Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong’

Cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant: Tim Ho Wan dim sum in Hong Kong

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan

I’m not the biggest dim sum fan, but when I visited Hong Kong for the first time this past fall, I knew I had to try the food in its city of origin. So why not go for the best?

Tim Ho Wan offers the cheapest Michelin-starred food in the world. Dishes start at about US$1, so you can eat your heart out without breaking the bank (and with the US dollar rising in value, now is a good time to go). Even though my mother and I were on our own, we still ordered a respectable 10 dishes — not as many as the table next to us, which, judging by the number of piled-up bamboo steamers, I’m pretty sure ordered the entire menu.

I visited the Sham Shui Po location in Kowloon, the only restaurant of the four in Hong Kong that actually has a Michelin star. It wasn’t the easiest location for us to get to — my mom actually said to me, “This better be worth it” — but Tim Ho Wan’s dim sum was easily the best I’ve ever had. Every dish was just as you’d expect and more, with high quality ingredients crafted by a subtle hand.

My absolute favorite dish was the char siu bao (barbecue pork bun), which is baked instead of steamed here at Tim Ho Wan. The best part was the sweet flaky topping reminiscent of the kind found on Chinese pineapple buns (named for their appearance and not for their ingredients), which provided another layer of texture. I still drool thinking of these!

Char siu bao

Char siu bao

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04 2015

Designer Destinations by Ovation

The Clarence Hotel in Dublin, Ireland

Ovation Global DMC (that’s “Destination Management Company”), an Ireland-based travel company, has introduced a new customized travel series called Designer Destinations, which focuses on hip locations and activities, making some of the oldest cities in Europe feel new again. You can choose the length of your tour, which cool hotel you’d like to stay at, and which stops you’d like to make — and everything (meals, transportation between sites, admission fees, etc.) is included in your price, except for airfare.

For example, the Designer Dublin tour can include three days filled with educational, fun and trendy stops. Ovation will arrange to have you picked up from the airport and taken to your hotel of choice, which could be either The Morgan, The Morrison or The Clarence, owned by U2’s Bono and The Edge. You’ll tour some of the most famous sites of Ireland’s literary and musical icons, including the birthplace of James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, the Dirty Old Town area and the U2 Wall. There’s also a sample day that could possibly be my perfect ShopEatSleep day: A morning visit to the Powerscourt Design Centre to meet up-and-coming Irish fashion designers, followed by a manicure and a master styling class OR trips to the Jameson whiskey distillery and the Guinness Storehouse, to compete in a pull-your-own-pint competition. Lastly, get a cooking lesson from The Morrison’s head chef Richie Wilson. I may have to go back to Dublin just for this day!

These Designer trips are actually created for large groups (Ovation specializes in corporate team- and morale-building trips, which it calls “incentive” trips), but if you wanted to do something like this with just a few friends, Ovation would be willing to work with you, but the price per person most likely would be higher. For reference, a three-day Designer Dublin trip costs about €850 ($1,079) per person based on a group of 40 sharing hotel rooms.

If Ireland isn’t your thing, there are also Designer Brussels and Designer Hong Kong trips available.

Full disclosure: Ovation Managing Director Patrick Delaney is my future uncle-in-law.

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05 2010