By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan finds a new home in the City of Angels
IT’S ONLY been in Bangkok for just over a week and already the famed dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan is causing human traffic jams outside its Sukhumvit home.
Located on the third floor of Terminal 21 shopping mall, this is the Michelin-starred restaurant’s newest branch and follows from on similar successes in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and Vietnam.
Established in 2009 by Mak Kwai-pui, who worked at the three-Michelin starred restaurant Lung King Heen of the Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong, for several years, Tim Ho Wan aimed to offer the same standard fare as that found in a leading hotel but at prices everyone could afford.
In that Mak succeeded even better than he had hoped and within weeks local and foreign diners were queuing for as long as three hours outside the modest 20-seat eatery in Mongkok. A year later, the restaurant was awarded one Michelin star.
The Thailand branch of what has been dubbed “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant’ is run by local firm Dim Sum Wonderland. They’ve invested about Bt50 million in the Terminal 21 outlet and will be opening branches at Gateway Ekamai and The Street community mall on Ratchadaphisek at the end of this year.
“My father discovered Tim Ho Wan on a trip to Hong Kong and fell in love with the food,” says Atipol Terahsongkran, managing director of Dim Sum Wonderland. “He owns the Foodland Supermarket chain and set up Dim Sum Wonderland specifically to operate this new business.”
Simply decorated and with seating for 100 diners, Tim Ho Wan’s kitchen is run by 30 dim sum chefs who work at four cooking stations dedicated to pan-fried, steamed and barbecued dishes and dessert.
The meat is sourced on the local market and the soy sauce, dried food, chilli sauce and herbs along with 10 kinds of specially mixed flour are flown in from Hong Kong. The menu boasts 26 Cantonese dim sum, Hong Kong-style dishes and sweets ranging in price from Bt70 to Bt150.
“We make all dishes plate by plate. We don’t bake or steam dim sum unless a customer places an order. We bring in the Chinese sausage and fish maw from Hong Kong too because they have a unique texture and flavour.” Atipol says.
We sample four kinds of dim sum and Chinese cake, known collectively as the Big Four Heavenly Kings. They include Baked Bun BBQ Pork (Bt150), Pan-Fried Radish Cake (Bt100), melt-in-your-mouth Vermicelli Roll stuffed with tender pig’s liver for Bt120 and Steamed Egg Cake (Bt80).
Other highlights are the Steamed Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp (Bt100), Steamed Fish Maw with Prawn Paste (Bt150), Pork Rib in Black Bean Sauce (Bt100), Prawn Dumpling (Bt130) and Beancurd Skin with Pork and Shrimp (Bt120).
Those with an appetite should feast on the aromatic rice blended with tender roasted chicken, Chinese sausage and mushroom in special sauce for Bt130 or sticky rice mixed with lotus leaf in special sauce for Bt150.
The dessert menu features refreshing Mango Sago mixed with pomelo, Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus jelly.
DIM SUN DINING
>>Tim Ho Wan is on the third floor of Terminal 21 and is open daily from 10am to 10pm. Call (02) 006 5288.