Surprisingly, it was half empty on a working weekday at 12.30pm? Where are the crowds?
I know One U very well, there are a few towers of offices nearby, you can see them thronging through the mall every lunchtime by the hundreds. I guess I know the reason after looking at the menu prices.
(thats the whole menu, exactly 25 items only)
They are a bit on the high side in terms of price, and hence its not really something most office workers can have lunch here twice a week cause its going to be between RM30-40pp for dim sum each time. Having said that, the place at Mid Valley is still full during lunch time, and I think thats because we have a lot more tourists, the ladies who lunch, the lepaking executives having "business meetings" there.
(the century egg & lean meat porridge 10/10)
The fish skin were well done as they were coated ever so slightly with flour unlike other places. Its good, but its not dim sum in my books. (7/10)
The turnip cake was 'clean tasting' if you know what I mean. I have had better, decent though. Chilli sauce disappointing. (8/10)
(fried fish skin, fried turnip cake)
Beef "balls". Its ok as there are a lot of herbs and spices inside which detracts from the essence of beef. Not my kind of dish. (7/10)
The baked pastry bun (basically a baked charsiewpau) was heavenly. The crust was thin and kind of fluffy, fillings were great tasting, not too sweet. (10/10)
The failure: pai-kwat (pork ribs black bean) ... tasted too much tenderiser (4/10).
Hargow, is well made. Good but not the best. (8.5/10)
Surprisingly, my favourite dish was the Malay cake (mar-lai-gou). Springy, fluffy and the brown sugar taste was blissful. The best I have ever had. I would go back to THW again and again just for this. (10/10)
Having garnered a Michelin star for a simple shop in HK, naturally gave way to loads of funders to open more outlets. Expectations will be high, and they are being put up there to fail as new international food outlets are hard to maintain quality control. Basic product sourcing could be different and/or difficult.
I will be as true as I can reviewing the food, even though I am half expecting the food not to be as good as their reputation.
Good to note that they have only 25 items on the menu. No need to be everything to everyone. I don't think you can be very good if you offer too many dishes.
There are 4 dishes that I rate as exceptional, and I would come back for them again and again: (all rated 10/10)
Mar-lai-gow (Malay cake)
The porridge ... HK style, very meeen (smooth) and obviously the soup stock is clean and flavourful.
The charsiew puff ... puff said.
Plus their dessert, kwai-far kou I think. I have tasted many versions of this in other places but was never impressed. THW's version you can smell the flowery aroma, and the flower sweetness, the sweetness does not appear to be sugary ... its quite a blissful simple and clean dessert. 10/10 as well.
Conclusion: not everything on the menu is that good; its pricey; but there are enough dishes that are soo... good you would want to come back again and again.
p/s I did not try all 25 items, so those I did not rate means I have not tried them - they could be good... or bad.