Michelin Dining in Manila: TimHoWan

Filipinos are suckers for anything new and imported. As seen through the openings of dining establishments such as Krispy Kreme, J.Co Donuts and IHOP to name a few, that's a fact. That fact is also applicable to me sometimes. So when Hong Kong's premier affordable Michelin restaurant was franchised into Manila in the ever-expanding SM Megamall, I just had to give it a try, especially because unlike everyone I knew who has tried them in HK, I haven't. I'll probably do a reverse-comparison and visit TimHoWan in HK and compare the original to their Manila copy.

So my friend and I arrived before 5PM on a Thursday. There were less than 10 people in the queue, but still there was a queue. Take note that they won't seat you unless your entire party is falling in line. Since we happened to be just two, the attendant welcomed us to a readily available table - much to the disgust of those who have been waiting much longer than we have. So if your goal is to sample the Michelin delicacies and not have a bonding moment with your family and friends, break up into smaller groups of two to get the VIP treatment.

The lighting above is perfectly in tune with the restaurant's dimsum theme

Their dual function menu-placemat hybrid: a dining innovation. As for the menu items, they're really nothing you haven't seen before in countless other Chinese and dimsum places.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

Naturally, we asked for the bestseller which was no surprise the first thing you'll lay eyes on on the menu. The Baked Bun was more like a pastry. It was thin (or too thin), sweet, light and unlike anything I've ever tasted. The BBQ pork inside was familiar though. It tasted exactly how it's supposed to when found inside a pork bun (siopao). 

Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin
It was too early for dinner and we were here simply to check things out since we were planning on having dinner at the nearby Shangri-la Mall. So we ordered another dimsum dish which I liked but my friend didn't. The beef was tender and the beancurd blended with it perfectly, although it seemed as if it was cooked hours earlier.

Upon leaving, the line grew at least six times as long as dinnertime approached. The overall verdict? Like with any hype, I foresee this establishment's patrons to decrease over time. With their high prices (you can't actually taste Michelin stars in every dish), limited menu items and tough competition from other dimsum and Chinese restaurants such as Lugang in the same wing of Megamall (and not to mention the growing number of Japanese ramen houses), they're going to have to keep innovating themselves to win the hearts and palates of repeat customers.


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