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Long queues for Michelin Starred dim sum: Tim Ho Wan

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Living in Singapore can involve a lot of queueing. To get a taxi, to get into a restaurant, to receive a goodie bag…. In all sorts of situations your patience may be put to the utmost test. 

Hot dogs and pretzels anticipated queue. When in Singapore, better be prepared for queues!;-)

The locals seem to be pretty used to it and good at it. I have seen queues of very impressive lengths and durations!
E.g. during my recent visit to Ikea. (But I took it like a real Singaporean;-))

In case of restaurants this is not too hard to understand, since food and going out for food is a big deal in Singapore. A seriously big deal. To know that you only have to look at the number of FB pictures from everyone's daily lunch or dinner.

For example 'chicken-rice' is to be had on every street corner, yet Frits' colleagues may drive half an hour during their lunch break to go to that one, specific eating place that has The Best (according to them) chicken rice in town.

I'm always amazed how many cultures have this big thing with food, while we in Holland totally lack that. Even the Belgians are already more focussed on enjoying food and wine then we are!

Anyways, back to queueing in Singapore.

Since half a year there is a new restaurant in town. Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin starred Dim Sum restaurant from Hong Kong, opened a store at Plaza Singapura. (And by now there is also one at Toa Payoh Central and another one to be expected at Bedok.)

It's reputation is so enormous, that people queue up to have a chance to try it out for themselves. Seldom have I seen such long snake-like queues -everyday!- as here. You may have to wait 60-120 minutes to get a seat. And people do it. They stand there. And wait. Amazing! 

Many people blogged about the place. Often posing two questions to themselves: does the food live up to the expectations? And: Does the food justify waiting an hour and a half in line for it?

The answers vary from a bit disappointed to mixed positive, often raving about a couple of specific dishes.

We are not big on dim sum anyways, and don't like lots of things: chicken feet, liver and other organ's are a no-no for us. So no, I don't see myself waiting for over an hour to try out Tim Ho Wan.

But if you love all that food and dim sum, then I would say that you definitely have to check it out for yourself. Go to the outlet at Toa Payoh Central;  the queues seem to be a lot less there.

Have you been to Tim Ho Wan? Did it live up to your expectations?
Did you ever queue up that long for a restaurant? Was it worth it?


  1. Okay I am totally telling my husband about this. Not that he would ever wait in a line for that long to eat anywhere, but just because every time he comes back from Malaysia he only has good things to say. Everything is "the best" there. Never anything negative and it kind of drives me nuts. Canada is great but we do have our problems and I am sure that Malaysia is the same. Thanks to you I am discovering some of the underbelly that my husband never sees when he only stays in 5 star hotels.


    1. One small poroblem: my article talks about Singapore, not Malaysia;-)!

    2. Having said that: I love Singapore, but it is not perfect!


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