It's no secret that I love Taiwan and its food. Sadly, my usual visit to Taiwan did not happen this year. Not that I don't have the time, but because I've no travel companion. Going around certain cities alone is not an issue for me as I've done it a couple of time for working trips, but to be by myself during a vacation... it's kinda sad. To have someone sharing the laughter, excitement and delicious food will wonderfully ace the leisure travel experience. Agree? Okay okay, long story short, I miss Taiwanese food! So when we caught sight of Shin Yeh Bistro (欣葉小台北) while walking around aimlessly looking for a dinner place, my eyes lighted up! Haha a meal here it shall be!
Nestled within Square 2 shopping mall which is conveniently located above Novena mrt station, Shin Yeh Bistro took over the space previously occupied by Zhou Kitchen, since August 2013. A more casual branch of its sister restaurant, Shin Yeh at Liang Court Shopping Centre, Shin Yeh Bistro is set to introduce diners to the true, authentic taste of Taiwanese street food and the best flavours of iconic Taiwanese dishes. Both restaurants are managed by the TungLok Group.
Gluttonous us ordered a few dishes which best represents Taiwanese street cuisine. We never fail to stuff ourselves silly with these delectable food whenever we're in Taiwan. Our table were soon filled with Taiwan-style Rice with Soya Sauce Lean Pork (滷肉飯) ($5.90), Braised 'Mee Sua' with Oysters (蚵仔麵線) ($6.90), 'Shih Lin' Pan-fried Oyster Omelette (士林蚵仔煎) ($6.90), and Crispy Deep-fried Chicken (炸雞) ($6.90)!
You will be happy with standard of the food if your expectations bar are set not too high, but if you're looking for the same taste as those served in Taiwan, there will probably be some disappointment. I prefer my braised pork rice to be heavier on flavours and the mee sua's gravy to have a thicker consistency and a more full-bodied taste intensified with vinegar, chilli and garlic, like Ah Chung Mian Xian (阿宗麵線). But all is not lost! Shin Yeh Bistro's rendition of oyster omelette actually suited my palate! Not really authentic but perhaps purposely designed to suit local tastebuds better, it was less starchy with a higher ratio of egg, a little crispier, and the sauce was not overly sweet or excessively drenching the dish itself, compared to Taiwanese version.
If you're unsure about what to order, safe choices would be those dishes marked as "赞" (meaning "marvelous") must-try items on the menu. The Meatballs with Carrot Soup ($5.90) was easy to accept with its light and homely taste. We thoroughly enjoyed the Spicy Eggplant and Pig Intestines served in Claypot ($10.90). The eggplant were cooked to a perfection, being soft but not mushy and the pig intestines were tender without any unpleasant odor. Even my friend who do not eat pig intestines liked it after trying a piece. The pairing of eggplant and pig intestines was like a match made in heaven sealed with a kiss by the fragrant appetite-whetting spicy gravy enhanced with aromatic notes of basil. On hindsight, we should have ordered some bowls of Plain or Sweet Potato Porridge ($1.20). It will go well together with the dish as well as the savory goodness of Wok-fried French Beans with Minced Pork ($9.90).
Shin Yeh Bistro
Address: Square 2, #01-73, 10 Sinaran Drive, Singapore 307506
Contact: +65 68931123
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm, Hi-Tea 3pm-5pm, Dinner 6pm-10pm / Sat, Sun & PH Lunch 11am-2.30pm, Hi-Tea 3pm-5pm, Dinner 6pm-10pm