Tim Ho Wan at Hong Kong Fortress Hill

Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong (添好運 / 添好运)- The One Michelin Star Dim Sum

English Address (Google Map): 2-8 Wharf Road, Seaview Building, North Point

Chinese Address: 北角和富道2-8號嘉洋大廈地下B,C及D鋪

Opening hours: 10am to 9.30pm

Scroll to the end for address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Firstly, i will bore you with a little bit of history of Tim Ho Wan (添好運/添好运). The main chef Mak Kwai Pui (麥桂培) of Tim Ho Wan was originally from a well established restaurant  under the Four Season group – Lung King Heen (龍景軒). He later opened Tim Ho Wan in year 2009 that offers 5 stars hotel Dim Sum at street price.

In less than a year, Tim Ho Wan was awarded one star by Michelin. By then, it already has a reputation for selling the best dim sum in Hong Kong. As we know, it had created a storm when they opened their first branch in Singapore.

I used to visit their branch situated between Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po station and that is the branch that was awarded the Michelin star. I remember it was not exactly a great experience. The place is really really cramped and the waiting time is crazy, and service is below average. My conclusion then is they are great for the Polo Char Siew Bao.

When i visited Hong Kong this time, I didn’t have the intention to visit Tim Ho Wan but i got some free time on hand and the location is rather near my hotel so i thought , “Ok I’ll give it another shot”. I visited their Fortress Hill branch for supper at around 8.45pm.

This branch is at least 4 times bigger than the one that I visited and it’s much more spacious and well decorated. It was almost full house but i still manage to get a table instantly. I only ordered a few items, and surprisingly, all of them hit the right spots.

Tim Ho Wan's Menu: Click to enlarge

Tim Ho Wan’s Menu: Click to enlarge

Char Siew Polo Bun (酥皮叉烧包)

The Polo Char Siew Bao is fluffy soft and topped with a thin layer of not-overly-sweet sugar crust. The Char Siew is covered in a warm thick and rich gravy. The bun’s crispy texture complement the Char Siew perfectly.

This is the exact item that was awarded with one Michelin Star and just one serving is always not enough. This is still the best item at Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong. However, i do hope that they can be more generous with the Char Siew fillings though. This dish cost HK$18 (S$2.90) while it cost S$5.25 in Singapore.

Beef Ball with Bean Stick (陈皮牛肉球)

This dish is pretty good as well for it’s soft steamed and well marinated minced beef. There is a well balance of fatty and lean beef in this combination and the steamy hot beef ball taste really fresh.

There are also Bean Sticks (Tau Kee) placed beneath the meat ball and they absorb the natural sweet meat sauce during the process of steaming. This meat ball is my second favourite dish of the day. This cost HK$16 (S$2.60) while it cost S$4.90 in Singapore.

Steamed Malay Sponge Cake (香滑马拉糕) 

This is one of the four heavenly kings of Tim Ho Wan and it’s well known for it’s soft fluffy texture. I had this in Singapore’s Tim Ho Wan and i actually like it, but it comes at a costly price tag of $4.45 nett.

For the same item, it only cost HK$15 (S$2.40) and therefore makes this dish much more enjoyable than having it in Singapore. The steamed cake is served piping hot and i enjoy the fluffy spongy texture with a eggy light brown sugar taste.

Beancurd Skin Roll with Meat and Prawn (美味鲜竹卷)

The ingredient of the Beancurd Skin Roll taste very fresh and flavourful and the shredded vegetable wrapped in the chewy Beancurd Skin actually enhances the overall texture.

The gravy that comes with it has just the right level of saltiness and does not overpower the main lead. It cost HK$20 (S$3.20) while it cost S$4.65 back in Singapore.

Conclusion

Actually I myself was quite surprise that the experience of visiting Tim Ho Wan’s Fortress Hill brand is vastly different from the previous visit (5 years ago) of the Sham Shui Po Branch. Comparing Hong Kong’s price to Singapore, their signature Polo Char Siew bun is mark up by a whopping 80%. I always have this philosophy that the taste of food is somehow link to the price and waiting time. For this visit, there is zero waiting time and realising Tim Ho Wan’s affordable price, everything appears to be better.

Their century egg congee is not the most flavourful. Those who enjoy something light may enjoy this porridge much.

For those who are already a fan of Tim Ho Wan, then this is a must-visit for you. And for those who think that Singapore Tim Ho Wan’s price is too exorbitant, this will be your chance to enjoy a better quality Tim Ho Wan at a much cheaper price.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

Actually Tim Ho Wan is between the Fortress Hill and North Point Station but it’s more straight forward to walk from Fortress Hill.  It’s about a 7 to 10 minutes walk.

