Warning: This article will make you hungry.

There are plenty of Michelin Star restaurants in Tokyo, including the only two Michelin-rated ramen restaurants in the world. On any given day, our reporter Mr. Sato would choose to eat at either of those places, but as much as he loves ramen, he wanted to treat himself on his birthday by trying a Michelin star restaurant that just opened in April this year.

The restaurant is Hong Kong-based TimHoWan, and its international branches have received one Michelin star each for their superb dim sum. Just because it’s delicious doesn’t mean it’s expensive, either; TimHoWan is considered one of the most affordable Michelin restaurants in the world.

Mr. Sato knew that the recently opened TimHoWan in the Yurakucho area of central Tokyo was popular, but when he arrived at around 11:40 a.m., he wasn’t expecting the line to extend around the corner of the restaurant. 

Fully intending to treat himself to a really high quality meal, he got in line anyway, but soon learned that he would be waiting for a while when the staff told him that it usually takes about an hour and a half to get in. That was after twenty minutes of waiting; he still had an hour left to wait! He began to feel a mild panic because he needed to pee and wanted to smoke, but he suffered through it. He had to celebrate his birthday in style!

The line may have been long, but it moved pretty quickly. Groups of people seemed to leave the restaurant every eight to ten minutes or so, and every time they did, the line moved forward, so Mr. Sato didn’t feel too upset about his long wait.

Once he got closer to the entrance, the staff brought him a menu and an order card. The menu was filled with delicious-looking dumplings and Cantonese-style dim sum. Each order came with three to five pieces, and were pretty reasonable at 480 to 580 Japanese yen (US$4.15 or $5.25), a plate.

After filling in his order card, he was finally able to go inside! A glance at his watch upon entering told him that he had waited for an hour and 20 minutes. First things first: he had to go pee.

That done and feeling relieved, Mr. Sato returned to his seat. Since he’d already ordered, all that was left to do was to wait for his food. The first dish that arrived was baked chashu bao (580 yen), meat buns with pork inside. It looks like Japanese melon bread, and even the texture was like melon bread when he bit into it.

But it sure didn’t taste like melon bread. Inside the crunchy crust was an absolutely delicious, savory chashu pork filling. Since it came in a set of three, it was a bit much for one person. Mr. Sato thinks that it may be best to order this dish for a group instead of an individual.

Next came Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (580 yen). The skin was puffy and slightly translucent, and just by looking at them Mr. Sato knew that they would be delicious.

They were! The tender shrimp filling inside was so good that fans of shrimp will faint from the pleasure of eating it.

Mr. Sato had to have some vegetables with his meal, so next came boiled greens topped with a special soy sauce. This, too, was a bit much for one person to eat, so Mr. Sato recommends you only order this if you are part of a group.

After that came the dish that Mr. Sato most highly recommends from TimHoWan: their radish cakes (480 yen). He’s never had a more delicious version of it!

Seriously, it just melts in your mouth. Mr. Sato wondered, “Is that what real, authentic radish cake tastes like? This soft and melt-in-your mouth-y?” He thought that 480 yen was too cheap for this exquisite dish.

The next dish was a spring roll of Chinese yellow chives. The skin was made of rice flour, and the whole thing was boiled after being rolled. The texture was amazingly smooth, and the tender shrimp inside were once again amazing.

As the last non-dessert dish of his smorgasbord, Mr. Sato received chicken and ginger steamed rice (580 yen). The aromatic ginger, tender chicken, and fragrant jasmine rice all blended well together, and even though Mr. Sato was pretty full by this point, he ate it all. He thought it would probably also be delicious with green tea poured over it like Japanese ochazuke.

Mr. Sato should’ve stopped there, but he couldn’t leave without having the fried milk dumplings he’d ordered for dessert (480 yen). They’re a super sweet deep-fried snack of crunchy dough with a milky filling. They came to Mr. Sato fresh out of the fryer, and they were hot! He almost burned his mouth eating them.

His stomach bursting at the seams with the most food he’s eaten in a while, Mr. Sato wondered if perhaps he’d overdone it. It was his birthday, but he did worry a bit about the bill…it was over 5,000 yen ($44)!

Yeah, he’d definitely ordered and eaten too much. For one person, three plates at 1,500 yen total would probably have been enough, and it would have been a good deal, too.

But this 5,000 yen’s worth of dim sum was well worth it! The flavor was definitely Michelin-quality, and that radish cake…you have to eat it at least once in your life! Just be prepared to line up for it.

Restaurant information
TimHoWan / 添好運
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 1-2-2, Hibiya Chanter Annex Building 1st floor
東京都千代田区有楽町1-2-2 日比谷シャンテ 別館1F
Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Images © SoraNews24
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