Whoever said long layovers are horrible clearly hasn’t made the most of them. After booking the cheapest deal possible to get from Colombo to Mexico City, we discovered that with cheap prices come long layovers. While the journey would take us to almost the other side of the globe, our bargain basement cheap flights also included layovers, which many would cringe at. However, we are optimistic kinda gals and the idea of a long stint in a new city sounded pretty bloody ideal!
Our flight itinerary was roughly 40 hours long with an 11-hour layover in Hong Kong and another 5-hour layover in Los Angeles. Having never been to Hong Kong, my sister KB and I Googled all the things we could do and planned a jam-packed sightseeing tour of Hong Kong.
Our main mission was to eat at Tim Ho Wan – the world’s cheapest Michelin Star restaurant! See, slumming it out on the cheapest flights possible wasn’t so bad! Tim Ho Wan is home to Hong Kong’s most famous dumplings. Chef Mak Kwai Pui and chef Leung Fai Keung came together to create the empire of Tim Ho Wan, which started as a small 20-seater dim sum restaurant that bloomed into an international award-winning enterprise.
The unpretentious and modest restaurant favours an old-school philosophy that offers superb food at affordable prices. Despite their Olympic level restaurant status, Tim Ho Wan is simple, uncomplicated and available to everyone.
We arrived into Hong Kong around 8am and made our way to Olympic Station near the Tai Kok Tsu area. There are several Tim Ho Wan restaurants around Hong Kong but this one appeared to be the easiest to get to from the airport. Located just outside Olympian City 2 shopping mall, we were out the front of Tim Ho Wan by 10am.
I have to say before going any further – Hong Kong was INSANE. The people, the traffic, the hundreds of buildings jam-packed together! I was a little sad we weren’t spending any longer here because this city looked so damn interesting! It was a bit of a shock to the system to be navigating the busy streets of Hong Kong on only a few hours sleep but we ran on adrenaline that made exploring even more exciting.
Usually, Tim Ho Wan is jam-packed with a line out the door most days. Thankfully we’d arrived just after opening and managed to score a table straight away! The interior of the restaurant didn’t look flashy or pretentious and we were the only foreigners amongst locals munching down their dumplings.
Excited, hungry and a little bit delirious we ordered way too much food before even taking a minute to let it all sink in. Within minutes we had little bamboo baskets and plates covering our table and smelling absolutely heavenly. I’ve never had dim sum for breakfast but I guess – when in Hong Kong!
Of course, dumplings were the Tim Ho Wan speciality and these perfect little parcels were so tasty they didn’t last long enough to take a photo. The pork buns were fluffy, sweet and so more-ish. The egg rolls were scrumptious, you get the idea – Tim Ho Wan was a Michelin Star awarded restaurant because they deliver fantastic, tasty food every single time.
We devoured the meal quickly and took a few minutes to digest and contemplated finding somewhere to take a nap because we’d put ourselves into a food coma. Pushing on, we paid the bill, which came to a total (its cash only by the way!) and staggered out into the chaotic city rush full to the brim with dim sum goodness.
It’s true, the fuss about Tim Ho Wan is the dim sum master and DEFINITELY worth the visit! If you’re in Hong Kong, make it a priority to visit these award-winning restaurants. Like they say on their website “Tim Ho Wan strives for dim sum perfection. Come experience this for yourself, and let the food transcend your senses.”
You won’t be disappointed.
Where to find it
There are several Tim Ho Wan outlets around Hong Kong.
Olympian City 2
18 Hoi Ting Rd
Hong Kong Station
(Podium Level 1 IFC Mall)Shop 12A
North Point, Wharf Rd
2號Shop B, C, & D, G/F, Seaview Building