New York City has no shortage of Michelin-starred dining options – but good luck finding one where every dish on the menu costs less than a Subway sandwich. So though dim sum darling Tim Ho Wan has come a long way since 2009 when its original Hong Kong location became, at the time, the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world, New Yorkers still have reason to be excited that the global chain’s 45th location opened in Manhattan today.
True to the dim sum joint’s reputation, the brand’s first American outpost doesn’t have anything on its 28-item menu priced over $5.50, and in general, Eater describes the cuisine as “largely similar” to what you’ll find at the original location halfway around the globe: standards like barbecue pork buns, turnip cakes and sticky rice in a lotus leaf. “We don’t have fusion things,” said Mak Kwai Pui, one of the two chefs behind the growing chain. However, despite these dishes being available at other NYC dim sum restaurants, Pui told Eater that freshness sets Tim Ho Wan apart: “We make it today, we serve it today. This is our biggest thing. This is our biggest difference.” Still, two menu items are exclusive to this new Manhattan location: a veggie spring roll and French toast with custard filling.
For now, the restaurant located at 85 4th Ave in the East Village is only in its soft opening, meaning the hours will be slightly restricted in the afternoon. The official grand opening is slated for January 18, after which you can drop in for Dim Sum anytime between 10am and 10pm (or until 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights). But a word of warning: This sure-to-be-a-hot-spot only has seating for 60 people and doesn’t take reservations. So getting in could prove to be tricky.
But if you’re patient, the company is already pondering opening one or two more New York locations (including potentially Queens). Or if you’re really patient, you could just wait and see if Tim Ho Wan goes full-Starbucks and eventually opens a dim sum spot on every street corner.