Customers normally need to dig deep into their pockets to dine out in a Michelin-starred restaurant experience, but Tim Ho Wan, a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Hong Kong, breaks the mold. It is the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant ever—the guide says its dim sum starts at $4.
Tim Ho Wan was awarded its first Michelin star in 2009. The Michelin inspectors had been roundly criticized for giving stars to posh restaurants and ignoring the city’s fine street food when they first came to the city. Tim Ho Wan was one of the beneficiaries when the inspectors revamped the guide to showcase the city’s Cantonese cuisine. (It also caused some massive rental increases—but that’s another story.)
The restaurant has become so popular; customers end up waiting up to three hours for a seat in Hong Kong. Like many other restaurants, it used the fame from its star to open branches around the world—so far, in Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia.
And now it is coming to New York.
The eatery is opening a branch in the city later this September. The New York version of Tim Ho Wan will not only boast its bargain prices, but will also have a liquor license. “I don’t think about money,” the owner, Mak Kwai-pui, told Village Voice. “But maybe the investors think about money.”
The menu will predominantly feature dim sum, but will diversify and grow over time. Mak is currently hunting for a local chef to lead the New York launch.