Tim Ho Wan
G/F, Phase 2, Tsui Yuen Mansion, 2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
Tel: 2332 2896
Cuisine: Cantonese dim sum.
Price: About HK$50 per person without drinks and before adding the service charge.
Ambience: Not much. It's very basic - formica tables, paper placemats, pressed wood wall panels and tables that are close together. The windows of the open kitchen get steamed up from the cooking. Service is efficient and cheerful, and tea cups are refilled frequently.
Pros: Most of the dishes were of good to excellent quality, and the price is unbeatable.
Cons: The wrappers of some of the steamed dumplings suffered from being overcooked, which made them too delicate to be picked up without falling apart. The steamed pork dumplings with shrimp (HK$10) tasted of baking soda or some other alkaline substance. Steamed egg cake (HK$10) also tasted of too much baking soda. The filling in the steamed beef dumplings with kimchee (HK$12) was too finely chopped so it lacked texture.
Recommended dishes: The unanimous favourite in our group was the baked buns with barbecued pork (HK$12), which had a crumbly sweet topping, puffy, tender dough and a sweet-salty filling. We also liked the Chiu Chow-style steamed dumplings (HK$10) which had delicate wrappers well-stuffed with peanuts, chives, pork and water chestnuts. Steamed fresh shrimp dumplings (HK$16) were also well-filled, this time with crunchy sweet shrimp. Rice flour rolls (HK$14, left) had silken wrappers; the version with roast pork was good but even better was the one studded with pieces of perfectly cooked pig's liver. Chicken feet with black beans (HK$10) were perfectly steamed.
What else? Tim Ho Wan was opened by the former dim sum chef at Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons. No bookings are accepted so you'll almost certainly have to wait for a table (the least busy time on weekends is 3pm-4pm). They don't do take-away orders, but to get around that we saw many diners ordering much more than they could eat and packing the 'leftovers'. The closest MTR station is Yau Ma Tei.