1. Come out from Exit B of Fortress Hill Station

2. Walk straight and turn left at a junction to Power Street

3. Continue walking straight until a T Junction and turn right on City Garden Road

4. Continue walking straight. City Garden Hotel will be on your left.

5. After passing City Garden Hotel, walk a little bit more and Tim Ho Wan will be on your right.

Scroll to bottom to see address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan branches

Other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Olympian City Branch

Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui [大角咀海庭道18號奧海城二期G樓72號舖]

Opening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

Sham Shui Po Branch

11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po [深水埗福榮街9-11號地下]

Opening hour: 8am to 9.30pm

Central Branch

Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall) , Central [中環香港站12A鋪(IFC地庫一層]

Opening hour: 9am to 9pm

Tseung Kwan O Branch

Shop 49, G/F., POPCORN 2, 9 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O [將軍澳唐俊街9樓POPCORN 2期地下49號] O

pening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

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Kam Wah Cafe that serves the Best Polo Bun in Hong Kong

Reputation for the Best Polo Bun in Hong Kong – Kam Wah Cafe

English Address (Google Map): G/F, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward

Chinese Address: 太子弼街47號地下

Opening hours: 6.30am to 12.00am

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Hong Kong is very well known for two kinds of pastries – Egg tart and Polo Bun (Pineapple Bun 菠蘿包). According to online sources,  you can get the best of both worlds at Kam Wah Cafe. They are very famous for their freshly baked Polo Bun and Traditional Egg Tart. People vouched that they serve the best Polo Bun in the whole of Hong Kong.

Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳/金华冰厅) operates from morning to midnight and the peak hour is in the morning. It’s always crowded with a hectic atmosphere. They serve their meal at truly amazing speed. I shared a table with an old couple.  Their order arrived within 30 seconds upon placing their order and the couple jokingly told the waiter in Cantonese “Is there a need for such speed?”

As I am rushing to Australia Dairy Company for breakfast round two, I just ordered their signature dishes – their award winning Butter Polo Bun and Egg Tart, and one additional french toast. Oh yes, Kam Wah also has a minimum order of one beverage per customer.

Menu of their best sellers – Click to enlarge

Their extensive menu – Click to enlarge

Butter Polo Bun (HK$8)

Polo Bun (which means pineapple bun), has no pineapple content in it. It was named as such because of the appearance resembles a pineapple (although i am quite sure Kam Wah’s don’t look like a pineapple at all).  The top of the bun is made of dough that is in similar nature of a sugar cookie.

Kam Wah’s Polo Bun is served fresh from the oven once every 10 minutes in the morning. That’s how fast and furious it’s selling. Apart from dining in, many people just order their Polo Bun as takeaway. Morning is also the best time to catch their most fresh and piping-hot Polo Bun.

I ordered their Butter Polo Bun (S$1.40) with a thick slice of butter sandwiched in between the bun. I instantly smell the fresh-from-the-oven fragrance of egg and bread when the bun is served. But my usual ritual  (photo taking) stopped me from taking a bite instantly.

Despite that, the almost-a-centimeter top crust is still downright crispy. The crust layer is also not overly sweet. The melted butter compliments the warm fluffy center and introduce a savory taste that further enhances the flavor. It also has a tinge of lemon/orange peel fragrance. i give this bun a thumbs up!

Their french toast is not bad, and the middle is spread with peanut butter. But i had better one, which i will write on later.

Egg Tart (HK$4)

I wasn’t too impress with their egg tart filling though, as I have my own preference of how an egg tart should taste. Most importantly the custard must be bursting with egg fragrance and the custard should also be really smooth and soft. Kum Wah’s version lack in this two aspect.

Their milk tea is quite good. Smooth and fragrant, and most importantly, they are in the old school Dairy Milk Cow Tea Cup.

Kam Wah’s version is the more traditional Hong Kong style egg tart. The texture of the custard is not as soft and i thought it taste a little artificial. However, the tart crust is a totally different story. The crust literally crumbles in my mouth and I really love it’s texture. The crust doesn’t taste sweet, which rightfully should compliment the custard very well. If not for it’s custard, I would really recommend this egg tart. It’s also rather value-for-money at less than S$0.70 each.

Conclusion

I encountered something not very pleasurable at Kam Wah. The cafe is really crowded and I carry a rather bulky camera bag with me (i was slinging it in front) while I was going into the cafe. One service staff was rushing to attend to her customer and I think my camera bag was in her way and she just pushed and shoved my camera bag to the side using her hand without batting an eye.

I think this is one kind of service that you will get in Hong Kong cafe so just don’t be alarmed when it happens. For Hong Kong first-timer, you may want to read up my “Eight must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture“.

Crowded cafe in the morning

That aside, this is my second visit to Kam Wah. I didn’t order their Polo Bun the first time and I thought there is nothing fantastic about this cafe. But then it’s another story after trying it. So my opinion is, the Polo Bun is worth the calories for sure and be sure to pop by for it, even as takeaway. However, I will leave it to you to decide if you would like to have a full meal at Kam Wah.

For myself, I just try what i think is deserving and i visited Australia Dairy right after this.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

The takeaway counter that sells pastries and their signature Polo Bun

Map and Directions

Kam Wah is actually in between Prince Edward and Mongkok station but i went from Mongkok station.

1. Come out from Mongkok Station Exit B3

2. You will see an escalator leading up to a bridge. Go up the escalator.

3. As shown on my map, you are walking along Mong Kok Road, on a pedestrian bridge above Mong Kok Road.

4. Turn to the left and goes down that escalator to reach ground floor.

5. Walk straight until you come to a T junction.

6. Kam Wah Cafe is on your left.