One-time world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant Tim Ho Wan leaves Sydney, for now

No spinach dumplings for the emerald city.
No spinach dumplings for the emerald city. Photo: Wayne Taylor

A dispute with its Sydney operator has seen the one-time world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant depart the harbour city.

Tim Ho Wan, the pint-sized Hong Kong restaurant which built a global reputation for its diminutive dumplings, crafted by former Four Seasons Hong Kong dim sum chef Mak Kwai Pui, expanded to Sydney in 2015, opening a flagship store on George Street in the city, and branches in Chatswood and Burwood.

But the Tim Ho Wan shingle has disappeared in Sydney.

Good Food contacted Tim Ho Wan HQ in Asia, a spokesman confirming the exit of the brand.

"Unfortunately, we did have a dispute with our Sydney franchisee and this has resulted in a withdrawal of the franchise license to operate under the Tim Ho Wan brand for the Sydney franchise … the Burwood store closed some time ago, and the other Sydney stores are no longer associated with the Tim Ho Wan brand or ownership," he says.

Good Food was unable to reach its local operator for comment.

Replicating Tim Ho Wan's original award-winning formula was never going to be an easy task, and its glistening global roll-out lost a little lustre last year when two Tim Ho Wan outlets closed in Asia.

But Tim Ho Wan remains committed to Australia. It has a Melbourne restaurant, and is poised to open in Perth. And the company says it is looking at new Sydney sites.