Friday, 4 October 2013

Mia's Review: Tim Ho Wan @ TPY

And so, we also did the number 1 favourite pastime of Singaporeans: Crazily queuing up for food, by visiting Tim Ho Wan!

Even though the branch at TPY is rumoured to be less crowded, CL and PS were still very sweet to offer queuing up for the 6 of us as early as 930 in the morning, when the restaurant opens at 11am! And even so, they were the 4th in line! When I reached at about 1050, there was already a snaking queue ending right at the escalator, of which 1 round of the restaurant seating is insufficient to manage.
So my point is, be it PS or TPY, be ready to queue for an avg of 2 hrs. 

Upon getting the order list from the staff while in queue, the girls literally went on a crazed ordering spree, ordering 2 sets of erm, almost everything. Alright, I exaggerated. But still...

Tell me this is manageable by 6 frail damsels.

That aside, let's get down to business. Here's my take on Tim Ho Wan. :)

First up, got to be their famous chair siew bun. The most easily understood description of this bun for those who haven't had the chance to try it yet, will be a polo bun styled char siew bun.

If you can see, the top of the bun is covered by this layer of crispy flakes, just like a polo bun, albeit less buttery. The bun itself, apart from the crispy flakes on top, is soft and relatively thin with the insides filled with a generous amount of sweet tender char siew. Having char siew as one of the food listed under 'I will rather not eat' and definitely no fan of a char siew bun, I can still easily conjure up a GOOD for this bun. 
But, to queue 2 hours for it? Nay.....

Next up, is the must eat 3-combo at every dimsum place I visit. The fried carrot cake, the har gao, and the siew mai. (Not a fan of pork, yes. But somehow siew mai must tag along with har gao. There's no other way to it.)
My verdict on this three: Common. 
The fried carrot cake is actually nearly crossed the line of disappointment, in fact. It's soft, yes. Very soft in fact. But it's also pretty bland, not flavourful enough, and not crispy at all on the outside. I might even have disliked it if I didn't find the container of chilli sauce right beside me at the table. 
The har gao and siew mai are pretty much just any har gao and siew mai we can find at other restaurants that need not queue 2 hours to get seated (For example, The Cathay, Crystal Jade or DTF). I'm sure this tells you everything you need to know.

 Next up, cheong fan. We ordered a total of 4 variations of cheong fan: Char Siew, Prawn, Liver, and the remaining one that I coudn't really remember but it's a plain one with some sesame oil. (Liver and plain ones not in picture)
These cheong fan, once again, were good but not fantastic. Just, commonly good. The rice flour skin were very soft yet not mushy and the filling were tasty.
But, can you get cheong fan of the same standards elsewhere without the need to queue for 2 hours? Yes, you can. 

 Next up, is this rather unappealing glutinous dumpling, which I have no idea what it's called. Asked the girls, but those who made the order couldn't remember. Nevertheless, it's just a glutinous rice ball with some meat filling inside. However unattractive, this is quite good. the Glutinous rice skin was fried till crispy and yet still sticky and very chewy. The meat filling inside is moist, tender and a blend of sweet and savoury. I didn't really enjoy the filling that much, but I really liked the dumpling skin. :)

These prawn dumplings were fried till amazingly crispy with real prawns wrapped within. However, the additional toppings that made these fried prawn dumplings slightly more special were the wasabi mayo and ebikko. The wasabi mayo tasted pleasantly minty rather than the 'stinky' pungent odour I hated wasabi for. However, in my opinion, they didn't really bring out the taste of the prawn dumplings. I'll still prefer them with just a good quality chilli sauce.

 This Ma Lai Gao is extremely soft, fluffy and sweet! It simply melts inside your mouth and releases their distinctive brown-sugar caramel-ly sweetness. However, it was a tad too sweet for my liking, and the sweet flavour of it kind of clashes with the rest of the dim sum. Nevertheless, I can totally see myself enjoying this Ma Lai Gao with a cuppa good kopi siew dai. :)

Lastly, how can we miss out my favourite dessert, Osmanthus (Jelly) Cake? Every piece of the soft, 'crumbly' jelly is stuffed generously with the osmanthus bits and wolfberries, making it very sweet and yet not 'artificial'. To be honest, I enjoyed this the most and if I weren't so full by the time this was served, I could have easily gobbled down all 3 pieces in mere seconds. I can never get enough of osmanthus flavoured stuff! :)

So to sum up my verdict on Tim Ho Wan, I'll say it's good for an 'experience'. Even though I'd actually only queued for 10 minutes this time round, and regardless of how much I love their osmanthus jelly cake, I will never consider queuing another 2 hours to get them, ever again. 

So was Tim Ho Wan a yay or nay for you? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Till then,


  1. Heard of this place before, seems like it's a "must-visit" place in Sg, will mark this place down, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Is it carrot cake or turnip cake sold in Singapore? The ones I had in Hong Kong were turnip cakes and thus, they were really soft and a little bland. :)

    1. Not very sure though. I was told they were 萝卜糕, which should be carrot cake. I've tried carrot cakes in hk, though not at twh, they were crispy on the outside, incredibly soft on the inside, and very flavourful.


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