The opening of Tim Ho Wan has got to be the most anticipated restaurant opening in Manila for 2014. Say what you will about all the ramen and tonkatsu places springing up, none of them have the gravitas conferred by a Michelin Star. OK, granted the stars are not transferrable so it applies to one branch of the restaurant in Hong Kong, but still, you have to admit there is some reflected glory shining on the other branches of Tim Ho Wan.
We arrived a bit past 7:30 and there was an intimidating line outside the restaurant. Although long, it moves pretty quickly and we were inside in less than 30 minutes.
The restaurant is a rather smallish, tightly packed space although there are some tables just outside the restaurant. These are a little more comfortable but you’ll have dozens of eyes staring at you in envy from the line as you consume your prized pork buns. The menu is a slightly reduced version of the one in Hong Kong but it does have all the hits which are dubbed “The Big 4 Heavenly Kings (Baked Bun with Barbecue Pork, Pan Fried Carrot Cake, Steamed Egg Cake and Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver).
Everything we ordered was excellent. In fact, the rice in the rice topping of Chicken, Mushroom and Sausage was much better than the one I had in Hong Kong, which was rather dry and lacking in flavor.
One other notable dish was the Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling which isn’t for everyone, but I quite enjoyed the zing that the wasabi brought to this.
Here are the other dishes we tried:
Of course, we had to have the famous pork buns. Two orders for the three of us.
We also tried the Steamed Egg Cake which sort of reminded me of a Puto Biñan with a hint of salted duck egg mixed into the batter. Not really my thing but it was one of the Big $ Heavenly Kings so of course we had to try it.
We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Tim Ho Wan. Yes, the line can be daunting but the quick turnover makes it bearable. Although crowded, at least you don’t have to share tables with strangers. The service is fast and efficient and the prices are very good. Highly recommended.
Tim Ho Wan is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City