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. 🙂
6 of us had teochew zi char at muliang zai liang kee on 12.11.2013. few of us started a hawker & zi char tour some months back. it was mostly touch & go. the zi char at kok sen @ keong siak street was very good. woh hup @ hong lim was quite poor it was not worth a post!
mu liang zai liang kee is located along the same row of shophouses along havelock road at the opposite end of g7 liangkee. it is owned by the 5th son of ng bak liang (so 木亮仔=son of bak liang). you can read the story of the 3 liang kee here.
we had a very enjoyable dinner, true tecohew comfort food, mostly good standard & tasty & at very affordable prices, w/o service & gst. we had 8 dishes adding up to S$136, about S$22+pax nett. 🙂
the pork trotters jelly (猪脚冻) was just ok, competent. imperial treasure, crystal jade & chui huay lim versions were much better. it was cheap though, a large portion for S$10.
the hae chor (虾枣) & liver roll (肝花) were quite good, no much different from other teochew restaurants.
the braised sliced duck was surprisingly good. i did not expect much as many teochew restaurant like huat kee had very average (or poor) braised duck, and the braised goose we had recently at chui huay lim was poor c/w with this duck. still i very much prefer eating the style of braised duck like the 1/2 duck for S$28 at imperial treasure c/w this tiny plate of sliced duck for S$18. that was just my personal taste preference though.
the deep-fried tofu with minced pork (金牌豆腐) was excellent, equal to that at kok sen.
the orh nerng or oyster egg was an average & passable dish (passable in both senses – not failed OR can skip). like good teochews the few of us still preferred the sticky orh luar version with sweet potato flour at hawker centres.
the yellow chives with prawns (S$18) came with 7 large prawns. the prawns were large, fresh & springy, so it was not a bad prawn dish. it was though a bad yellow chives dish, no wok hae & swimming in sauce. it should be much dryer with strong wok hae flavour. 🙂
the crayfish (S$28) i did not consider a well done dish (though some of my diner friends were obviously relishing it). i preferred the ah orh version of teochew crayfish with yellow onions & egg. the crayfish itself were plump, bouncy & tasty. not quite sure what chilli it was, not sambal & not really chilli crab chilli, though it did go well with the steamed buns.
the orh nee (芋泥) was good too – another pleasant surprise!
overall it was a good dinner for S$22nett. will be back again!