Tim Ho Wan (Takeaway), Central | $ | 4

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Tim Ho Wan. He has restaurants all over the world. You may already know that this is one of the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurants. But Hong Kong is where it all started, and it is an absolute hit with locals and tourists alike.

We were in a rush to get home and didn’t have time for a sit down meal (or the incredible lines to get in). We were near the metro, feeling roguish, and thought we would try the takeaway option.

As you queue up in the takeaway line, a staff member will give you a small piece of paper with various options to fill out. This place is so busy, and the surrounding shops so quiet, that there is a metro security guard whose only job appears to be watching over the Tim Ho Wan line.

We ordered a handful of dishes, including far too many crispy pork buns. Despite the long queues for a sit down meal, ordering and collection of takeaway is a relatively painless affair. The efficiency probably goes a long way to explaining why large crowds would queue for a restaurant in the basement of a metro station.

Not wanting our polystyrene clad food to go cold, we scurried to a nearby taxi rank and barreled into the back seat, seemingly sheltering the dumplings from an assassination attempt. In case you are wondering, taxis in Hong Kong are insanely cheap (and occasionally double as a thrill ride). With the aid of the Hong Kong Taxi Translator App (for US$1, an absolute must have), we were home in a matter of minutes.

The pork buns were everything I was hoping for and the various steamed dumplings were delicious. I would almost go so far as to say the food was too rich – three pork buns down and I found my appetite rapidly shrinking (an equation inversely proportionate to the size of my expanding waistline). I battled through the remaining dumplings but was met with swift resignation. I raised my white serviette in surrender, and called it a day with two dumplings to spare.

No doubt, you will have a much different experience if you were to dine-in at Tim Ho Wan. The takeaway is still something worth experiencing and, quite honestly, at such great prices you really can’t go wrong.

Postscript: For the true dumpling lovers, ShowMeHK toured Taipei and tried what can be considered the ultimate rival to Tim Ho Wan – Din Tai Fung. A must try before you die.

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