Tim Ho Wan Burwood, Burwood Westfield

My family is from Macau which is an island just a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong and is famous for housing thousands of Chinese people keen for baccarat, blackjack, slots and weird dice games at any given time. It’s the Vegas of the east minus the hookers, drugs, In n Out and Shake Shack (which in my mind makes it inferior to its sister city in Nevada).

Even though that’s where my family’s from, I’ve never been to Hong Kong or Macau.

I want to go so I can see where my family came from, barter for cheap goods at market stalls, maybe roll some dice at an underground casino and of course stuff my face with my winnings from the aforementioned underground casino.

One of the places I’ve heard so much about is the legendary Michelin star yum cha restaurant in Hong Kong by the name of Tim Ho Wan. I thought I’d have to fly over to Hong Kong to try it out.

Who knew it’d fly on over and set up camp just 10 minutes away from my house in Burwood?

tim ho wan burwood

As mentioned, I’ve been wanting to visit Tim Ho Wan for a very, very long time. It’s built up a sterling reputation over decades and decades of churning out delicious yum cha dishes in Hong Kong, Singapore and now Sydney. Tim Ho Wan Burwood saved me a lot on flights and hotels.

tim ho wan burwood

I’ve seen a lot of negative opinions about the Chatswood branch.

Though reviews have been mixed since they’ve set up shop in Sydney, I just had to find out for myself. Was it really overrated? Was it unauthentic? Was the service as bad as everyone was saying? Am I really going to continue hitting you with rhetorical questions?

Let’s find out:

tim ho wan siu mai
Siu mai with pork and shrimp

Siu mai is one of my favourite items to pick off from the trolley of a yum cha joint. However, all of Tim Ho Wan’s food is made to order so I plucked this off of an imaginary trolley.

The minced pork was hearty and the shrimp laced throughout definitely made its presence known. The dumpling skin wasn’t too thick so it let the flavours of all the insides come through. However, these were very small, it was more nibble-sized than bite-sized.

Then again, does size really matter?

Tim Ho Wan and I both hope that it doesn’t.

tim ho wan har gao
Har gao (shrimp dumplings)

Another essential order, har gao is guaranteed to be on my yum cha table the same way that I’m guaranteed to force a poorly planned out analogy into this paragraph.

The prawn filling was delicious, well seasoned and there was a generous amount within each dumpling.

I found the skin a tad Chewy but that’s alright, Han Solo definitely would’ve been happy with a basket of these.

Spinach dumplings with shrimp
Spinach dumplings with shrimp

I’ve never understood why kids’ television shows (outside of Popeye) depicted spinach as a terrible substance. I love spinach!

And I loved these dumplings.

I like the mix in texture that the spinach adds to these dumplings. It provides a bit of a bite, a subtle crunch and provides a nice contrast to the prawns within as well. I found the skin of these dumplings to be less chewy than the har gao and enjoyed these immensely.

I’m just spinaching around, move outta my way. I know you’re feeling me because you like it like this.

tim ho wan pork ribs
Pork ribs with blackbean sauce

I love ribs. There are only maybe a dozen people in the world I love more than pork ribs.

Ok, I exaggerated, maybe about ten people in the world I love more than pork ribs.

These ribs were tasty and I gravitated towards the fattier chunks that were on display. The black bean sauce was very dominant and I didn’t detect much of a chilli kick even though the chilli was clearly present.

Speaking of presents, my birthday is soon. Just saying.

tim ho wan vermicelli roll with sesame sauce
Vermicelli roll with sesame sauce

Hell yeah, this is a dish you have to order.

Soft vermicelli noodles that usually house prawn/pork meat (more on that later), the protein was ditched and instead the noodles were laced with a peanut/sesame sauce that immediately vaults itself into the discussion of all top-tier condiments.

I would love to know where the sauce is sauced so I can go straight to the sauce to get my next fix.

tim ho wan vermicelli roll prawns
Vermicelli roll with prawns

So you take the great noodles from the last dish and you shove prawns and scallions into the middle and subtract the sesame sauce and voila.

I liked these, most of the flavour is from the soy sauce that is poured over the rolls but the freshness of the prawns and the crunch of thinly cut scallions still did it for me.

Speaking of things that did it for me…

tim ho wan pork buns
Baked BBQ pork buns

I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time.

Perfect, pale yellow spheres were placed in front of me and I just gasped. It was just so surreal.

It was so surreal that I immediately ordered three more plates.

tim ho wan pork buns
Magnificent

Oh right, I should probably talk about how they were.

If you’ve gotten this far, then you would’ve figured out that I thought Tim Ho Wan had good and bad which would apply to almost any restaurant. Think about it, there are very few restaurants that nail every single item on their menu. If you broke down aspects of every single dish you’d definitely find some good and bad.

These pork buns though? They’re out of this would in terms of quality.

Let’s start with the exterior; it just crumbled away with every bite. It was quite sweet, like a grainy pineapple bun that you’d pick up from the best of the best Chinese bakery.

tim ho wan pork buns
Cross section shot.

Yes, yes I did take it off-site to do some more analysis. I take this stuff seriously.

The ratio between bun and pork is interesting to me. The pork is saucy and rich but the minimal amount is probably deliberate so that you get a mix of the sweet bun and pork with every bite. There’s a balance to the two components which results in a perfect equilibrium like a Christian Bale and Sean Bean movie.

tim ho wan burwood

Here’s the TL;DR for everyone who knows that girls just wanna ho wan:

– Go early, I went to line up 20 minutes before it opened and was first one in. However, gaggles of Zerglings appeared as soon as I sat down.

– Random tidbit, they don’t have a bathroom. I feel like you need to know these things.

– My favourite dishes that I’d order next time (yep, there will be a next time) were the spinach/prawn dumplings, the sesame vermicelli rolls and dozens upon dozens of the baked pork buns.

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Tim Ho Wan Burwood

Shop 173-175 Westfield Burwood, 100 Burwood Road

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday: 10am to 9PM

Saturday – Sunday: 9am to 9PM

Tim Ho Wan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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