No. 36, ZhongXiao W Rd, Sec. 1
MRT: Taipei Main Station
website: Tim Ho Wan Taiwan's FB page
hours: 10AM - 10PM
Kid friendliness: high chairs available and lots to choose from for dim sum loving kids
Visit reviewed: 11/10/2014 & 1/30/2015 & 6/29/2015 & 12/4/2016
WILL PEOPLE LINE UP FOR YOUR RESTAURANT? That seems to be the gauge for new places opening up in Taipei. People infamously lined up for hours for Mister Donut, Krispy Kreme, Honey Pig, Honey Creme, Hai Di Lao, Taipei In and Out pop up, and a few years ago, it was Tim Ho Wan. I just revisited Tim Ho Wan today and realized that I had this blog draft sitting in my folder for the past few years! So here it finally is...
Tim Ho Wan is famous for being one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants you can dine at with dishes averaging about NT$100+ for its dim sum. I've never been to the original location in Hong Kong, but luckily I was with a group of friends who knew how to order-- everything on the menu! To my surprise, everything lived up to its reputation and was delicious-- my favorite was the baked bun with bbq pork which had an thin, sweet crust instead of the bready white bun we have grown up with.
I would stick to the dim sum over the rice bowls or congee that they have, which I think are better at places like Lao Yo Ji. Also note there isn't much for strict vegetarians here, most of their dishes that might seem to be vegetarian might have pork fat or oil in it, so there's only one or two things that you'd be able to try here if you are vegetarian. For an entire array of vegetarian dim sum, you can head over to Yang Shin.
If you only have a group of two or four people, then the MUST ORDERS at Tim Ho Wan are the baked bbq bun, the shrimp or pork liver chang fun, the pork dumpling with shrimp (aka siu mai) and one of the more unique fried items like the spring roll with egg white, and save room for the mango pomelo sago and steamed egg cake. Those were my favorites.
Baked bun with bbq pork (NT$118 for 3) The first time I had this, I loved it. But on my most recent visit, I noticed that it can be a little overly sweet since the filling is sweet and the bun itself is sweet. But inside the bun is mostly air and so it's easy to finish one. But I don't think I could eat more than one in one sitting.
The chang fun here is dubbed the vermicelli roll, and comes with shrimp, bbq pork, beef, plain or pork liver.
Vermicelli Roll with Pork Liver (NT$128)
Spring Roll with Egg White (NT$98)
Pan fried carrot cake (NT$98 for 3) aka Radish cake is soft and not that crispy, but it's good and you can taste the chunks of radish inside.
Steamed Pork Rib with Black Bean Sauce (NT$108)
Steamed Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin (NT$98)
Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp (NT$98)
Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce (Not for me, but so you can see the portion and size and how it was more saucy on one visit than the other :)
Spinach dumpling with shrimp - one of the few with veggies in it.
Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Roll with Shrimp
Wasabi Salted Prawn Dumpling (NT$128)
Congee with Lean Pork, Century Egg and Salted Egg (NT$108) I still like the the congee at Lao Yo Ji the best.
Rice with Beef and Fried Egg (NT$138)
Chicken, sausage and mushroom rice (NT$138)
Glutinous rice with lotus leaf (NT$128) I would get this over the rice bowls- it's massive enough to share and the glistening sticky rice is stuffed with meat, mushrooms and surprises.
Mango Pomelo Sago (NT$118) Yum! I'll always remember the first time I had this kind of dessert in Hong Kong, and this dessert soup is refreshing at the end of the meal.
Steamed Egg Cake (NT$98) To my surprise, I liked this a lot! Fluffy and spongy, this was like a moist brown sugar cake.
Now that there are several locations and take out counters, the lines aren't as insane on a daily basis, but on weekends make a reservation in advance to avoid the wait. Also good news is that they haven't raised their prices yet since opening.
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