Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan
68 Orchard Road
#01-29A Plaza Singapura

450 Toa Payoh Lorong 6
#02-02 Hersing Centre

3 Gateway Drive
#01-13 Westgate

311 New Upper Changi Road
#B1-51 Bedok Mall


Heavenly King Of Dim Sum

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $27 per person.


Tim Ho Wan is a Hong Kong based, hole-in-the-wall eatery that specialises in Chinese / Cantonese Dim Sum, defying all odds to gain a Michelin Star and winning international acclaim. Known for being the cheapest / most affordable Michelin Star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan is headed up by chef Mak Kwai Pui, and since opening in Singapore, has drawn long queues which often last more than 1 hour.

Ambience at Tim Ho Wan is simple and non-descript, with colours of white and wood broken by green. Furniture is functional, easy to shift around should there be a need for smaller / larger groups, and the interior is brightly lit in spots, interspersed by shadows. Clean, minimalist approach to decor, with highlights including recognition or awards that Tim Ho Wan has achieved.

Service at Tim Ho Wan is fast. Fast, efficient, and not in the least polite... brusque staff bustle about the outlet like bees, constantly doing something. Don't expect any conversation or finesse at Tim Ho Wan, this isn't a typical Chinese fine dining, in stark contrast to other Michelin Star restaurants.

Food at Tim Ho Wan revolves around light bites and Chinese / Cantonese Dim Sum. In particular, the 4 specialities of Tim Ho Wan, known as the 4 Heavenly Kings on their menu, are a standout. Portions are designed for communal dining, and prices are relatively affordable, averaging less than SGD $6 per dish.


The distinctive facade is often fronted by long queues, which can last up to an hour or more. But non-peak periods may see you get a seat immediately!

Tim Ho Wan Signage

Tim Ho Wan Menu

Chinese Tea

I felt the Congee With Lean Pork, Century Egg & Salted Egg (SGD $4.20) was very fragrant, and the congee was smooth, thick and satisfiying. But the lack of ingredients lowered my overall satisfaction with this.

Congee With Lean Pork, Century Egg & Salted Egg 01

Congee With Lean Pork, Century Egg & Salted Egg 02

The signature item here, the Baked Bun With BBQ Pork (SGD $4.50) or Char Siew Bao, is served with a trio of buns. Differing from the traditional version, the exterior here is done Polo Bun style, crisp and sweet, shattering when bit. The interior has a meaty gravy of roast pork, marinated and barbecued, then shredded. Highly recommended!

Baked Bun With BBQ Pork 01

Baked Bun With BBQ Pork 02

Baked Bun With BBQ Pork 03

Baked Bun With BBQ Pork 04

The Pan Fried Carrot Cake (SGD $4.50) has the perfect texture, soft enough to fall apart in the mouth, yet firm enough to hold in the radish shreds. The exterior has a nice char, slightly crisp, till you cut into the softness of the Pan Fried Carrot Cake that just gives way. Excellent, even better with chili!

Pan Fried Carrot Cake 01

Pan Fried Carrot Cake 02

The signature Steamed Egg Cake / Ma Lai Guo (SGD $3.80), literally translated as 'Malay Cake', is a Hong Kong invention inspired by Malay kueh, although no such exact dish exists in Malay cuisine. The Steamed Egg Cake is brown, incredibly light and soft, fluffy when cut. The taste is unique, sweet, fluffy, with a deep, earthy sweetness and fragrance like palm sugar / gula melaka, even though this isn't used in the preparation.

Steamed Egg Cake 01

Steamed Egg Cake 02

The Prawn Dumpling / Har Gow (SGD $5.50) is supposed to represent a Dim Sum restaurants level of quality. But the Prawn Dumpling here isn't a signature item, and really, is only slightly above average. The prawn is fresh, meaty with some juice, and the skin is the right thickness, but overall, this was rather unremarkable.

Prawn Dumpling 01

Prawn Dumpling 02

Prawn Dumpling 03

I loved the Pork Dumpling With Shrimp / Siew Mai (SGD $5), with its fresh, meaty taste and slightly moist interior. The flavour just coats the mouth when bit! Goes great with chili!

