Michelin-Starred Eats on the Cheap at Tim Ho Wan

Monday, January 16, 2017
Dinner at Michelin-starred restaurants around NYC often come with a hefty price tag, but that's not the case with Tim Ho Wan. With every dish is below $6, this isn't your usual five-star dining experience. Despite opening in January, diners are still eager to wait for up to three and a half hours to feast on the coveted pork buns and delicious dumplings. (If you're dying to try the famous eatery but don't want to put up with a line around the block, try getting there after the peak lunch rush on the weekdays.) Inside, the interior is modern and simplistic. A few wall embellishments and plain wooden chairs and tables keep the focus on the main attraction—the food. Only soft pop music can be heard over the speakers, offering a much different ambience from traditional dim sum spots.
Tim Ho Wan New York Photo by Carolina Ramirez
The restaurant follows the established dim sum practice of having customers fill out their food choices on a menu card. The first item to check off—the congee with pork and preserved egg. The creamy soup is packed with flavor and made with rice, which is surprisingly light for its thick consistency. Pair it with a couple of steamed minced beef spice rolls, a sticky rice lotus leaf, or the braised chicken feet with abalone sauce.
Tim Ho Wan New York Photo by Peter Garritano
Believe the hype; the staple pork buns are a crowd-pleaser. True to the savory dish found in Hong Kong, the buns are perfectly baked and crispy with a hint of sweetness and ooze a barbecued pork filling. Each order comes with three pieces, although it's quite tempting to order more servings.
screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-5-37-15-pm Photo by Peter Garritano
If there's anything Tim Ho Wan is lacking, it's definitely not dumplings. The dim sum favorite comes in a variety of options, including steamed pork with shrimp (siu mai), chiu chow–style, and chives. The deep-fried dumplings with pork and shrimp are light and fluffy and have the perfect amount of crunch.
screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-10-08-18-am Photo by Peter Garritano
If you managed to save room for dessert, the sweet osmanthus jelly with goji berries and the red bean soup deserve a spot in your stomach. The French toast with custard Tim Ho Wan–style is an original twist on the well-known breakfast dish; I wouldn't particularly mind if I started most mornings this way.
screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-5-49-06-pm Photo by Peter Garritano
Details: Tim Ho Wan 85 Fourth Avenue (at East 10th Street), East Village 10 a.m.—10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 10 a.m.—11 p.m. Friday and Saturday