Great Value 20pax Dinner @ Shin Yeh on 22Jan2014

咸水鸡 - similar to drunken chicken

咸水鸡 – similar to drunken chicken

organiser of RI friends’ dinner this month wanted to do it at a taiwanese porridge place & chose shin yeh,a tunglok restaurant. this dinner get-together was the most successful by far – we had initially 22pax, 2 could not attend last minute, still we had 20pax on 2 tables on 22.1.2014.

i had the amex palate discounts – 20% for 5-20pax. the restaurant called & i spoke with the manager who initially said we could not get discounts as we were 22pax. i gently told her it didn’t make sense – the worse case would be that we had our 20% discount for 20pax & no discounts for 2pax – & perhaps we should take our business elsewhere. the manager was sensible enough to say she would split the bill for us but that this was an exception. whatever! its a competitive world out there & business was not that great that evening. in any case as we finally settled as 20pax, no rules were broken!

i went earlier with the organiser to order ala carte from the menu (there was no discount for set menus & as always when festivity is near – CNY – set menus were very ex & often offer poor value).

we usually avoid appetiser & tea as they added heftily to the bill. in this case though tea was S$12 for the table (seemed like same S$12 for another number of diners on a table) so it was just S$1.20pax & very reasonable. we could have done without the S$5 appetisers which were just bah kua but anyway we reduced to 2 a table so just S$10 for 10pax. ok lah… 🙂

sweet & sour soon hock

sweet & sour soon hock S$32×2

pineapple prawns S$24

pineapple prawns

we picked 10 dishes.

#1 咸水鸡 – a cold dish similar to drunken chicken, was good. meat was sweet & good shaoxing wine flavour.

#2 we decided to take the staff’s recommendation & ordered 2 sweet & sour soon hock for each table. it was cheap compared with live fish, and the preparation made it quite tasty dish.

$3 another staff recommendation was the prawn with pineapple. this was good too. the prawn preparation was like a wasabi or salted egg prawn, lightly deep-fried. the pineapple added zest to the dish. 🙂 the staff suggested that this dish was more unique than taking live prawns.

三杯中卷 - 3 cup squid

三杯中卷 - 3 cup squid S$20

roast chicken S$36

roast chicken S$36

oyster egg

oyster egg S$16

pig trotters with squid & prawns

元蹄 pig trotters with squid & prawns S$28

#4 the 三杯中卷 (squid) was good too. 三杯 (3-cup) is a common preparation in taiwan & hakka dishes = 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup cooking wine, 1 cup sesame oil. & since we already had a cold chicken dish & another whole roast chicken, we picked squid instead.

#5 the whole roast chicken with five-spice salt dip was tasty enough with crispy skin. it was kind of small though.

#6 the oyster egg was ok average dish.

#7 the 元蹄 pork trotter with prawns & squid was good – great taste & texture, uncommon to have prawns & squid in the preparation but an welcome addition.

braised tofu with minced pork

braised tofu with minced pork S$28

some mushrooms dish

some mushrooms dish S$24

mustard green with dried scallops

mustard green with dried scallops

complimentary mochi

complimentary mochi

we ordered 1 tofu & 2 vegetable dishes.

#8 the braised tofu with minced pork was good.

#9 the mushroom dish was quite unique though the price was to me unattractive, S$24 for medium portion c/w S$32 for the roast chicken.