Pork Dumpling With Shrimp 01

Pork Dumpling With Shrimp 02

Pork Dumpling With Shrimp 03

The Pork Rib With Black Bean Sauce (SGD $4.20) is rather average. There is more fat than meat on the bones, but the taste is pretty good, meaty and savoury.

Pork Rib With Black Bean Sauce 01

Pork Rib With Black Bean Sauce 02

The Beef Ball With Beancurd Skin (SGD $4.20) has excellent meaty flavour, yet is still soft and tender inside the tightly packed beef ball. But the accompanying beancurd skin is almost like an afterthought, limp and not so tasty.

Beef Ball With Beancurd Skin 01

Beef Ball With Beancurd Skin 02

The Spring Roll With Egg White (SGD $4.20) is a unique dish. Delicate, subtle flavours of the egg white and spring onions, together with a crisp skin that shatters when bit. Very good!

Spring Roll With Egg White 01

Spring Roll With Egg White 02

I like that the Steamed Spinach Dumpling With Shrimp (SGD $3.80) has fresh vegetables / water spinach leaves / Kang Kong, making it taste great! The texture is also perfectly done, the vegetables are neither too limp or too firm, and the shrimp within is very fresh.

Steamed Spinach Dumpling With Shrimp 01

Steamed Spinach Dumpling With Shrimp 02

The Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling (SGD $5) has fresh prawns, a crisp skin, and a wasabi mayonnaise that isn't too spicy. Overall, a rather decent dish, but not outstanding.

Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling 01

Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling 02

The Vermicelli Roll With Pig's Liver (SGD $5.50) is a difficult dish to get right, but they executed it well here. The liver is soft and tender, not too limp or firm, cooked through, but the rice vermicelli roll is still fresh and springy. The light soy sauce cuts through the mineral / iron taste of the liver, pairing well with the fragrant rice vermicelli roll. I'm not a fan of pork liver, but even I thought this was good!

Vermicelli Roll With Pig's Liver 01

Vermicelli Roll With Pig's Liver 02

Vermicelli Roll With Pig's Liver 03

The Vermicelli Roll With Shrimp (SGD $5.50) has a liberal amount of fresh shrimp, spaced evenly throughout the vermicelli roll. But I thought the skin was too thick, which made the overall dish filling.

Vermicelli Roll With Shrimp 01

Vermicelli Roll With Shrimp 02

Vermicelli Roll With Shrimp 03

A simple and basic dessert, the Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake (SGD $3.50) is outstanding in taste. Light and refreshing, with a floral aroma that permeates the jelly cake, with sweetness from both the osmanthus flowers and wolf berries / goji berries, this makes for a great palate cleanser after a meal.

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake 01

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake 02

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake 03

The Braised Chicken Feet (SGD $5.50) has a tasty, savoury sauce, and the chicken feet are gelatinous with some meat.

Braised Chicken Feet

The Beancurd Skin Roll With Pork & Shrimp (SGD $4) was probably the weakest dish I had here. I didn't like that the beancurd skin was too limp and stringy, and while the pork and shrimp were fresh, the sauce was slimy and not so good. Skip this.

Beancurd Skin Roll With Pork & Shrimp

The Crispy Fried Fish Skin (SGD $6) is among the recommended signature dishes here, and I don't regret ordering it! Among the best fried fish skin I've ever had, the skin is fresh and crisp, with a hint of salt and garlic, making it incredibly satisfiying to eat.

Crispy Fried Fish Skin 01

Crispy Fried Fish Skin 02

I felt the Rice With Beef & Fried Egg (SGD $6) was decent, with tender, moist beef, although the aroma was slightly too gamey / strong for me. The best part is the runny egg yolk, cut into it and let it flow all over, flavouring the rice and meat!

Rice With Beef & Fried Egg 01

Rice With Beef & Fried Egg 02

Rice With Beef & Fried Egg 03