When people say Dimsum, I remember murder. Don’t blame me. Google The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story. When the rumor of Tim Ho Wan, a Michelin starred dim sum restaurant, opening in Cebu went out, people were excited to taste their famous pork buns. Even though any kind of meat (including human) could end up in there. I was fortunate to be invited to the media preview and was looking forward to discovering what the hype was all about.
The baked pork bun’s dough tasted sweet. Cebuanos know the Julie’s Bakeshop Cheese Streusel. It tasted a little like that. But these buns have a very smooth, crispy exterior which easily crumbles on your first bite. I found it messy to eat. Bits and pieces of dough landed on my lap. The inside was as soft as marshmallows. The filling is pork barbecue and definitely tasted like it’s seasoned with oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Their combination of the sweet bread and savory meat is not my favorite. But I understand how Tim Ho Wan got a Michelin star because of these buns. Everything is made from quality ingredients. It tasted fresh and gives the impression that it’s made particularly for you (unlike Chowking’s Sio Pao). I think these pork buns are the perfect definition of love at first sight. From the moment the waiter laid it on your table until the last bite, you discover its imperfections but you accept it for what it is because it’s love. You just have to remember it cannot make everyone fall in love with it.
First off, what is bean curd? It’s tofu. The pork, shrimp, carrots and Chinese cabbage are covered in bean curd skin much like the Philippine-famous lumpia. The result is a soft but firm dish which has a chewy skin as it is softened by the savory sauce. I can hear my teeth grind as it tries to cut the bean curd wrapper. But as soon as the wrapper conceded to its defeat, you’ll know how victory tastes like. This is definitely one of my favorites.
My fondest memory of the event is probably my first bite of these little things. I will have to thank my friend Mark from Habhab Cebu for ordering. A liberal amount of shrimp/prawn is covered with light and lithe transparent wrappers. They look pretty and taste even better.
This sponge cake is sweet but has a slightly denser texture than a chiffon cake. This is best to pair with hot tea. Good thing Tim Ho Wan offers Oolong and Jasmine for only PHP 60.00 per pot.
The pan-fried radish is cake is made of, well, radish, Chinese sausage and imported flour from Hong-Kong. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to taste unseasoned and burnt. But it does. This is probably my least favorite dish. But I’ll have to throw it out there that I’m not a fan of radishes nor Chinese sausages. Even the imported flour didn’t do its trick. This just didn’t work for me.
Location: Upper Ground Floor, Seaview Wing, SM Seaside City Cebu
Time: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Phone #: None (no reservations)
Cuisine: Chinese, Dim sum
Price Range: $