The Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant: Nibble Chicken Feet

When we decided to eat at Tim Ho Wan, one of the most affordable Michelin star restaurants in Hong Kong, chicken feet wasn’t what I was going for. It was a bonus.

Tim Ho Wan In is a Hong Kong dim sum restaurant that’s hidden away. It was awarded a Michelin star. It is also very affordable. It is really cheap.

We made the trip to Mongkok, which is a part of town where many menus don’t have English subtitles. We hope the menu will include pictures.

When we arrived at the difficult location, a metal door was installed. A man stood in front of us and kept insisting that there was no Tim Ho Wan left. They had moved elsewhere. Ugh.

We found out quickly that the original location was closed due to high rent. The other star location was “across the street”. Return to the subway.

Sham Shui Po’s new location is easy to locate, as the signage and name of the restaurant are only in Chinese. It is a good rule of thumb to find the restaurant with the longest queue once you have reached the area. All information on the internet indicated that queues can last anywhere from one hour to three hours.

We arrived at 10:10 am and were immediately seated at one of the last tables. No line. It was probably a bad idea to bring People Magazine with you.

They sat us both at a four-top and then sat a couple next to us. It was a common dining experience in Asia. Despite the fact that our neighbors appeared to be regulars we discreetly turned towards them for nonverbal instructions.

The woman took her complimentary cup of hot tea, and began to clean all her plastic dishes with it. This ritual was abandoned by us. Are we to be concerned?

The placemat featured a picture menu description and an English translation.

Instantly, I spotted a picture with chicken feet. My insides glowed. Really.

It was simple: mark the items you wish to order on the menu and then hand it to the employee who is hurrying by.

We ordered four courses including the chicken feet. First, we had a pan-fried turnip cake. This was our least favorite dish. The BBQ Pork Buns, Tim Ho Wan’s signature dish, was next. They were light and fluffy, with a slight sweetness. The pork inside was delicious, but I chose to eat the whole bun.

The third was the steamed beef balls with bean curd skin. It tasted just like a pot sticker.

Steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce was the last thing that arrived at the table. The texture and color of the talons instantly reminded me of California’s pigs tail. These chicken feet tasted more like chicken wings than pigs. This seemed like a lot of work, but it was very tasty.

Peter took the rest and I ate just one chicken foot.

Although I knew this was one the most expensive Michelin restaurants in the world, the price was still shocking to me. The total cost of a four-course meal was 69 HKD, or $8.90. This is a great deal.

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