I was lucky to have been able to eat at Tim Ho Wan in SM Megamall before I lost my patience for queuing -- this applies to any restaurant, by the way. However, I bring good news to fellow northies today, as I share with you my experience at the fairly new Tim Ho Wan restaurant in SM North EDSA. And here's a better news... No need to queue up! (^_−)☆
Like the SM Megamall store, the Tim Ho Wan in SM North EDSA also uses a wooden theme for its interior. Ambiance is very simple and straight-forward, with light-colored wooden fixtures, pops of green, and some really nice hanging lights made out of big dim sum baskets.
Also, ordering here is a little different compared to most Chinese restaurants in Manila. They'll give you a checklist-type of menu like the photo above, and you just have to write down the quantity you'd like to order for a certain dish. More efficient at getting all orders right!
The Big 4 Heavenly Kings
The menu is categorized by variety or how the dish was prepared. However, the top-most part of their menu-cum-place mat features the four best-sellers of this Hong Kong original.
First and probably the most well-known dish from Tim Ho Wan are these pillowy-soft baked buns with buttery-crumbly exterior and a good amount of sweet and savory homemade char siu filling. And I can't help but agree that this does indeed belong to the Big 4 Heavenly Kings. Some would even argue that it's the best among the four! To best enjoy this treat, make sure to eat with your hands and savor while it's still hot. ☆～（ゝ。∂）
|✓ Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (P145 per 3pcs)|
There's also this carrot cake which is actually made from rice flour and shredded radish, with some dried shrimps. Normally, I'm not too interested with Lo Bak Gou or radish cake when I see them in other Chinese restaurants. But, those who like this dish will surely be left very satisfied. Every bite is oozing with savor and a really nice texture -- crispy on the outside and soft yet firm on the inside.
|Pan Fried Carrot Cake (P145)|
This cake also known as a Malay steamed cake, is another item worthy of its position in the Big 4 Heavenly Kings. To be honest, I'm usually not a big fan of this dish. But after trying it out at Tim Ho Wan, I somehow learned to like it. Soft, light and fluffy -- it's a perfect sponge to pair with the more savory dim sum items in the restaurant.
|✓ Steamed Egg Cake (P85)|
Another great dish is this rice roll filled with pig's liver. Okay, this may not be for everyone. If you don't like the gritty taste of liver, then I highly suggest you order another vermicelli roll item. Maybe something with BBQ pork, beef, or shrimps instead. However, if you love rice rolls and the taste of liver, then you'll fall in love with this best-seller.
|✓ Vermicelli Roll with Pig's Liver (P150)|
It may seem like I ordered a whole lot just to make this post. But please bear in mind that I've been back at Tim Ho Wan SM North EDSA for four times already, so this review features a compilation of dishes I've tried from multiple visits.
By the way, in case you're a fan of calamansi, they don't offer it with the sauces and chili oil here, as per Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong's order. I guess they really wanted to stay authentic.
Siomai lovers, rejoice! This four-piece serving of one of the most famous dim sum items is very plump and meaty, with just a thin layer of wrapper. There's definitely a lot of pork and shrimp in there that every bite packs a good amount of savory flavors and siomai goodness. My little sister who's a siomai snob definitely has her stamp of approval on these meaty treats!
|✓ Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (P150)|
Another super star at Tim Ho Wan is their hakaw. Plump, juicy and oozing with shrimp goodness. These babies are savory and simply tasty. And with thin, slightly chewy skin, every hakaw lover will surely leave happy and well-satisfied. My hakaw-lover of a boyf guarantees!
|✓ Shrimp Dumpling (P160)|
Here's my personal favorite! It may be one of the cheapest items on the dim sum menu, but it's definitely a medley of all the great flavors I love. This dumpling comes with a thin, chewy skin and is filled with pork, dried shrimps, chives, peanuts, jicama and cilantro, which creates a nutty, slightly savory, and refreshing taste with every bite.
