Again, like Sage, this is proof that we should be open to new dining experiences. We always assumed this place was too Asian for us, but after numerous recommendations from A’s gang of friends, we decided to meet up for dinner here. Shin Yeh is a Taiwanese high-end chain restaurant, and was imported to Singapore by Tung Lok, so some of the dishes have been reinterpreted.
We took P’s cue and ordered most of the dishes that she suggested. The specialty here is mullet roe, which surprisingly comes sliced or in cubes, rather than in caviar form like most other fish roes. We ordered just the slices of roe, sandwiched between sliced tomato, daikon and leek. At $36 for 8 pieces, this isn’t cheap, but it gives you an unadulterated taste of the roe, and I must say it was way better than I expected. It didn’t taste fishy at all; in fact, it had an almost subtle cheese taste. Very interesting and very good.
Another must-try is their version of an oyster omelette. This is delicious, and I dare say even better than some of the best hawker –style “orh luaks”. Here it’s done with a soft interior and crispy exterior, not starchy or oily, and the oysters are fresh and not overly cloying. I would recommend ordering 2 portions if you have a group larger than 4.
They do a good pan-seared pig’s liver here, but this has to be eaten piping hot. The first few slices were fabulous – perfectly cooked with the liver still slightly runny inside. We got distracted as the other dishes arrived, and by the time we got back to the liver it was a bit cold and slightly overcooked.
We also tried the beef fillet with XO sauce. The beef was nice and rare, but I think their appetizers are probably better than ‘main’ dishes like the beef.
Besides the mullet roe, most of their appetizers are in the range of $12 to $18. Portions aren’t huge so this isn’t the cheapest of places, but I was very impressed with the food, particularly the oyster omelette. Also, their practice is to give free mochi when you ask for the bill, so don’t forget to ask for it. They didn’t offer it to us so we had to specifically ask them. It’s worth the slight embarrassment, cos the mochi rocks too.
I usually hate oyster omelette but this one rocks. No icky taste at all. The mullet roe is awesome too, but probably not worth the price. And the stuff here generally falls a bit on the pricy side.
I fully recommend this place and look forward to coming back. And for me to say that about a Chinese restaurant says a lot.
177 River Valley Road
#02-19, Liang Court Shopping Centre
Lunch: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Dinner: 6 pm to 10.30 pm
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