Thought i'd do a photo comparison and review of the dim sum i've had in Mong Kok 2 years ago against the one i just tried in Singapore last month. I know the original Tim Ho Wan branch in Mong Kok has now closed down so this info may not necessarily be accurate but i wanted to do it anyway, hopefully it helps manages your expectations before visiting the outlet in Singapore. Just blogging about this makes me hungry again..
Anyway, there's a stark difference to the modernist interior when we arrived at the unassuming restaurant along the streets of Mong Kok, Hong Kong. We would've missed it if not for the crowds amassing along the sidewalk waiting for the restaurant to open at 10am! We were there around 930am hoping to make it for the first seating, but there were way too many customers before us haha =S
Spent some time wondering around the streets after we got a queue number and waited for our turn. When we finally made it in, we were all taken aback by the dingy settings and hopelessly overcrowded with customers. Three of us had to squeeze and cramp into one small table, it was agonizing... However, the uncomfortable seats and poor ambience were quickly forgotten as soon as the food arrived!
On the other hand, the branch in Singapore is clean and has a contemprary and spacious setting with good lightning, which makes taking photos of the food much easier.
On to the food..
The most significant difference between the local Baked BBQ Pork Buns and the Mong Kok ones were the lack of goopy succulent barbecued pork in the former.
When i had my first bite of the original bbq buns, they were ultra thin and crisp on the outside and quickly crumbled into my mouth, all the molten char siew goodness almost dripping from the bun. Overloaded with a perfected honey char siew sauce against a slightly salty crust made it soo sublime. It was like meeting God for the first time..
Whereas the local ones had a thicker, drier crust that lacked alot of moist and juiciness and tasted more bland. It was a major letdown! And i disliked the fact that the current ones looked so.. round and perfect? Like they were manufactured from a factory while the Mong Kok one had rough edges and a browner crust which indicated longer baking time i assume. Definitely needs more tweaking this one and perhaps abit more colouring (lol)? I'm sure they'd taste as good as the HK ones in time to come.
As for the Chee Cheong Fan/Vermicelli Rolls, don't you think the presentation pales in comparison? The Mong Kok ones has a beautiful, translucent skin while the other looks dull and kinda mouldy. I have to say they tasted slightly different as well, the Singapore ones wasn't as chewy and lacked abit of flavour and freshness. It was very ordinary but the Mong Kok were a massive hit for me and my friends. The prawns (i had to try) were plump and crumchy and had a crystal-like exterior.. very chio!!! *.*
As for the Osmanthus Cakes, it's apparent that they differ alot in colour, the local ones are more golden in colour while the later looks more orangey. Both look equally pristine and delicate~ Couldn't bare eat them cos they look so immaculate.. but i did anyway and both tasted sweet and cooling and had a gelatin texture. This one quite hard to go wrong..
So now, (according to me) the only items they are missing is this home-made Peanut & Lean Pork Porridge which hits home the moment you taste it. Unlike most congee that are very thick and filling, this one has a lighter consistency and is more watery, so i could easily gobble down 3 bowls in one seating. It has a subtle peanut flavour and the meat is super tender! Please please introduce this to the menu soon Chef Mak!!
And lastly, the Deep Fried Dumpling Filled with Meat is a chewy glutinous dumpling packed with their famed barbecued char siew sauce. I love the gooey gooey texture, makes it so fun to eat combined with the sweet honey pork fillings makes this a brilliant dish. Seriously cannot have enough of it.. WANT WANT WANT!!
Heheh, now that i'm finally done with the 2nd half of my Tim Ho Wan review, i can faintly hear my tummy rumbling.. If only i could steal some dim sum recipes, these would make such awesome midnight snacks.
Good night now!
Good night now!