Despite the Michelin star and the accompanying fame and popularity, Tim Ho Wan remains a fairly casual place. They don't take reservations, but service is brisk. For a party of ten, they asked us to wait until we had a full party in place. We didn't have to wait long though - perhaps 20 minutes - and they ushered us in with 6 people present.
Eventually we were nine - Y.Y. (Japan), Bep (Netherlands), Vera (Brazil), Lynette (Philippines), Joan (Netherlands), Josh (US), Kim (Australia), Maria (Russia) and myself (Singapore).
Being familiar with Dim Sum, the ordering was left to me and I ordered one or two Dim Sum's greatest hits. Tim Ho Wan's dim sum menu is pretty standard - in fact, I've seen larger menus with more variety - but they definitely have all the classics. Ordering is easy with no frills. Your placemat doubles as your menu. They give you a ticket at the start where you put the amount beside each dish you want and then you hand it the the waiter. The food comes rather quickly - a side effect of having the kitchen churning out dishes at breakneck speed.
One of the two signature dishes we ordered: the char siew bao, or barbecue pork bun. Char siew baos are usually steamed white buns (often marked with a red dot), but Tim Ho Wan's signature innovation is that these buns are baked, not steamed. The bread is crusty, soft, slightly sweet and complements the sweet savoury filling inside. The other dish, the pan fried radish cake had a rich umami flavour.
The other classic dim sum dishes include har gow (shrimp dumplings), siew mai (pork dumplings), chee chong fun (thick rice noodles filled with barbecue pork or shrimp - we ordered both).
Other dishes we ordered: the glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf, shrimp dumplings with wasabi sauce, and braised chicken feet.
Chicken feet, or more poetically called Phoenix Claws, are a classic dim sum dish, and to me is the barometer for any dim sum restaurant. Tim Ho Wan's is competent, although not the best I've had.
Lunch for the nine of us, including drinks, cost us slightly over THB 400. Tim Ho Wan was one of the first places I had in mind when I started this group, and I'm glad we finally got to visit.
Rat fund: THB 260, bringing the total to THB 1,460.