A New York gal living in Sydney. An ICU nurse by profession and urban hippie. A pescatarian, runner/yoga lover, scuba diver & green-living enthusiast. Admits to being a coffee snob & is owned by a sweet French Bulldog.
Published June 3rd 2015
World's cheapest Michelin-star restaurant comes to Chatswood
Tim Ho Wan has been touted as the "world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant" with dim sum dishes averaging about $7 to $8. The famous chain opened its first Australian spot in Chatswood's new dining area called The District. Besides restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Hanoi and Manila, a Melbourne and second Sydney establishment are set to open.
The District is located adjacent to the Chatswood Train Station escalators. Upon nearing the entrance to The District, automatic double doors swing open for you. I was told that the queue wasnt long at about 3pm if I wanted a late lunch or early dinner. However, my partner and I decided spur of the moment to take our chances on a Monday night. We joined a fast moving line at approximately 6pm with others queuing for their chance at the culinary dumplings.
Once in the line, menus are posted along the way so you have an idea of what to order by the time you sit down. We waited approximately five minutes in line before being seated. Your party must all be present before they will seat you. We sat down and on the table was a clipboard, ordering sheet and pencil. With this you mark down what food items you would like to try. We decided on the Spinach Dumplings with Shrimp, Prawn Dumplings, Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables and Rice with Beef and Fried Egg, along with hot tea to drink.
Already on the table were dipping sauces such as soy, hot chili and what tasted like Worchestershire sauce. No sooner had we given our order than the first dumplings appeared. The Spinach Dumplings with Shrimp were tasty with more filling than dumpling, so not too doughy at all. My partner especially liked this dish and we ordered a total of three rounds of these.
I ordered the Prawn Dumplings along with the Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables. The prawns were very plentiful and plump. The vegetables were simply poached lettuce or cabbage with a sweet soy-type sauce.
Prawn Dumpling $8.30, Fresh Poached Seasonal Vegetables $7.80 and Hot Tea $2.50
My partner also ordered the Rice with Beef and Fried Egg as his main. He said the dish was quite tasty with fluffy rice and the eggs were cooked to perfection (he is a self-claimed egg aficionado). However, he felt the dish could have used a bit more beef.
We enjoyed our dinner which came to approximately $52 in total. The price tag was great value, both for the quality of food and the experience of dining in a Michelin-star restaurant.
By the time we left at about 7pm, the restaurant was full to capacity, but no longer a queue out the door. Tim Ho Wan is an unlicensed restaurant and takes no reservations. However if you would have a party of 10 to 12 people, you can potentially jump the queue by requesting their private eating room. Try out Tim Ho Wan for a Bucket List experience of eating Michelin-star dim sum so close to home.