Restaurant Impresario Warner LeRoy said “a restaurant is a fantasy – a kind of living fantasy in which diners are the most important members of the cast.” Epic fantasy films often have casts of hundreds or thousands – employing large number of background actors, sometimes referred to as supernumerary actors or simply as extras. At Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura, we felt like supernumeraries in an epic production.
The term “supernumerary”, from the Latin supernumerarius, is used in theaters to refer to someone paid to appear on stage in crowd scenes or in the case of opera as non-singing small parts. Supernumeraries as a group are important to a production but not important in the same sense as the lead actor is important. A supernumerary is easily replaceable, especially if there are many willing candidates waiting in line for a chance to appear on stage.
Diners as a group are obviously very important as paying customers to Tim Ho Wan, but at Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura it would appear that each individual customer is not that important to them. Afterall, there are many waiting in line to get into the dim sum restaurant. What they do not say expressly but is implicit in their practices is “welcome but please eat as quickly as possible and leave”. At least that is how we felt when we had lunch there recently. The waitresses were nice and apologetic but their hints that we should not tarry too long at our small table became more and more obvious. One even admitted that it was the policy to try to get diners to pay up as soon as possible so as to free up the table.
Amidst the rather noisy environment, with tables arranged with hardly a gap between them, we managed to place our orders for the poached fresh vegetables ($5.50) and several dim sum items.
The baked buns with BBQ pork ($4.50) were really very good. They had a delicate soft texture with a light crispy sweet layer outside. The pork filling was tender with a smoky flavour and not too sweet. The steamed spinach dumplings with shrimps ($3.80) were also surprisingly good. The skin was thin and refined. The fresh prawns and the slightly salty spinach combined well for a delicious steamed dim sum.
We also enjoyed the thick and succulent beef balls with bean curd skin ($4.20) and the tasty dumplings with spicy sauce ($5). The Pan-fried Carrot Cake ($4.50) was the only disappointing item. It was bland and really nothing special.
We did not order desserts because we felt bad that we had “hoarded” their table for more than 30 minutes already.
Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura is a restaurant that sells you good food but not necessarily a good dining experience. Some of their dim sum may be superb but if you go there, be prepared to be valued as much as supernumeraries are valued in the theaters. Maybe next time, we will do take-away.
Food : 4
Service : 3
Value : 3
Atmosphere : 2
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Average price per person for lunch : $18
Tim Ho Wan Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road #01-29A
Tel: +65 6251 2000
Monday – Friday : 10.00am – 10.00pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday : 9.00am – 10.00pm
Nearby Stations: Dhoby Ghaut
The Ordinary Patrons
Singapore Food Blog by Ordinary People looking for Places to Eat