If you are looking for a Michelin star dim sum restaurant in Waikiki, look no further because Tim Ho Wan is probably the best in the city! Located in the Royal Hawaiian Center, head up to the third floor and you’ll find it next to Doraki Sushi. They currently have indoor and outdoor dining and are currently not taking reservations so it is first come first serve. During lunchtime, there is usually a line out the door so make sure to come early to get a table or come during dinner time since they serve their dim sum all day. All their items are made to order so you know it's fresh. After trying their flagship location in Hong Kong a few years ago, I was excited to try it again when I saw it here in Waikiki. If you come during the weekdays, they currently have a 15% off your entire bill. Since the dim sum is more on the higher end, this is a great perk to give them a try. The service was great and the food was delicious. Here are my recommendations on items you must try here:
- Baked pork buns: This is probably their signature item and the reason why they got so popular because it is absolutely delicious. With classic barbecue pork buns, it usually has a very doughy bun on the outside but with the buns here, the outside is similar to a pineapple bun and is so crispy. Eat it fresh right when it comes out to get the ultimate experience. Each order comes with three buns and is priced at $6,50 but it is worth it.
- Steamed pork dumplings with shrimp (siu mai): One of the best dumplings I’ve had in my life. It honestly melts in your mouth and the filling was delicious. Pair it with the soy sauce and chili oil they give you and it is the perfect dish. While it may be simple, Tim Ho Wan excelled in this and makes all the flavors pop.
- Steamed rice roll with shrimp and chives: Another classic dim sum dish. The shrimps were big and leaning more towards the prawn size. The rice paper wasn’t as thin but had a great texture to keep the shrimp and chives in place. Dip it with the soy sauce so the best pairing.
Tim Ho Wan also has specialty dishes you can only get in Waikiki like steamed Maine lobster, steamed Kona abalone, pan-fried rice rolls with XO sauce (delicious!), and more. If you are in the area, give Tim Ho Wan a try and go for their classic dim sum dishes since they are dim sum specialists and definitely deserve that Michelin star.