Tim Ho Wan’s opening in Manila created a big buzz online and the hype is still very much visible with the long lines in both of their branches — SM Megamall Fashion Hall and Glorietta (beside the Globe store). People wanted to have a taste of their famour Char Siew Bao, or Pork Buns.
The Megamall branch was already open when my family went back to Hong Kong. I decided to try one of the Hong Kong branches, after reading online that waiting was only around 15-30 minutes. That’s very short comparing to the one hour (at least) waiting time at the Megamall branch.
Anyway, another restaurant opened its doors in Megamall and also boasts of their famous pork buns — TuanTuan.
One order of pork buns will give you 3 pieces for both restaurants (Tim Ho Wan: PhP145, TuanTuan: PhP128).
Visually, TuanTuan’s look more appealing because of its even color. Tim Ho Wan’s, on the other hand, looks more toasted (which I personally prefer).
Both versions of the bun have pork filling. The main difference is the taste. Tim Ho Wan’s filling is more savory and salty, compared to Tuan Tuan’s sweeter version. Tim Ho Wan’s buns are also filled with more filling than TuanTuan’s.
But probably the best selling point of both of these buns are the bread and coating. Other’s opinion is correct in that TuanTuan’s bread is crunchier, thanks to the pineapple icing that covers it, but it also tends to crumble easier. Taste-wise, both are sweet, but not too much to the point of being cloying.
When it comes to the balance of taste, I preferred Tim Ho Wan’s because the saltiness of the filling was balanced out by the sweetness of the bread. TuanTuan’s however was just sweet with not enough saltiness to even it out.
Tim Ho Wan’s Char Siew Bao
– Better balance of flavor
– Good proportion of bread to filling
– More expensive
– Long queue for seats
TuanTuan’s Pork Snow Bun
– Shorting line for seats
– No flavor variety
– Bad bread:filling ratio
With only a few peso difference, I personally recommend that you try Tim Ho Wan’s first. I don’t know if you’ll find it worth the long waiting time. But they also offer a lot of other items that you can try.
As for TuanTuan, they also offer a Pineapple Snow Bun, sort of a dessert version of their Pork Snow Bun.