Tim Ho Wan, Melbourne CBD
One of the craziest queues I’ve seen here was for the opening weeks of Tim Ho Wan on Bourke Street. People were wrapped around the store for a trial of a menu item that won a (constantly mentioned and overworked) Michelin star, although the lines have since died down quite a bit these days. It does a nice, if not more condensed yum cha experience and I did walk out mostly satisfied with my dining experience here but perhaps didn’t experience anything completely astronomical.
As one of the group who was more familiar with this style of cuisine I probably enjoyed the most out of the Tim Ho Wan meal experience being able to order some of my favourite yum cha options. Compared to the traditional version it’s a bit more modern (read: pricier) but everything still comes out quick and you don’t have to deal with trolley-based disturbances. There’s a sense of refinement in the dishes and the service is better than your average.
The baked bun with BBQ pork was interesting for sure and I can see why it caught the eyes of the judges, but for me too sweet in the pastry. Rather I quite liked their turnip cake, vermicelli roll with sesame sauce, and the glutinous rice dish. Simple items done really well without any gimmicks always takes the cake. On the other hand the pork rib wasn’t terribly appealing when presented. One big bugbear is the compact menu choices – hope that they can expand it later on as that will make repeat visits more palatable.