dishesandplaces

Posts Tagged ‘megamall’

getting down to it as soon as you arrive in HK: tim ho wan

In places on December 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

much ado has been made about tim ho wan – cheapest michelin star restaurant – and we will ado with everybody else because hey, we’ve never had michelin star food before. we went to the branch at the IFC mall because that was the easiest to get to. as soon as we got off the airport express at the hong kong station, we took the lift one level up and looked for the crowd. so there we were with our backpacks milling about like everybody else.

because this was our very first time, we ordered what a lot of people had already recommended, starting with the roasted pork bun (HKD 19, P105 for 3 pieces)

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the short of it is this is toasted siopao. but of course it is a little more complex than that. the bun is very light with a thin layer of crispness on the outside. it is also slightly sweet. then the filling is thick and sweet and salty. yes, rather delicious. but cloying, the sweetness becomes overwhelming and a tad one-dimensional. we could only eat one apiece. making us the only people we’ve read about who aren’t willing to gobble these down by the dozen.

another house specialty is the steamed egg cake (HK$14, P75)

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aka, puto binan. very good, but unremarkable.

now the next dish is what bowled us over. a favorite of ours – radish cake (HK$14 P75)

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this we found most delicious. delicate, subtle. adjectives you wouldn’t normally use when describing radish cake. but there you go. so good it puts us at a loss how we can ever eat radish cake anywhere else.

on another visit (we ate there twice in 2 days in HK – would’ve done a 3rd but our flight left before they opened in the morning), we had chicken feet (HK$26, P145)¬†and beef ball wrapped in bean curd skin (HK$15, P75)

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very tasty. the chicken feet were exceptionally plump – and we honestly don’t want to think about that too much. this beef ball is also rather delicate and fragrant – full of flavor, but not in any way that dulls the flavor of other dishes. something to order again.

we also had har gaw (HK$25, P130) and kutchai dumplings (HK$25, P130) which had exceptional texture and great freshness.

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we realized that one big differentiator was the wrap. the dumpling wrap at tim ho wan is at once light and thin and sturdy. not at all like the clumsier thick wraps of a lot of chain places and even some of the more specialized restaurants. we also had the rice roll stuffed with pig’s liver (HK$20, P110) which also demonstrated this balance.

and then dessert. tonic medlar and petal cake (HK$ 12, P70)

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everybody at the restaurant would order this and with good reason. it’s so good. very cool, refreshing. floral, yes a little. actually the perfect end to a tim ho wan meal. don’t skip this.

in the end, we mused about the whole michelin star thing and realized that a lot of what separates cooks (even good cooks) from great cooks and professionals is technique. it’s not just the flavor, but – for example – the making of a dumpling wrap that is so light it doesn’t interfere with what’s inside. or getting that bun the right crisp.

so does tim ho wan deserve a michelin star? well, we don’t have the creds to answer that. but we have eaten enough to know that what they do is certainly exceptional and you must try it.

and just a couple of days ago we got news that they are opening in megamall. how about that.

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jatujak, the thai food tour continues

In eating in manila on October 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

finding ourselves starving in megamall, we decided to check out jatujak – a thai restaurant located right across toy kingdom. the choice was made primarily so that we could compare it with the other thai places we’ve tried and written about.

jatujak claims thai iced tea as its specialty and so we definitely went with that (P80)

taste-wise, it’s no different from the other thai teas we’ve had. the main difference with this one is that they blended the tea with ice so it has a somewhat slushie effect. not bad, quite good, but nothing remarkable.

for food, we had the fresh spring rolls

i’m generally a fan of this sort of spring roll – ¬†fresh veggies with herbs wrapped in this delicate rice paper. so i’ll enjoy it in any variation. this one was also satisfying. again, not great. and maybe towards the bottom the rice paper was a bit thickly rolled.

we also had the pad thai

again a satisfying dish. it had a good number of shrimp in it to make it not just a noodle dish. the taste was what you would expect of a solid pad thai.

we spend about P500 for the whole meal. and it was filling, and tasted good. just not great. jatujak is a good option if you’re looking for decent thai food, but certainly not a restaurant to seek out.