Hong Kong’s best: Inside the World’s Inexpensive Michelin-star Restaurant

Image source: flyingfourchette.com

Image source: flyingfourchette.com

Good things come to those who wait. It was what I said to console myself after patiently waiting for almost two hours for my number to be called. The Tim Ho Wan store I visited is strategically located in one of Hong Kong’s busiest places—in Central Station, Kowloon. I’ve heard only good reviews about Tim Ho Wan, but I did not expect to wait a long time to be seated.

I almost leaped for joy when the waitress called my number. I had my hopes up since Tim Ho Wan was awarded a Michelin star. The waitress handed me a checklist-style menu, which I thought was a convenient way of taking orders.

After about 10 minutes, my steamed pork buns and dumplings arrived. It was love at first bite. When I first tasted the buns, I finally understood why people had to wait for hours just to take a bite of their heavenly dim sum.

I spent around 120HKD on my meal, (around $15) including the takeout. Sadly, I was forced to leave the place immediately after my meal because they had to give my seat to another (growling) hungry customer.

I did more research about Tim Ho Wan after that heavenly meal. Chef Ma

Image source: tripadvisor.com

Image source: tripadvisor.com

k Kwai Pui founded Tim Ho Wan. The chef previously worked for Lung King Heen, a three Michelin-stared restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong. Even with the quality of the food his restaurant offered, he refused to increase prices so he could deliver Hong Kong’s finest at an affordable price. Tim Ho Wan has expanded worldwide, with branches in the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The next time I visit Hong Kong, I’ll make sure to brace myself for another waiting session. After all, patience is a virtue, and good food is worth waiting for.

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Michelin Star

Celestial Dining: Dreaming Of a Michelin Star

Family, friends, and colleagues are aware of my dream of running a Michelin-star restaurant. I believe the coveted top honor is a sign that one has succeeded at the highest level as a chef.

But before I proceed any further, here’s a brief background on the origin of the Michelin star:

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In 1900, Michelin (yes, the tire company) brothers Ándre and Édouard started the Michelin Guide, a sort of travel guide for motorists who might be in search of places to stay and to dine during their travels. As the tire company rose to prominence, so did the guide. The brothers then added restaurant recommendations, independent of hotels.

Then in 1926, the Michelin star system was introduced, which examined not only the services of a hotel but the caliber of its kitchen, too. Eleven years after, the Michelin Guide was devoted purely to gastronomy. Today, there are 24 guides for 24 different countries. In the U.S., the Michelin Guide was first released a decade ago, zeroing in on New York restaurants. Chicago and San Francisco guides soon followed.

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Although some of the world’s most famous chefs don’t want a Michelin star (there is after all the immense pressure of keeping the top honor), I continue to long for it. Dreaming of a Michelin star is one way for me to keep honing my skills as a chef. With that goal in mind, I work extra hard in delivering not only delicious food but one-of-a-kind dishes that will make my customers talk about their meals days, even weeks after they had them. So I guess I will continue to wish upon that Michelin star and hope that one day, all the hard work, sacrifice, and long hours I put in the kitchen will all pay off.

Hey there, Allie Fremin here. Follow me on Twitter for some of the most delectable tidbits about the culinary world.