WHERE: Shop 173 – 175 Westfield Burwood, 100 Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134.
Having gone to the Chatswood Tim Ho Wan before and being a little over(under)whelmed by the crowds, the queues and the super fast service sans smiles, I had quavering expectations for the new Burwood store that opened up. From a couple of days before I noticed as they put up the queuing tapes in front of it and thought to myself that they must expect a big line – after all, I was a witness to the staircase-and-street-long lines that had formed in front of the Chatswood restaurant. Still, a Michelin-starred restaurant comes with a certain gravitas and importance to it, and therefore we headed out to THW for an early dinner one night. I wasn’t disappointed, but the table service left me feeling a little disconsolate. Tim Ho Wan, love your customers more…and show it!
We ordered Vermicelli Roll with Sesame Sauce ($5.80). This is a vegetarian option – and comes with a sauce from the outer depths of heaven. It was thick and sweet with a very nutty flavour – tasting more of peanut oil though rather than sesame. The vermicelli was very soft – not the same level of fresh taste as Din Tai Fung’s dumplings, and the sesame seeds on top was a good garnish. Wasn’t quite sure what was in the roll though.
We then had Fried Noodles with BBQ Pork and Soy Sauce ($9.90). We don’t eat pork, and our request to take the pork out was met with a blank face and a hasty no. Up your customer service, Tim Ho Wan! Even if they can’t accommodate a request, they should be more polite about it. A Michelin star is not just about the delicious sesame sauce, it’s about the service too.
Despite that. this was a very tasty Singapore-style noodle. Again, a tasty and well-chosen selection of sliced vegetables and garnished with soy sauce and sesame seed, the fried noodles had a pleasant mixture of mildness and taste. It wasn’t particularly exciting like the sesame sauce roll and nothing was unexpected. A decent amount of noodles is to be had, and a good choice, albeit a safe one.
We ordered the Beef Balls with Beancurd Skin ($6.00) which were a classic favourite. The 3 beef balls were tender and juicy and a large size- and if that sounds like a cliché, well it is. Like the fried noodles, the beef balls were a safe choice. The beancurd skin was a pleasing element to the beef ball but could be crispier. Filling and tasty though, but the beef balls admittedly look dubious…
Lastly, we got the Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp ($7.80). These I thought were an interesting taste – the spinach was a strong taste couple with the softer prawn. The spinach was great – crispy and feeling fresh, and added colour to the dish, and it was a good departure from the safer tastes of the fried noodles and the beef balls. Try this and the sesame sauce rolls next time you’re here.
The one gripe that I have with this place, as you might have guessed, is the table service. That’s one thing which can make or break a place. I realise it is fast paced environment…yet if Mcdonald’s workers can say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘enjoy your meal’ with a smile on their face in a hot kitchen and a bazillion customers yelling at them, and a manager at the back, then THW waitstaff can do the same too in their air conditioned store. The food is good – nobody can deny that. Safe, but good. It’s filling too! Give it a go next time you’re in the Burwood area, but don’t take it personally when the waiter drops your plate on the table with a clack without a word. It happens to the best of us…