The day that we arrived at Melbourne also happened to be the day that Tim Ho Wan opened in Melbourne. Not wanting to take part in the first day hype, I waited until Day 3 to go and try it out.
With our rather filling breakfast, we opted for lunch rather late in the afternoon, but not surprisingly, still had to line up. Luckily our line up was only for a short period of half an hour
Luckily for us, the illustrated menu was situated outside, so we could consider our options whilst waiting in line.
Once we completed our lineup, we were promptly seated. Condiments and cutlery was already placed on the table.
We ordered via the double sided tick sheet, and the bill came right after. The staff would tick each item off the bill as it came.
We started the meal with two cups of Chinese tea, whilst we didn't get a choice on the brew, it was a warm soothing Pu Er tea.
The first thing we had was the beancurd roll with pork and prawn. I really enjoyed this in their Sydney store, and found it also very enjoyable in this store. The sauce was not as gluggy as other places, but rather rich in taste. The beancurd was fresh, and there was quite a lot of prawns in the filling, and the flavours complimented one another quite well.
The Siu Mai came out second. With its goji berry on top (as opposed to the usual little piece of carrot), my impression was a good one. The fillings were fresh, and the pastry was reasonably thin. Best of all, it was served straight from the steamer.
On the topic of steaming though, the prawn dumplings, which are the most well known of yum cha dishes was unfortunately over steamed to the point where the skin had started to disintegrate. Other than this major flaw, it would have been quite a delicious dumpling, as the prawns were quite large and fresh albeit overcooked.
Although I wasn't a particular fan, my companion loves his steamed meat balls. My companion particularly likes the fact the beef balls did not come with the Worcestershire sauce served on top as for him he prefers the sauce separated from the dish. My companion noted the meatball was well seasoned, the meat was springy and not dry from overcooking. I noticed the tofu skin was light and clung to the meatball. Although steamed it was a generous serving and well flavoured.
Our next dish was one of Tim Ho Wan's signature dishes, the Baked bun with BBQ pork. As you can see unlike the steamed variant the pastry is baked! Despite its crumbly outer shell, the pastry itself was surprisingly soft. Inside the meat was very saucy and well seasoned. My companion enjoyed the bun as well and we both agreed it certainly was the signature dish of Tim Ho Wan.
Overall we enjoyed our time at Tim Ho Wan, with the retro Hong Kong beats and the din of busy diners it captures a golden era of Yum Cha dining that today is rarely replicated in other establishments. With it's emphasis on quality, it is understandable why Tim Ho Wan was voted the best restaurant in Asia.