Once heralded as the least expensive Michelin-star-starred restaurant in the world, Tim Ho Wan has opened its first Texas dim sum restaurant in Katy, dishing out piping hot, made-to-order plates of dumplings and its baked bao buns.
The restaurant, which originated in Hong Kong, has expanded to 60 restaurants in 13 countries, including two outposts in New York, as well as Las Vegas, Hawaii, and California. The Katy location, which took nearly two years to complete, is the chain’s first opening since the start of the pandemic, according to a release.
With this in mind, the international chain’s founder and lauded chef Mak Kwai Pui has partnered with a host of Hong Kong chefs, and dim sum specialist chef Paul Li to helm the new space. The restaurant even timed its official opening to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, November 7 — a time which they deemed in line with “feng shui.”
And while the 120-seat restaurant spans 5,160 square feet and is simple in decor, the food is surely something to behold. Here are just some of the edible highlights:
Baked barbecue pork buns
The most popular item on Tim Ho Wan’s menu, the barbecue pork buns should be on your list of items to order. While most places serve their bao in fluffy, white, steamed buns, the buttery buns here are baked, creating a crispy outside with the slightest crunch, and are stuffed with a savory, saucy, and glazed char siu. The trick to the outside texture? A healthy brushing of cream before they bake also adds a slight sweetness, according to a server.
If seeking something that goes down smooth and warm, Tim’s congee is a perfect, but filling, way to start. Mixed with enticing bits of pork, each bowl is served with crispy fried wontons and green onion — both of which add a crunch and freshness to the dish.
Sticky rice in a lotus leaf
Whether looking for a side or a standalone entree, Tim Ho Wan’s steamy sticky rice, which is wrapped in a lotus leaf, is a worthy option. Unwrap the leaf carefully (it’s hot!) and you’ll find a steamy, square mound of rice with bits of Chinese sausage, pork, and mushrooms enveloped inside, and an earthy flavor from the leaf.
Beef balls with bean curd skin
If you love ginger and the richness of beef, the hot beef balls wrapped in a bean curd skin will likely be a favorite.
Dim sum wouldn’t be what it is without the har gow. Another fan favorite at Tim Ho Wan, these dumplings are delicate and stuffed with succulent shrimp.
If looking for a kick, the spicy wontons are worth an order. The tender wontons come in a chili oil that’s peppery, but not unbearable, and are topped with a combination of ginger, red pepper, cilantro, and peanuts for an added crunch.
Another dim sum classic, the shu mai at Tim Ho Wan exceed expectations, with the rich meaty mixture of minced pork and shrimp, all packed into a bite-sized morsel.
Lava custard balls
Finish your meal with lava custard sesame balls, which are crispy with a slightly nutty flavor on the outside. Bite into it, though, and you’ll experience a delightful chewiness followed by the hot gooey custard that offers just enough sweetness.
Tim Ho Wan in Katy 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. 23330 Grand Circle Boulevard, Suite 180, Katy, TX 77450.