How to dine at Tim Ho Wan Cebu on a P500 budget
By now, you probably know that Tim Ho Wan Cebu opened a branch in SM Seaside. I’ve heard so much about their Baked Buns and couldn’t wait to try them. I hate big crowds and knowing people’s FOMO, I really tried to control myself and wait until the hype died down. But when I heard that Tim Ho Wan was giving away a complimentary order of their bestselling dish until Friday, I knew I had to hurry.
We paid a visit to the restaurant on a Monday morning, thinking everyone else would be at work. Since it was our rest day, we went to the mall around 10:30 am. When we got there, however, there was already a line of people waiting outside for their names to be called. Needless to say, the restaurant was already full of eager diners.
The wait didn’t take too long though. Soon enough, a waiter ushered us to a table by the window. We were then given a small board where we just had to tick off the items we wanted to order from the menu.
Tim Ho Wan Cebu Complimentary Offer
While waiting for our name to be called, we decided to choose what to order beforehand. Since they were offering a complimentary order of the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork to the first 100 customers, we knew we should order something else. We also had to meet the P500 minimum order so we could be among the recipients of the offer.
Our challenge then was to order other items on the menu that could fit our P500 budget:
Pan Fried Radish Cake
I originally wanted to order the Tofu with Pork Floss but we were told that it wasn’t available yet. So instead, we opted for the Pan Fried Radish Cake, which was part of their Big 4 Heavenly Kings.
The dish came in a plate with three square cakes. When I tasted the radish cake, it was a bit of a surprise for me. It didn’t have the usual taste of radish but meatier and more filling. I wasn’t able to finish a square since it was big.
Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp
The next thing we ordered was the Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp. It was either this dish or something from their Vermicelli Roll selection. But since the Beancurd Skin Roll was part of the Big 4 Heavenly Kings, we decided to go for it.
Again, the order came in a serving of three rolls with a sauce somewhat similar to the Chicken Feet served in other dimsum places. I particularly enjoyed this dish because the flavors of the pork and shrimp went well together with its sauce. The beancurd skin was a bit tough to chew on but still very enjoyable.
Spare Ribs Rice
Tim Ho Wan served rice toppings as well. Since we were sharing our dishes, I let my husband pick the rice dish we should order. He picked the Spare Ribs Rice from the selection.
It turned out to be among the dishes we enjoyed the most from Tim Ho Wan Cebu. Even though it cost more than the usual Spare Ribs Rice from other local dimsum restaurants, the taste of the spare ribs made it stand out. The pork ribs were tender, and the rice was cooked to perfection. I would definitely be ordering this on our next visit.
Mango Pomelo Sago
To complete our P500 budget, I knew we had to pay a bit more. Instead of ordering soda or an additional main dish, we opted to order dessert from Tim Ho Wan. We picked the Mango Pomelo Sago, which was a usual order from other Chinese restaurants. I didn’t make the pomelo taste though since the mango was overpowering the dish, but I preferred it that way.
Baked Buns with BBQ Pork
And of course, the last but definitely NOT the least…. the Baked Buns with BBQ Pork. Tim Ho Wan is currently offering their special baked buns for free as part of its opening week promotion. The offer ends on March 31, 2017.
Our complimentary Baked Buns with BBQ Pork arrived at our table like a reward we had earned throughout our meal. This was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for. It was finally time for us to try the dish that put Tim Ho Wan on the map and earned it a Michelin star.
Before taking a bite, I had to take a peek at what was inside.
At first, I thought the BBQ pork filling was too little for the bread. I thought that it would disappoint me since I wasn’t really a fan of bread.
Once my teeth sank into that chewy exterior, I knew I had been so wrong on my presumption. The baked bun was exquisite– sweet, soft, and familiar. It didn’t taste like bread at all. The presence of the BBQ pork was a playful accompaniment to the dough wrapping itself around it. I finally understood what all the rave about Tim Ho Wan was.
All in all, we spent P599.50 which included 10% service charge. It was an enjoyable experience and definitely something I’ll be back for. Considering Tim Ho Wan Cebu just opened, the staff were still having some issues with seat assignment and table numbers. But this was perfectly understandable for a restaurant that had just been open for a couple of days.
I will definitely be back for more once the hype subsides. But given the taste of the Baked Buns, I’m guessing I’d have to wait a while before it does.
Tim Ho Wan Cebu Location
Upper Ground Floor
SM Seaside City Cebu
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM