December 25, 2017
After a decently long walk north in Kowloon, I found a Tim Ho Wan location. It's a famous dim sum chain. When I finally got there by about 1:30 PM, there were maybe 20 people outside waiting to get a table. I asked for a place for one and was seated immediately, albeit much to the chagrin of that group of three sitting at the four top!
Perhaps dim sum's most popular selection, ha jiao, the steamed shrimp dumpling, was truly memorable here. It was loaded with tender, juicy morsels of shrimp; there was also a good amount of briny liquid within each dumpling. I think almost all other ha jiao I've eaten have been dry, sparse and bland by comparison. This was easily worth three Licks, yo.
Tim Ho Wan
The fried turnip cakes I was served were much lighter than to what I'm normally accustomed. These were very moist and soft, almost creamy, the bits of ham inside providing extra flavor and texture. The versions I've had in my neck of the woods are usually dry, grainy and bland. The dish came served with a slightly spicy red sauce that you didn't really need. Like many other Asian dishes that have this consistency, it's a dish that's probably not for everyone.
Pan-fried turnip cake:
Next up was steamed shumai filled with shrimp and pork. While enjoyable, these tasted exactly like what I'm used to in the US. They were plump and juicy, but you could easily pass on these in favor of something more uncommon.
Steamed pork & shrimp dumplings:
Baked pork buns:
I was lucky that the kitchen saved the best for last. The trio of baked pork buns looked almost as delectable as they tasted. This dish is usually prepared in the US with a much larger bun that's so thick and dry that I almost always avoid it; you have to eat through a lot of flavorless bun to get to what I usually find is pork in a sauce that's too sweet. This certainly wasn't the case with this seemingly-legendary interpretation. Each was so delicate that it felt like you had to be careful just picking it up, and the dough was so soft that you could leave your dentures at home. The barbecued pork was sweet, savory and tangy. Even their size was perfect; finishing just one of the larger version is almost enough to get me full. This dish definitely gets four human tongues. Bravo, Tim Ho Wan! Did I finish all five of these dishes alone? Umm...did I mention it was my only meal of the day?
Fried spring rolls w/egg whites & shrimp:
Contestant #4 was the fried spring rolls stuffed with shrimp and egg whites. They were piping hot, crispy yet not oily, and they delivered all the flavor you'd expect. But, like the shrimp and pork shumai, you can probably skip them for something else more unique on the menu.