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… 🙂
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.
#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.
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. 🙂