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Who’s afraid of Tim Ho Wan?
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I don’t like queues at restaurants (unless it’s ours, hehe). But yesterday I found myself lining up for the second time at the newly opened Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall.
Prior to its opening in Manila, I had never even heard of it—maybe because eating is not my priority in Hong Kong.
But my friend Grace says she often takes home the baked pork buns from Hong Kong to Manila.
Grace says there’s a Tim Ho Wan at the Hong Kong Station that she goes to before boarding the airport express.

Outside Tim Ho Wan - Visit #2

That looks pretty tame compared with the mob in Kowloon

The mob of hungry dim sum-ers in front of Tim Ho Wan

So last Tuesday, after passing by briefly at Hayden Kho’s event at the Marco Polo Ortigas, Grace, Patrice and I decided to take a chance and go to Tim Ho wan at Megamall. As expected, the line was super long on its opening day.
Luckily, franchise owner Eric Dee Sr. and blogger Anton Diaz spotted me and offered us a table to join a group of young bloggers touring the mall’s new restaurants.
The menu is simple enough, with good prices.

Tim Ho Wan menu

My favourites are the shrimp and pork dumplings—easily some of the best dim sum in Manila right now.
I could really taste the authenticity—what with a team of ten Chinese currently in Manila for the opening.
Mr. Dee says four of them will be leaving soon, but six will be staying.

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall
Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

Other dishes on our table were the machang (glutinous rice with meat, steamed within green leaves—sorry forgot to photograph it opened)

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

and this pretty-looking spinach dumpling with shrimp

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

But the restaurant’s star dish is the Baked Bun with Barbecued Pork that comes in a plate of three

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

Honestly, I loved the bun, not so much the saucy filling.
The question everyone wants to ask is, is it the same as Hong Kong? I can’t tell you because it’s my first time to try.
But I was back the following day at 5 PM. The line was pretty organised and my friend Rem and I waited for about 15 minutes. Not bad.

Tim Ho Wan is at the ground level of SM Fashion Hall. The best time to go is off-peak hours (in between lunch and dinner) and the best place to get dropped off is SM Department Store on the B-side.

About Tim Ho Wan
Chef Mak Kwai Pui started serving dim sum at a humble 15-seater restaurant along Kwong Wa Street in Mong Kok.
The lines outside Tim Ho Wan stretched for blocks with hungry diners waiting hours for the baked pork buns.
Word got around and in 2010, Chef Mak Kwai Pui earned his first Michelin star.
Tim Ho Wan is now known as the most affordable Michelin restaurant with branches in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Manila.

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