SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE. On our first night in Singapore, we could not help but eat in Tim Ho Wan... again. My mom has long been raving about this restaurant that when Tim Ho Wan finally opened here in Manila, we tried their food the moment we had the chance to do so. It was a very filling, first-time experience! I fell in love immediately with the Pork Buns which I can still remember fully to the point that I am still able to taste it in my mouth! I also came to love the fullness of the dim sums that we ordered there; big, full and tasty! We left the restaurant with a bigger tummy and more pounds! So when my mom suggested that we have our dinner there again, we just could not pass up the opportunity to relive the taste of the food in Tim Ho Wan! It presented me also a nice venue to differentiate the food here in Singapore from what we had back in the Philippines. So, let us begin!
THE FOOD OFFERINGS: THE OLD FAVORITES AND THE DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS
Tim Ho Wan has 4 branches now in Singapore. They are located in Westgate Jurong East, Bedok Mall, Plaza Singapura and Toa Payoh. A 5th one is coming along and it will be in Lavender Aperia. Similar to our Tim Ho Wan here in the Philippines, we fell in line and waited for our seats for about half an hour. Given that 4 branches are now scattered all over the country, the Tim Ho Wan branch that we had gone into was still jampacked with people. I was told that it was the same scenario in the other branches and the worst is in Plaza Singapura where you have to wait for about an hour before you could ever sit down. In our case, we had gone to the one in Bedok Mall as it was nearer our place. As opposed to our branch here in Manila, the sitting policy is less strict. Your group does not have to be complete before you can get a table.
We were presented with the same paper menu that doubles as a place mat and when I scrutinized it more the contents were also the same. Computing in my head, I concluded that the price is almost the same too! The Big 4 Heavenly Kings were present and we ordered 4 servings of the Pork Buns (we just can't get enough of the buns!) and Steamed Egg Cake from the lot. I have extremely enjoyed already the Pork Buns in the Manila branch but boy, oh boy, does the one in Singapore made me forget what I had back in my home country. The buns were softer and the coating was crunchier. Also, it tasted fresher and sweeter. As for the Steamed Egg Cake, I did not enjoy it when I had this in Manila and I do not understand then why it was included in their Big 4 when it was in fact not that great, so I was hesitant to order it at first. But since my mom liked this to bits we just could not get away with it. Good thing we ordered it as its taste was entirely different in Singapore! Not only was it spongier but the taste of the caramel was more distinctive too! I now understand why it is considered a must-order!
A visit in a dim sum restaurant would never be complete without eating more dim sums than you can possibly take so we ordered more variants.
MORE UNIQUE DISHES
Aside from their usual menu, Tim Ho Wan also has food offerings exclusive to certain branches. I think this is being done so that goers will not get tired easily of the fixed choices and will surely look forward to visiting the other branches to taste the other dishes. In Tim Ho Wan Bedok, there were three additional dishes that complemented the already-established menu such as the Garlic Fried Fish Skin, Crystal Dumpling with Truffle Saunce (who does not love anything-Truffle?) and the Kway Teow. Since we know we can get better and bigger servings of Kway Teow outside and just for a fraction of the cost here, we passed up on it. The Garlic Fried Fish Skin was a treat to eat! Every bite was full of crunch and the taste and aroma of the fish were just there! The Crystal Dumpling with Truffle Sauce was simply ah-may-ziing! Packed with a medley of healthy and lip-smacking ingredients mixed in truffle sauce and overlaid with transluscent skin, anyone who are on the lookout for a healthier alternative would never dare miss this one! And how can anyone resist the taste of that fungus, really? It is the most appetizing fungus ever!
END THE MEAL WITH A DESSERT
The dessert choices may be limited but it does not mean that they were short of delicious! We already tasted the Mango Sago Pomelo back in Manila so we opted to get the Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake to end this meal instead. It may sound a little complicated but do not get intimidated by the highfaluting words because you will miss out big time on what this dessert has to offer if you did (I know I did on the first try!). Simply put, this dish has those revered Osmanthus petals suspended in golden orange coloured jelly paired with goji berries or wolfberries. Researching a little bit about Osmanthus, I read that Osmanthus has the ability to improve skin conditions and cleanse the body of excess Nitric oxide which has been linked to the formation of chronic diseases. Goji berries, too, are packed with with antioxidants and vitamin A making this dessert treat a healthy and guilt-free one!
Our visit to the Tim Ho Wan branch in Bedok Mall proved that even though both falls under the same brand, the taste of the same dishes between the branch here and the one back in Manila is still short of consistent. The price and food offerings may be the same but they have to work on the uniformity of the taste across all the branches as well. In terms of the taste, the Singapore branch is better than what we have back in the Philippines and I hope that we can improve on ours fast so that we can catch up with the others immediately. If there was something though that I consider a major turn-off from the Bedok branch, or from any of the Singapore branches for that matter, it would definitely be this: the water is not free.
This particular branch is found in Bedok Mall near Bedok MRT. The other branches are in Westgate Jurong East, Plaza Singapura and Toa Payoh. Branch in Lavender Aperia is coming soon!