Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tim Ho Wan 添好運 II --> Sweet Pak Fu 糖百府

The restaurant scene in Hong Kong goes through a multitude of fads every year. Sometimes it will be a whole genre of cuisine where you see a different shop in every corner no matter where you go. Their growth will mirror that of bacterial growth almost to the letter (reference to the wikipedia article is highly recommended.) We have borrowed a graph from the article shown on the right here:
Growth is shown as L = log(numbers) where numbers is the number of colony forming units, versus T (time.)

The most recent example is perhaps burger joints which have names ranging from Fat to Monster and Shakem' Buns, which is num and dad's favourite. Of course you never know if we are in phase B - exponential growth or C - stationary until the whole gig is over.

Another type of fads will be a shop drawing crowds to queue up for hours just to eat for perhaps 20 mins. These shops often burn out within a short space of time because
  • Hong Kong is a small place. Potential queuers, who have a taste for new things, do not need to travel far.
  • Almost all restaurants in Hong Kong have only one objective, maximum return within the shortest time. Quality suffers and it is often inversely proportional to the time in existence.

The latter is probably a good enough reason to go and try out Tim Ho Wan 添好運 again. The queue of people waiting were there, so the novelty value remained. So the question is, "Can its dim sum hold up in quality?" Mum and dad went with grandpa last Saturday and waited for 80 mins to find out.

While waiting for their turn, they spotted a new shop next door to Tim Ho Wan called Sweet Pak Fu 糖百府. Instead of waiting in the heat, they decided to sit down in the air conditioned shop and try its desserts in the mean time. The two "Snow Ice 雪花冰" desserts arrived, one green tea flavour and one almond flavour. And they were delicious. The texture was very smooth and fine, almost ice-cream like. Both toppings tasted great but the almond topping was more fragrant. Well worth the HK$35 they charge per item. Apparently, "Snow Ice" was first developed in Taiwan some 30 years ago and currently one of the top favourites there. And it's fast becoming a new fad in Hong Kong apparently.

Back to Tim Ho Wan, the taste was up to standard but there's definitely a marginal decline in the presentation standard. Lets hope the quality can be maintained.

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