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Tim Ho Wan Manila, Philippines: My Pork Buns Heaven!

Monday, April 13, 2015
Staring at the famed Baked Pork Buns of the world famous Tim Ho Wan is like seeing chubby cheeks of cute fatty cherubims. It was only recently that I got to visit Tim Ho Wan at SM Megamall Fashion Hall. The blissful experience of trying something for the first time made me not regret passing off the chance to dine at Tim Ho Wan way before it opened its first branch in the Philippines.

Tim Ho Wan’s Baked Pork Buns stole my heart away. 

Tim Ho Wan Manila Philippines, Tim Ho Wan Branches at SM Megamall, SM North, Glorietta, Tim Ho Wan Pork Buns, Menu, Blog, Review, Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Big Four 4 Heavenly Kings,
I honestly never thought that I will visit Tim Ho Wan sometime soon since although it already opened three branches here in Manila, lines are still quite long. But then again, as with most things in life, a heart wants what a heart wants. It’s high time to get my hands on those well-raved buns.

It was one of those moments when I was glad that I have no preconceived notion of what certain things taste like. Having read different food blogs that wrote about their Tim Ho Wan Philippines experience, I decided to expect nothing but a nice experience of trying a restaurant for the first time. 

YedyLicious Manila Food Blog at Tim Ho Wan Manila Philippines
This was brought about by the different views I read online regarding the comparison between the branch here and the one in Hong Kong. There are some food bloggers who believe that the Baked Pork Buns here in Manila tasted the same from its origin branch. Others swore otherwise. My mother who loves these Pork Buns said it's pretty darn close.

But I didn't visit Tim Ho Wan to make comparison so I ditched my curiosity and went to SM Megamall armed only with an excitement of a first timer. It didn't disappoint.

Tim Ho Wan Philippines Menu
I could easily paraphrase and tweak the opening statement of this blog post and say that biting into these amazing Baked Pork Buns of Tim Ho Wan is like biting into fat cheeks of an angel, but that would be one helluva creepy statement.

But if that statement could be true, then that's how I would describe it. It feels like heaven.

Tim Ho Wan's Legendary Pork Buns
A dough that is soft, fluffy, and a little sweet filled with savory bbq pork filling is essentially what this pork buns are. But for someone whose heart was stolen by these amazing manna from heaven, it is more than that. It's the kind of feed that feeds the soul as it immediately can bring smile in every bite.

The Famous Pork Buns at Tim Ho Wan
I could go on and on telling you about how much I love Tim Ho Wan's Baked Buns with BBQ Pork (Php145/3pcs) but there are other items on the menu I have also tried. Tim Ho Wan is a Dim Sum place after all - thou shall not go here without feasting on their little pockets of happiness.

Tim Ho Wan is also famous for their 4 Big Heavenly Kings - the four dim sum in Tim Ho Wan's Menu that almost everybody seem to love. But I gather that here in the Philippines, diners prefer other dim sum choices compared to some which are included in the Big 4. These Big 4 of course include the Pork Bun. Another one is the Pan Fried Radish Cake (Php145) which I find at par with my favorite radish cake in other restaurant.

Radish Cake at Tim Ho Wan SM Megamall
Vermicelli Roll with Pig's Liver is also part of the Big 4, but Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork (Php160) sounds more enticing so we went for that instead. The vemicelli wrapper as expected does not have much flavor hence, the BBQ Pork filling just carry it through. I love the texture though and even without the sauce, I can still eat it on its own.

Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork at Tim Ho Wan Manila
The Prawn Dumpling or Hakao (Php160) is not part of the Big 4 but here in the Philippines, we were told that it surpasses the sales of the other items considered Heavenly Kings. That is quite expected because majority of us Filipinos tend to gravitate towards this dim sum no matter what Chinese restaurants serving dim sums we are in.

Prawn Dumpling / Hakao at Tim Ho Wan
If the Prawn Dumpling is a big hit, it is understandable that the Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings (Php140) are quite popular too. These are basically crisp version of hakaw but made all the more enticing with wasabi sauce it comes with. I myself really enjoyed this one.

Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings at Tim Ho Wan
Dim sum feast wouldn't be complete without the Pork Dumplings with Prawn (Php150) because seriously, who does not love siomai? Just like the hakaw, these babies are not included in the Big 4, but with its poularity among Filipino diners, it might as well have.

Siomai or Pork Dumplings with Prawn at Tim Ho Wan Manila Philippines
If you are big on vegetables, which I am by the way, the Dumpling Teochew Style (Php120) may be one of the best options for you. Personally, I like this too much I wouldn't mind having it again on my next visit. Peanuts are incorporated to the mix lending the dim sum an interesting flavor to it.

Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp at Tim Ho Wan SM Megamall
The Beef Balls with Bean Curd Skin (Php120) I am guessing were made for hardcore meat lover. This dim sum is downright meaty in flavor that if you are not aware that the crisp beancurd skin is part of the package, you will tend to ignore it. However, when eaten together, a different depth of flavor is expected.

Beef Balls with Bean Curd Skin at Tim Ho Wan Philippines
Pork and shrimp is always a winning combination for me when it comes to dim sum hence, the Beancurd Skin with Pork and Shrimp (Php120) is one dish I find enjoyable. I love the semi sweet savory combination of the sauce that made the dish all the more flavorful.

Bean Curd Skin with Pork and Shrimp at Tim Ho Wan Philippines
The Vermicelli Roll with Sweet and Sesame Sauce (Php140) has a flavor that baffles me - in a good way. I am thinking it can be more of a dessert-type dim sum because of its sweet flavor. I wouldn't mind having this again but I will reserve it for later after the savory feast.

Vermicelli Roll with Sweet and Sesame Sauce at Tim Ho Wan Manila
Rice lovers like myself need not to go on panic because Tim Ho Wan also serves rice meals akin to the one they serve at Le Ching Tea House (as shown in photos below.) I tried the Rice with Chicken, Sausage, and Mushroom (Php170) and find it a very filling dish. The sauce it comes with was the same sauce we were advised to put in the Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork.

Rice with Chicken, Sausage, and Mushroom at Tim Ho Wan Manila
Another rice dish I tried the Pork Ribs Rice (Php170) and find it likeable as well. A bit spicy with the apparent presence of chopped chilis on top of it. I have to give props to them for the tenderness of the pork ribs which I find enjoyable to munch on in between spoonful of rice.

Pork Ribs Rice at Tim Ho Wan PH
For dessert we had Mango Pomelo Sago (Php90). Creamy and refreshing at the same time. It's like eating mango pana cotta that didn't quite reach the desired texture, and I mean that in a nice way. Pomelo pulp and bits of mango are thoughtful addition to an otherwise monotonous texture of the dish.

Mango Pomelo Sago at Tim Ho Wan PH
The Steamed Egg Cake (Php85) was quite a revelation for me. Granted that it looked like your ordinary rice cake we can buy in every street corner there is but this one got a pleasant distinct taste that sets it apart from the usual cakes. It was probably the sugar, I am not sure. All I know is that I enjoyed every morsel of it and I am no longer wondering why it is part of the Big 4.

Steamed Egg Caake at Tim Ho Wan Manila
Drinks are very limited, but I am not complaining because Tim Ho Wan's Iced Tea (Php50) was one of the best one I've tried in any restaurants. Not the store bought kind, they brew their own concoction. The Cold Barley Water (Php50) on the other hand was very refreshing.

Iced Tea and Cold Barley Water at Tim Ho Wan Sm Megamall
Personally, I find Tim Ho Wan's Dim Sum selections good but the main thing that will make me go back again and again and again is definitely the Pork Buns. It is safe to say that Tim Ho Wan's Pork Buns are the best one I have tried by far. There are few food I consider my soul mate, I must say this is one of them.

Tim Ho Wan Manila Philippines, Tim Ho Wan Branches at SM Megamall, SM North, Glorietta, Tim Ho Wan Pork Buns, Menu, Blog, Review, Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Big Four 4 Heavenly Kings,
Tim Ho Wan
G/F SM Mega Fashion Hall
SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Contact No.: (02) 654 5160
Facebook: /TimHoWanPH
Instagram: @timhowanph

Other Branches at SM North and Glorietta Makati

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