#10 mustard green with dried scallop was small but always tasty dish with the dried scallops (瑶柱)

the restaurant provided a free mua chee (mochi) dessert. we were quite full already so did not add any dessert orders.

food was competent, quite good really. the bill after 20% discounts came to S$594nett for 20pax or S$30pax, so it was really great value. the service staff were great – responsive, polite & helpful. shin yeh though can be quite expensive (e.g. the soup of the day was S$10pax so it really depends on the food & portions you order). we were able to order fish, prawns, chicken & pork trotters that were substantial & not costly, so we had a great meal, enjoyable evening get-together at very reasonable cost. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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The Best Dinner Degustation @ Jaan on 20Jan2014

seafood ceviche

seafood ceviche

of all my reviews thus far, this was the best dinner! 🙂

went to jaan on 20.1.2014 with a friend couple who are very close to my wife.  jaan has been always our favourite degustation restaurant. i had not intended to take photos as i had reviewed jaan when we dine here on 8.5.2013. the prestige menu (summer or winter) usually featured minimum changes, and so i missed out on the 2 amuse bouche photos. the first fingerfood bites platter was somewhat different with chicken samosa etc but the same crackers with humus dip. the second cepes mushroom tea, a very intense tasty soup, was largely the same – still the best soup i had. 🙂

the freshly baked bread basket came. i picked a brioche (a puffy highly enriched bread with nice crust) & a baguette. they did not have the previous truffle bread, which was brioche with truffle infusion.

when the first dish came – #1 a seafood ceviche – i decided to take photos. i had not paid attention to the prestige menu having assumed it had few changes. the ceviche was par excellence! well so many dishes were. 🙂 it was incredible – it had langoustine, caviar on top another prawn, scallop, oyster, ikura & crab meat. i could eat this again! 🙂

beetroot

beetroot “melody”

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toast to go with beetroot “melody”

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55min 60degC organic egg

55min 60degC egg

55min 60degC rosemary smoked organic egg

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55min 60degC rosemary smoked organic egg

roasted foie gras

roasted foie gras

#2 next was a beetroot melody thing – jelly, sorbet, some garnishes including cheese. there was some toast to go with it.

#3 the 55min 60degC  rosemary smoked organic egg with iberico chorizo & proscuito was same as before. i love the texture combination the egg yolk added to the dish & the savoury & slightly salty proscuito made it such a very enjoyable experience. a similar dish was served at au jardin for our recent new year eve dinner on 31.12.2013, and maybe this was something i could try out myself for my home dinners. 🙂

#4 there was no change to the roasted foie gras dish. my wife though preferred the caramelised pan-fried version, anyway she doesn’t take foie gras much these days. 🙂

brill

brill with crayfish foam

miyazaki wagyu

dry aged miyazaki wagyu

miyazaki wagyu

dry aged miyazaki wagyu

miyazaki wagyu

dry aged miyazaki wagyu

#5 the brill, an atlantic flatfish in the turbot family, came with crayfish foam. it was beautiful to look at, fine & exquisite in taste, but the texture of the brill was not my favourite.

#6 the menu prestige had pigeon as the second main, however 1 friend did not want pigeon so we asked the chef to substitute & requested for the miyazaki dry aged wagyu which was served on the 5-course menu. thanks to our friend, i tried miyazaki wagyu at jaan for the first time! it was fabulous! we were served a black sesame puree on the side, sounded odd, but tasted perfect with the wagyu.  although it is common for western steak cuts to be wet-aged or dry-aged, i have not seen this done for japanese wagyu. don’t know why but jap wagyu are so expensive, and already the flavour is very intense due to the high marbling, so perhaps not common to incur weight loss & intensify flavour further through ageing? anyway i was not complaining as the aged miyazaki wagyu was just exquisite! 🙂

pre dessert

pre-dessert

choconuts

choconuts

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we had a citrous pre-dessert, which had blood orange etc like a palate cleanser., very nice indeed.

#7 then it was the choconut – different temperatures of chocolates..good but no better than previous versions.

we ended with petit four & coffee/tea. it was such a wonderful dinner! 🙂

the entire degustation comprised 7 courses (4 appetisers, 2 mains & 1 dessert) PLUS 2 amuse bouche & 1 pre-dessert, so it was almost like a 10 course degustation.

every dish was great, many were superlative, and it was indeed an artisan cuisine, very pretty, fine & refine, utterly pleasurable.

c.h.e.f andy