Episode 14: Tim Ho Wan + Michelin-Starred Dim Sum

For the last episode of the winter season of Feast Meets West, Tony Chan, General Manager of Tim Ho Wan, joined Lynda and Iris on the show to tell the story of Tim Ho Wan, which is known as the world’s most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant. They talk about the difference between the dim sum culture in the East and West, what sets Tim Ho Wan apart, and the future of this traditional Cantonese cuisine.

We have actually discussed dim sum in a previous episode, where we interviewed Wilson Tang of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, as well as Alex Chau of Ding Dim 1968 in Hong Kong. With Tim Ho Wan opening its first US location in New York City earlier this year, it was the perfect time to revisit the topic!

Iris starts the show with a little background information on dim sum, and both Lynda and Iris talk about the insights gleaned from our previous episode on dim sum.

Tony tells us about his career, he talks about how good luck landed him a gig as Tim Ho Wan's General Manager, and how studying police science and human behavior patterns in college helped his career in hospitality. He shares what "Tim Ho Wan" means and the story of how the first restaurant in Hong Kong came about.

Lynda and Tony then talk about the importance of freshness at Tim Ho Wan, especially when it comes to the skins of the dumplings. While some restaurants simply reheat frozen dim sum, Tim Ho Wan aims to serve high-quality, freshly-made dim sum all day long, with hourly quality checks.

15:34 "If you came in at 10.01 a.m. in the morning and order shrimp dumplings, which is hargow, and then came at 9:59 p.m. before we close, the quality and texture will taste exactly the same." - Tony Chan on the quality control of Tim Ho Wan's dim sum.

Lynda asks Tony about the etiquette of eating dim sum, what he thinks about the classic dim sum carts that have fallen out of fashion, and about his own family's dim sum habits and traditions. Also, make sure you listen to this episode to hear Tony's protips on when's the best time visit Tim Ho Wan to beat the crazy long lines. We end the conversation with what's next for Tim Ho Wan, and Tony's thoughts on the future of dim sum as a whole.

And that wraps up Feast Meets West's first season with Heritage Radio Network! Thank you so much for your support. We <3 our listeners! Make sure you subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher so you don't miss any episodes when we're back later this spring. Also sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep updated with all our other content and news.