|✓ Dumpling Teochew Style (P120)|
There's also this spinach dumpling for those who likes their dim sum with veggies. It comes in a similar thin, chewy and slightly see-through wrapper, generously filled with spinach and shrimp. I really like this savory and clean-tasting dumpling, but not as much as the Teochew.
|Steamed Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp (P120)|
I used to not be a big fan of beef balls, but I just recently started to get hooked on it. So upon seeing it on the menu, I thought I'd try it out. Just like the other dim sum items here, they didn't scrimp on making these beef balls. It's meaty with bits of refreshing cilantro thrown in. However, I find it a little too soft for my liking. I would've wanted it slightly firmer to the bite.
|Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin (P120)|
For those who don't mind the more unhealthier dim sum, there are also deep-fried items.
On my 3rd visit, I finally decided to try this Japanese-Chinese fusion of a dumpling. I didn't know if it'd work, but I loved it upon first bite! The dumpling wrapper was fried to a crisp, and the filling is quite similar to that of hakaw. But what made fall for this dish is the more-wasabi-less-mayo drizzled on top that gave off that minty, sinus-clearing spiciness. If you love fried food, shrimp and wasabi, then make sure not to miss out on ordering this one!
|✓ Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling (P140)|
Since I knew the boyf was a big fan of beancurd, I went ahead and ordered this on our most recent trip to Tim Ho Wan. I can't say it's extraordinary, since really, it's your usual chewy beancurd skin wrapped in a mixture of ground pork and shrimp.
|Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp (P120)|
The boyf had the Rice with Chicken, Sausage & Mushroom (P170) before, but too bad I wasn't able to take a photo, plus didn't exactly get to taste it since he was already hungry. So...
Let me just share with you this glutinous rice item that I really love at Tim Ho Wan. Also known as ma-chang, this lotus leaf rice has aromatic sticky rice filled with tasty braised meat and mushrooms. It's flavorful and very filling for one, so if you're not much of a hefty eater, it'd be wise to share this with a friend, or take home half (or more than half) of it for later. Oh, and for my fellow Pinoys and Chinoys, nope they don't serve this with ketchup.
|✓ Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf (P190)|
At the moment, Tim Ho Wan only has two dessert items on their menu. Knowing how much I love desserts, Chinese sweets included, I made sure not to miss ordering these two treats.
Though I'm not big on mango sago desserts, I really appreciated how this dish has helped me cool off on a hot summer day. The addition of pomelo bits also gave this sweet and refreshing dessert not just a wee bit more tartness, but also a fun texture.
|Mango Pomelo Sago (P90)|
Not everyone will fall for this unusual meal ender. But personally, I found myself hooked on every bite. The osmanthus cake was super soft and jiggly. It bounces even with the smallest tap on the table. Flavor is pretty balanced, not too sweet and with an aromatic, almost tea-like flavor. It has osmanthus petals and goji berries suspended in gelatin. So not only is it a great palate cleanser, but also a healthy one -- aids in digestion and packed with antioxidants.
|Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake (P90)|
And as expected, I downed all that osmanthus cake myself since it would take years of convincing the boyf or my little sister to eat this dessert. Lol! ʅ(◔౪◔ ) ʃ
After dining at Tim Ho Wan SM North EDSA for four times now, I believe I can definitely say that food quality and service has been pretty consistent. There are days when the restaurant is full, and times when I can freely choose to get a good seat. But whichever the case, I've always received freshly-cooked, great quality dim sum served just a few minutes after placing the order. And since I've been to the SM Megamall branch as well, I can say that honestly, there isn't much difference in food quality. So wherever you choose to get your Tim Ho Wan fix, you're sure to have a good time. Although, personally, I'd go for SM North -- good service, great dim sum, and all that without the need to queue up for hours! (｡•̀ᴗ-)✧
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Tim Ho Wan, SM North EDSA
UG/F Main Building, SM City North EDSA,
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
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SM Mega Mall, Mandaluyong City
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