Not many dim sum restaurants have more than 6000 followers on their Australian Facebook page before one spring roll has been sold to the public. But, not many dim sum restaurants are the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan.
The Hong Kong pork-bun franchise, named the world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, will open its first Australian store above Chatswood train station on Saturday, March 28. Diners will be able to select from a menu of 25 made-to-order items including the famous "Big Four Heavenly Kings". This very exciting news for dim sum fans everywhere.
The number one King is a baked bun with barbecue pork ($6.80 for three). The other, and by no means lesser Kings, are pan-fried carrot cake ($6), steamed egg cake ($5.50) and vermicelli roll with pig's liver ($7.50 for three).
"We only use fresh, premium ingredients and make to order every day," says Singapore-based group executive chef Cheung Yat Sing.
"Also the meaning of the word dim sum relates to the heart. We really love what we do and put the whole heart into making every dim sum."
Cheung will be at the Chatswood store for a week to oversee its opening. Acting executive chef Eric Koh (former head dumpling chef at the two-hatted Mr Wong), has things under control when Cheung is not in town.
Other menu items include perfectly pleated prawn dumplings ($7.20 for four), beancurd skin with pork and shrimp ($6.20 for three) and braised chicken feet with abalone sauce ($6.20).
Half of the ingredients used for the dim sum menu are Australian and the other half come from Hong Kong in order to maintain the authentic Tim Ho Wan taste.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, although from April 10 there will be a private room that can be booked for 10-12 people at a $300 minimum spend.
Tim Ho Wan Chatswood is still waiting for an alcohol licence so Chinese tea ($2.50) and a homemade barley drink ($3) will have to wet whistles for now.
The first Tim Ho Wan restaurant was founded in 2009 by former Four Seasons Hong Kong dim sum chef Mak Kwai Pui. There are now outlets in Singapore, Taipei, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.
Melbourne's Chinatown is next in Tim Ho Wan's Australian sights, where it will open a store by the end of April. Outposts at Sydney's Westfield Burwood and Sydney's CBD are expected to launch before the end of the year.
Corner of Victoria and Railway Streets, Chatswood, 10am-9pm daily, timhowan.com.au