I remember queuing up in front of Tim Ho Wan - Kowloon branch - in Hong Kong back in 2011 (back when I was a lazy ass blogger - not that I am much better now...). The queue was for around one hour, waiting for the shop to open.
That's right, folks, queue already started for metres and metres away even before the opening time. I remember this fact because although I had braced waking up early to queue up, there were already around 20 people in front of me when I arrived, only half an hour before the opening time.
All this to taste the infamous BBQ pork bun that put Tim Ho Wan on the Michelin recognition list.
Was it worth it? I am torn, but I can tell you that I have never had better BBQ pork bun anywhere else.
Well obviously I cannot go to Hong Kong everytime to fix my longing for them buns, so imagine my glee when I noticed last year that Tim Ho Wan was going to open their first branch in Sydney.
Imagine my praise to everything that is holy when they actually opened in Chatswood, just by the train station.
Imagine me being torn again and sorely heart-broken when I heard and read about the notorious queue happening again - taking as long as 150 minutes.
So I waited, dear readers. I waited and waited and hoped that the queue would somewhat die down after a few months of the new-opening craze.
And I finally got my chance last Saturday. I only had to queue up for around 15 minutes during lunch hour. Praise to everything that is holy - again.
Price wise - it is more expensive than the HK counterpart. (Well, what do you expect).
But Tim Ho Wan does not suffer, because there are always people like me who are willing to pay the extra dollars to satisfy our gluttony.
Prawn Dumplings/ Har Gow (A$8.30 for a set of 4) are standard fare of yum cha. Theirs are succulent and fillings are crunchy. Nothing special, but decent.
Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf/ Lo Ma Kai (A$8.80). Decent size, flavoursome, and contain various fillings - chinese sausage, pork, chicken, and mushroom.
Pork Dumpling with Shrimp/ Siu Mai (A$7.80 for a set of 4). Again, standard yumcha fare.
Their steamed egg cake (A$5.80) is a very nice steamed flour & brown sugar cake. I remember my mom used to make this all the time when I was growing up (it was cheap and filling). Chinese bread shops usually also sell them, but I have to say Tim Ho Wan has the best one so far (apart from my mom's of course) as it is perfectly fluffy, no sogginess from the steam, and has the right level of sweetness.
Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings (A$7.80 for a set of 3), are the ones I have not tried in HK's Tim Ho Wan before. They are bouncy, crispy, and had slight twang from the wasabi sauce. Definitely one of the items I will order again.
But come on, be realistic. These babies right here are what THWdie-hards keep coming back for.
Crispy Baked Bun with BBQ pork (A$7.80 for a set of 3).
I ordered two sets. I had to have the 3 buns for myself. No sharing, even with 1/2heart.
Sweet juicy BBQ pork pieces enveloped with ridiculously soft but crispy layered sweet bun. I subconsciously remember that one hour queue back in Hong Kong; and during the moments I kept stuffing myself with bites and bites again of the wonderful creation, and not even sparing all the fallen crumbs on the white plate..... .... .... .
The wait was worth it. 15 minutes or 150 minutes. (*this sentiment only lasted until I walked out of the shop of course).
(all pics taken with iPhone5)
Tim Ho Wan
The District (Chatswood Station Interchange)
Corner of Victoria Ave & Railway St, Chatswood, NSW 2067
May I suggest to try other places in The District: it is a swanky food court full of good eateries. For chocolate lovers, do not miss The Choc Pot. The main shop is in Burwood (just a small shop), but the one inside The District definitely has better ambience. Get their Choc Pot or Mr Souff (takes of chocolate lava cake and salted caramel lava cake respectively).