[Restaurant Review] Timwah Chinese Dim Sum – Jacksonville, FL
June 7, 2018
So, I recently had Dim Sum for the very first time. I had always wanted to try it, but the cities I had lived in never had it. That is until Jacksonville. I tried a couple of things I never thought I’d try in my life….like chicken feet and tripe (cow’s stomach)! I’ve now been to this restaurant twice, and I constantly crave the food.
Basically, dim sum is sorta like Chinese tapas. There’s a steamed and fried/baked cart that goes around the restaurant and stops by each table where you can choose what you want. Each “dish” typically has 2 to 4 pieces and cost between $3.75 and $4.25. My boyfriend and I prefer the steamed cart so we got one of everything….for the first round that is (there were 3 total).
Personal favorites are the steamed BBQ Pork Bun, Pork Shu Mai (pork and veggie dumpling), and steamed red bean buns (aka the little piggies shown below). While, my boyfriend’s favorite is the Shrimp Shu Mai, Satay Beef Tripe, and Mango mochi.
BEEF TRIPE AND CHICKEN FEET
In the video above, we have Shrimp Shu Mai, Spinach with Shrimp Dumplings, Tripe, Chicken Feet, Shanghai Dumpling, and Steamed BBQ Pork Bun (the last one I was clearly very excited about). Let’s talk about the tripe and chicken feet first. I know many people won’t try it cause of the looks or texture, but I’m one that will at least try just about anything. The chicken feet (pictured below) look as you’d imagine….like little feet. But, I promise they taste very good! It tears apart easily so you can just tear the meat from the bone (it isn’t the most ladylike food). It tastes just like typical chicken but with some extra spice because of the sauce it’s in. They are a little work for the amount of meat, but definitely worth a try!
Now, tripe I was even more skeptical of. It doesn’t look appetizing. It looks like shredded, somewhat bumpy muscle tissue (which it basically is). They do have it in a light sauce so it isn’t just plain. When I tried it, the texture was a bit odd. It’s chewy and a little denser than I imagined. But, I was shocked at how much I loved it! If you’re one that has a thing with texture (like with raw oysters), I’d probably steer clear of this one. Otherwise, go for it! It actually tastes really good…kinda like a flimsier version of calamari (it’s less rubbery). I’ve gotten to where I even eat tripe when I eat pho as well!
DUMPLINGS AND BUNS
Ahh…the heavenly taste that is Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (shown above). I could probably eat my body weight in these things. The bun is very fine and airy so it doesn’t overpower the BBQ pork stuffed inside. The pork is marinated with what’s basically an Asian style BBQ sauce which is composed of hoison sauce, soy sauce, sesame seed sauce, and oyster sauce. Basically, these things are little buns of heaven.
The fried shrimp balls look at first like they’d be basically just a lot of fried dough with maybe a little bit of shrimp in the middle. Oh, how wrong that is. The “fry” is so thin that the entire thing is a big ball of shrimp (see picture below). The outside fry coating is very crispy (think like the noodles they give you when you order hot and sour soup). These are definitely worth the order considering how much meat is actually in these little shrimp balls. It’s a nice balance between the fried shell and savory center so you don’t feel like you’re overdoing it on the fried foods.
Possibly, the cutest food I’ve eaten. I didn’t even care what was inside of these when I ordered them. I just thought the little piggies were too cute not to try (and I wanted a picture…#priorities right?). While I was in Korea, I became obsessed with anything stuffed with red bean filling. Red bean is typically used for their desserts and while it’s a bit sweeter than what you’d typically think of when you think of beans, it’s not anything like the sweet desserts we have here in the US. These Steamed Pig Buns were filled with a sweet dose of red bean, and it was hard not to eat more than two of these. They are definitely more on the dense/sweet side due to the dense dough and filling. However, I definitely wouldn’t skip out on these.
As for the rest of the dumpling dishes, they’re all amazing. The shrimp and pork shu mai are a must try. They’re light and are delicious dipped in a bit of chili oil. The soup dumpling are interesting as they are actually filled with broth. Personally, I love them but my boyfriend doesn’t. Oh, and can’t forget about the steamed spare ribs (delicious too of course)! They would be a great meaty substitute for those who don’t want the chicken feet or tripe.
And last but not least, the dessert round. We ordered the green tea mochi, mango mochi, and custard egg tart (only because they said it was like a light creme brulee). The mango mochi is filled with fresh mangos and very small pieces of coconut and I liked these more than the green tea mochi. The green tea ones were filled with red bean. Which, as we all know by now, I love, but it was just too much with the sweet, thick, dense mochi. In my opinion, the mochi is more dense and filling than the steamed red bean buns, but my boyfriend (who isn’t big on sweets) disagrees and prefers the mochi. As for the custard egg tart, the filling is similar to creme brulee in taste but less viscous. Overall, these egg tarts are good but I’d skip these in exchange for another dish or mochi.
Timwah Dim Sum is located right off the Baymeadows Road by 295, and they typically have some different dishes/features on the weekends. You can follow their Instagram to be kept up to date! All links are below: