Dimsum is one of those things which you would probably not wanna miss when you are in Hong Kong. It is one of those things which Cantonese cuisine is symbolically known for, amongst other dishes of course. In the past, dim sum was largely enjoyed as breakfast, i.e. a few bamboo baskets of steamy hot savory and sweet treats, alongside a pot of Chinese tea, not forgetting the daily papers and weekly gossips. This is still a common sight in many traditional Chinese restaurants for the regular Hong Konger. However, dimsum culture has extended its hours way beyond sunrise, right into the day. In fact, while many of the more traditional Chinese restaurants known for serving dimsum open really early in the morning, many of the newbies who sprung up over the last couple of years and rose to stardom as “dimsum specialists” start their daily operations only just before lunch-time!
For our recent trip, we stayed at a hotel which offered breakfast, serving croissants, scones and my favorite fruit conserves, which we have no reason to refuse. So our dimsum breakfast plans in our itinerary were conveniently shelved. But fate has it that we should be in the Mongkok area when it suddenly poured. Determined not to be deterred by the wet weather, we opted for a contingency plan, one which involves eating but of course! I remembered that there is a Tao Heung outlet near where we were and a quick navigation over GPS confirmed that we were in fact just steps away. So dimsum breakfast we were meant to have, nicely worked out to be dimsum lunch instead!
While walking through Sham Shui Po during our recent trip to HK, we’d decided to stop for a quick bite at 合益泰小食 which we’d read about. This is a small eatery located very near to Ap Liu Street Market and is well known for the local street food it provides. Food is kept very simple and unpretentious here and it is precisely this that attracts hoards to this place, especially the lunch and dinner peak crowds. Lucky for us, it was just after the lunchtime rush hour, so no queues. But as with most local Hong Kong eating places, sharing tables is something which one should almost expect. When in Rome do what the Romans do…
Think cheapest Michelin-star food joints and 添好運 Tin Ho Wan immediately comes to mind. Just google for “michelin dimsum” and pages upon pages of reviews pour forth, some raves and others rants. It had been under much limelight as THE dimsum deli with a michelin star. Yet little known to most, it is not the ONLY dimsum deli which rose to join the stellar cast of other michelin establishments and most certainly not the only one in Hong Kong. Just two years after Tin Ho Wan shot to fame with its conferrment by the reowned food guide, yet another little restaurant, One Dimsum 一點心 specialising also in these little morsels of savory and sweet shot to stardom (pun intended!). Despite having earned its one Michelin star two years back, it seems almost puzzling that there is so much less hype over One Dimsum 一點心 compared to Tin Ho Wan. Why so? Let’s try to find out…
添好運點心專門点 Tin Ho Wan Dim Sum Specialty Shop, is opening their first overseas branch in Singapore at Plaza Singapura this week! Only did I realised that I had not blogged about our visit to their “flagship” shop in Mongkok 3 years back! Grr…. oh well… here it is better late than never!
Tin Ho Wan was the hot topic of foodie forums and blogs a couple of years back when it was awarded a Michelin star. Overnight, they were suddenly on the “must-try” list of dim sum aficionados and visitors to Hong Kong. Since then, this little dim sum deli which had its humble beginnings under the void deck of a residential building in Mongkok which could barely house two dozens of diners in one seating, rose to stardom and of course, was much under the limelight from both online and printed media as the “cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world”. Well, judging by how affordable dim sum generally is in Hong Kong, this is probably true. But is it doing enough to warrant its Michelin star, to be more than just being the cheapest?