The arrival of Tim Ho Wan in Malaysia was much anticipated, and for good reason. Their Michelin Star status in a number of countries is decidedly excitement-worthy. Right off the bat, however, I'm going to have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the experience.
It's not so much the limited menu, as it is the less than stellar quality of the food in comparison with other more established restaurants in the Klang Valley.
I had no issues with the service when I visited. It was timely and far less hostile than a lot of the established joints. While you'll find favourites like char siew bao, hargow and siew mai on the menu, this isn't a dim sum place for exploration.
As far as drinks go, the barley was good. Nothing spectacular, but definitely worth the order if you're not opting for tea.
[Homemade Barley (RM 3.20)]
I'm not a fan of century egg or salted egg, so I gave the porridge a miss. The portion was reasonable and if you're ordering everything else on the menu (which happens sometimes!), it's a sharing portion. However, if you're ordering sparingly, this will do for one person.
[Congee with Lean Pork, Century Egg & Salted Egg (RM 10.50)]
However, I was assured it was really good, and I shall take her word for it. It certainly smelled appetising, and the addition of pork always improves things thoroughly.
Next up, we have my favourite dim sum item: Hargow! To me, this is the acid test of whether I would return.
[Prawn Dumpling/Hargow (RM 12.50)]
While pricey, the hargow was delicious. It isn't the best I've ever had, but in a pinch it would definitely do to satisfy my cravings. The prawns were enveloped in a thin translucent skin, and were fresh and juicy. It certainly didn't leave me wanting and I would return and order 3 baskets of hargow for myself! Sharing is for losers!
You can't leave without having some siew mai. You know this!
[Pork Dumpling with Shrimp/Siew Mai (RM 11.50)]
Unfortunately, they were extremely disappointing. While the meat and shrimp were fresh enough, they lacked oomph, and the inclusion of dates on top was just disconcerting. I wasn't a fan of these at all.
Now, for their signature dim sum dish: Char siew bao.
[BBQ Pork Bun/Char Siew Bao (RM 11.50)]
No. Just no. It was WAY too sweet for my liking, and while they should get props for being innovative, I feel that this could have been far better. I don't understand why this is:
a) Their signature dish
b) So popular with everyone
They weren't bad or inedible by any stretch of the imagination, but they aren't something I would line up for. The hargow should replace this as their main focus!
Finally, we have dessert!
[Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake/Osmanthus Jelly (RM 7.20)]
The osmanthus jelly was tasty and not overly herbally. It wasn't amazing, but worth an order if you'd like something sweet to end off with (assuming you didn't order the char siew bao).
I've yet to feel compelled to return to Tim Ho Wan, and it doesn't look likely that I will in the foreseeable future, although Pinata is still emo that I went without him, so I may have to make a trip there on account of the emotional blackmail.
Tim Ho Wan is located at 1Utama & Mid Valley