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Friday, August 29, 2008
revisited/taiwanese: i still strongly recommend SHIN YEH
112 Zhong Xiao E Road, Sec 4
hours: 11 am-3:30pm, 5-10:30 pm
Kid friendliness: high chairs and kid bowls available
Last visit and pictures: 9/2006
It's still hard to snag a table at this very popular Taiwanese eatery, so you will usually have to call in days ahead for a reservation or patiently wait in their small lobby for a table. Why is it so popular? They offer a variety of local favorites, including and finger foods like Taiwanese spring roll or run bing and the pork "sandwich" gua bao (my two personal favorites).
The gua bao (pictured above) has slices of fatty & lean braised pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro and ground peanuts inside a steamed bun that gives it a simultaneously sweet, sour and savory bite. Done right, everything melts in your mouth and you don't mind that you're basically eating pork fat. I've also had it recently at the NY NY Food court and I have to say Shin Yeh does it much better.
The run bing is a spring roll with sprouts, vegetables and meat (sometimes egg and other things too) with a sprinkling of ground peanuts wrapped inside a thin-crepe like wrapper. Because it's not fried, it's not greasy and you can devour a few.
Almost every time we've come, we've ordered the sweet potato porridge. The last time, my mom also ordered taro porridge, but I don't like taro, so I didn't try any. If you don't feel like porridge, they also have great stir fried pumpkin vermicelli and fried rice.
To go along with the carbs, we typically get sauteed liver, kidneys, various veggies. I also started ordering the buttery steamed cod after my friends ordered it a few visits ago. I was a bit disappointed by the beef with garlic this time, as the beef was a bit tougher than usual.
If you want more than the free mochi that they offer up at the end of your meal, you should give the hot almond milk with fried chinese doughnut a try. Dip the you tiao into the milk and crunch away. Yum. A lot of people also like the almond tofu here, which is a bit chewy made with gluten flour, but I prefer old school style and not chewy.
Overall, the portions are on the smaller side, so you can order more dishes to share since everything on the menu is pretty good. It's basically the nice place you would take your guests to give them a taste of local cuisine or where you take your relatives for a nice dinner out. The menu is in English and Chinese with random pictures and the atmosphere is family friendly or business meeting friendly. Not so romantic, just because it's so packed and crowded with other people's conversations. For a similar menu, but younger vibe (and extensive alcoholic drinks menu), you can check out Shin Yeh Table (to be reviewed).
Original Branch: 34-1, ShuangCheng Street
Hours: 11 am-1 am
NanXi Branch: 12, NanJing West Road, 8F
Hours: 11 am-9:30 pm