Hong Kong Fever | Tim Ho Wan Restaurant

Researching for our Hong Kong trip, I came across a number of blogs recommending the dishes at Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan, which means "Add Good Luck" in English, is one of the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world. Located at Flat 8, Ground Floor, Phase 2, Tsui Yuen Mansion, 2-20 Kwong Wa St, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is something else. The place is always jampacked, with people always waiting to be seated outside. I got intrigued so I made sure we'll include this in our itinerary.

Tim Ho Wan is owned by Chef Mak Pui Gor, a former chef at the Four Seasons Hotel - also a Michelin star restaurant. Currently, there are only 2 branches of Tim Ho Wan. The original branch is at Mong Kok. They recently opened another one at Sham Shui Po where you can make reservations. We chose to eat at the original branch because I heard that the food is better here (not sure, though).

We arrived at Tim Ho Wan before 11 am. The restaurant opens at 10 am so we made sure we get there before lunch to get a number. The restaurant is not difficult to find. We rode the MTR Tsuen Wan Line to Yau Ma Tei and exited at Exit A2 at Pitt Street. We walked along Nathan Road until we reach Dundas Street. We walked along Dundas street, passing along Tung Choi Street and Fa Yuen Street. We reached Kwong Wa Street in no time. The restaurant is usually filled with people so you can see it very easily.

I immediately walked towards the receptionist to get an English order slip, the pink one. The green slip is in Cantonese. The receptionist wrote a number on our slip and her list. Number 45. I asked her when to come back. She said after 2 hours. Woah! But that's expected. So we left and roamed around for a while.

After 2 hours, we came back to the restaurant. The number called is already 47. Good thing, even though your number is already called, they can still squeeze you in. I was able to talk to some backpackers - an Indonesian couple and a Caucasian man who's a frequent customer in the restaurant.

We got our seats at around 1pm. We handed our order slip to the waitress. After some time, our orders were served one by one. By the way, we ordered steamed fresh shrimp dumplings (hakaw), steamed pork dumpling with shrimp, steamed beef ball with bean curd skin, deep fried spring roll filled with shrimp and fungus and the famous baked bun with BBQ pork. We were also served an unlimited serving of their tea or "pu-erh".

I wasn't able to take a picture of steamed fresh shrimp dumplings because I was too preoccupied with the dishes served. Finally, I was able to taste authentic Chinese food. For me, the food is great. Only that we're not good using the chopsticks. Haha! We really had a hard time. There are no spoon and fork available. After eating, we approached the counter to pay our bill which is a surprising HKD 97 - very affordable for a Michelin star restaurant.

We've seen different kinds of people inside Tim Ho Wan. There are locals having their lunch, a group of friends meeting up and even corporate Americans in suits trying out the dishes. The experience in Tim Ho Wan is not just about the food, but the interactions we've made with other cultures while waiting outside. I highly recommend Tim Ho Wan for those who want a taste of the local Hong Kong culture - it may be small as this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant but it definitely has a lot to offer the world.

Tim Ho Wan
Flat 8, Ground Floor, Phase 2, Tsui Yuen Mansion, 2-20 Kwong Wa St, Mong Kok


  1. CHINESE FOOD IS THE BEST OF THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD, period! French food sucks, thumbs down.