YANG SHIN VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT 養心茶樓
No. 128 Songjiang Road, 2F
MRT: SongJiang/Nanjing Station
website: http://www.ysvege.com/" target="blank"> ysvege.com
hours: Mon-Sun 11:30AM - 2:30PM, 5:30PM -9:30PM
Kid friendliness: high chairs available, some room for strollers, kid friendly dishes
Visit reviewed: 2/23/2014 & 6/15/2014
My mom is a vegetarian, so I'm always on the look out for good places to take her. So when a friend suggested Yang Shin for their vegetarian dim sum, it was a great find. The entrance is slightly hidden, even though the sign is quite prominent. You enter through Nozomi bakery and then make your way to the second floor through the hallway and into the large dining hall.
Even at an early 5:30PM dinner shift, the restaurant is completely booked and we are warned that we must finish dinner by 6:45PM for seating their next 7PM dinner reservation. So since they have to turn the tables over, food and service is fairly brisk. So be sure to make reservations early- they had no tables available for walk in customers.
Can you imagine- this whole banquet full of families excited to be grubbing on vegetarian food?! Haha.
While we were most excited about the vegetarian dim sum, there is a huge menu of Cantonese appetizers, dishes and Chef specials to try out. So the more people you have, the more things you can try. If you love mushrooms, tofu or greens, this is the place for you.
Almost 30 dim sum dishes (NT$68-128) to choose from, while most other dishes are in the NT$300-500 range.
Some of my favorites that I recommend ordering and have ordered on repeat visits were the Cantonese barbecued vegetarian ham pastry (NT$108)- with endless flaky puff pastry layers that meld into the sweet, red sauce and "cha siu" inside.
I usually order xian shui jiao whenever I spot it on a dim sum menu, so I had to try its vegetarian cousin here. The egg shaped deep fried stuffed mushroom dumpling (NT$98) tastes almost like deep fried mochi with a crispy shell and is soft and chewy in the inside, stuffed with bits of mushroom.
Fried pumpkin vegetable hand roll (NT$80 each) with crispy ribbons of crunchy fried pumpkin and julienned cucumber gives a nice crunch. They also have avocado and asparagus hand rolls.
Family favorite of Cantonese chow mein (NT$240) with lots of bok choy, bamboo, baby corn, and wood ear mushrooms. I always like to get a mix of the crispy noodles and some of the soggier parts drenched in sauce.
Deep fried spring rolls (NT$98 for 3)
Deep Fried Pastry with Shredded Turnip (NT$108 x2)
Fried sesame balls
Not the healthiest meal since we ended up ordering a lot of fried foods and dim sum, but Yang Shin's dim sum versions were close enough that you didn't miss the real thing.
I wouldn't order these next dishes again, they were a bit too out there for me--
Pinenut and vegetable cheese roll (NT$180 for 4) - the waitress encouraged us to order this, but I did not like it.
I can't remember if I liked the stir fried rice cake- I think there was something about the flavor that I didn't love.
The almond tofu was surprisingly too sweet- the milk it came in was almost syrupy sweet and the almond tofu itself was sweet as well, and I would have preferred to have the traditional peaches and pears in it rather than watermelon and kiwi.
Now those of you with gluten free restaurant questions? That's a tougher problem to solve in Taipei.