Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan on Bourke Street is nothing like the hole-in-the-wall that first opened in Hong Kong in 2009. The original has a modest 20 seats. This franchised outlet has more than 100. It’s big and bright, with buttons on every table for calling the efficient waiters (don’t expect them to stay long and chat).
Although it’s a larger operation run by different owners, the essence is the same. As in Hong Kong, the dim sum is made to order. All the signature menu items are here too, including the famous barbeque pork buns, which are stuffed with char siu pork and baked (rather than steamed) until golden. They’re more like a cake than a typical savoury item.
Other standouts include the pan-fried turnip cake; light and airy spring rolls stuffed with egg white; and slippery pork and shrimp siu mai topped with an umeboshi plum (a small salty, pickled plum). There are larger dishes, too, including congee, and rice with beef and fried egg.
Founding chef Mak Kwai Pui was awarded a Michelin star for Tim Ho Wan (which translates roughly to "add good luck" in Cantonese) a year after it first opened Hong Kong. Now, there are more than 20 outlets worldwide.