Tim Ho Wan Cambodia has launched its first Hong Kong dim sum outlet at Aeon Mall Phnom Penh, drawing on the brand’s roots as the “world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant”.
Its officially launch follows a five-day soft opening that attracted about 700 diners a day, according to Tim Ho Wan Cambodia GM Chum Phirun.
Starting as a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district in 2009, Tim Ho Wan earned a Michelin Star in 2010, being the least expensive restaurant on the planet at the time for the French dining guide.
With this reputation, the outlet soon became a chain, expanding to 45 locations in Asia, Australia and the US. Despite this success, the restaurant failed to catch on in Malaysia.
Openings in Singapore and New York attracted queues, with customers waiting up to three hours for a table. However, Phirun says few Cambodians are aware of the dim sum chain’s fame or the significance of a Michelin Guide rating.
“The income of Phnom Penh residents is growing rapidly, and many people are now seeking hygienic, high-quality food, so we want to educate them on the advantage of a Michelin-starred restaurant like Tim Ho Wan.”
While two Hong Kong branches of the chain have a Michelin Star, the 33-table restaurant in Phnom Penh does not. It serves 24 varieties of dim sum, and Phirun says there are plans to open two more branches in the city next year.
Founders Mak Kwai Pui and Leung Fai Keung were brought to the official launch by Tim Ho Wan Cambodia director Seak Guech.