hot tea? I was a bit perturbed by that. Well, let’s get to the pictures!

A nice pictorial of some menu items (actually this is almost all the menu items)

Full Menu – You mark off what items you want (click on the picture for full size photo)

Steamed Rice with Pork Spare Rib and Chicken Feet • $5.25

Would the description be better described as Steamed Rice with Pork Spare Ribs and Chicken FOOT? Haha, yes, just one foot. I do actually eat chicken feet dim sum…but restaurants usually cut the nails off. That’s a bit off-putting. This dish was just okay, I was hoping for a deeper black bean flavor on the spare ribs – just a real basic bowl.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow) • $5.25

Again, another basic dish. I thought it was good, but not $5.25 good. They have a nice skin (pi) for their dumplings though.

Steamed Pork Dumplings with Shrimp (Siu Mai) • $5.25

Okay, I didn’t realize it when I was dining there but it’s looking like each dish is at least $5 each. This was just alright, once again, I prefer the siu mai in our Chinatown restaurants. I feel like the good restaurants in Chinatown have perfected the recipe with juicy morsels of the pork, shrimp, mushrooms that are chunked so I can savor each ingredients with each bite. This one just mixes everything a little too well…with each bite becoming a bit non-descript in textures.

Steamed Shrimp and Chives Dumplings • $5.00

This was one of the better dishes, I really enjoy the skin they make for their dim sum. Look at how translucent that skin is! Perfectly soft, almost melt in your mouth kine skin, I would recommend this dish.

Steamed Rice Roll stuffed with Mince Beef • $5.50

Another dish that was average but not bad. Once again, they make some really soft noodles and so it was enjoyable but not memorable.

Baked BBQ Pork Buns • $5.75

I confess, I’m not a big bao person. Not a fan of char siu bao and if I am, it’s definitely baked over steamed. These buns are supposed to be one of their specialties and I can see why. None of my dining companions wanted to eat it (man, baos get a bad rap huh?). I just had to try the buns so I had to order it…and had to eat it all. Well, it was pretty good! The buns are so light and crispy and flaky, which was messy to eat but so nice to eat fresh. The filling is very saucy and a bit sweet, I think I enjoyed the flakiness of the bun coupled with the saucy char siu. I definitely recommend at least trying this if you’re at Tim Ho Wan!

3 comments

  1. Arlene says:

    Funny how the menu is kind of limited. It makes you wonder how other restaurants manage to have such expansive dim sum menus at better prices. The recently closed Beijing was much, much better! Did you ever have a chance to try them? Crossing my fingers that Beijing will be back!

  2. Honolulu Aunty says:

    Thank you for the review! I don’t think I would have gone anyway since some of the Chinatown restaurants are already so good, but with this review, I definitely don’t need to go.

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