Falls short of expectations – Shin Yeh Bistro, Singapore

I’ve always been a big fan of Shin Yeh, a restaurant focusing on traditional Taiwanese cuisines. This Taiwanese F&B brand has not only established itself as a major player in its home country, it has expanded overseas to countries such as Singapore and China. Whenever I crave for Taiwanese porridge and simple dishes, I will head to Shin Yeh at Liang Court. So when Shin Yeh opened Shin Yeh Bistro at Novena Square 2, I know that I have to visit the new outlet. Sadly, Shin Yeh Bistro falls short of expectations and fails to live up to its reputation of refined Taiwanese cuisine.


Braised Squid and Bamboo Shoots and Mushrooms in Thick Broth

My friend and I ordered two soups, Meatballs with Carrot Soup, and Braised Squid and Bamboo Shoots and Mushrooms in Thick Broth. Since I’m allergic to crustaceans, I asked the waitress the meat ball’s ingredients. She told me it was pork meat. But when the soup came, it was clear that meat ball has prawn meat in it. I couldn’t believe that the waitress gave me wrong information! Anyway, the Meatballs with Carrot Soup is a pork-based broth soup. It’s a simple and decent soup. I’m not particular overwhelmed by the Braised Squid and Bamboo Shoots and Mushrooms in Thick Broth. The squid roll has minced fish meat in it and a thin layer of flour is added to act as an adhesive agent between the fish and squid. Unfortunately, I could still taste the rough texture of the flour and it spoiled the braised squid.

Chinese spinach with mushrooms

The Chinese spinach with mushrooms is another disappointment. The vegetable doesn’t have much flavour. The mushrooms were hard and not prepared sufficiently before they were cooked.

Taiwan-Style Braised Marble Gory with Beancurd

The Taiwan-Style Braised Marble Gory with Beancurd did not fare well too.  Although the fish is fresh, the fish did not soak up the flavour from the spring-onion and ginger sauce.  Hence, you get a dish that has two distinctive tastes, the flavourful sauce and the bland fish. I suspect it’s because the chef served the fish on a plate rather than to cook it in a clay pot which it was supposed.  Apparently, they ran out of clay pots on the day that I visited the restaurant.

Crispy Chicken

Despite all the lacklustre performances of the above dishes, there is still a silver lining – the Crispy Chicken. The chicken saved our entire meal!  The meat is very flavourful and juicy.  The skin is very crispy.  Even though a salt and pepper condiment is served, there is no need for that because the chicken is so well marinated. If I were to return to this restaurant, I’m only back for the outrageously good crispy chicken.

Taiwan-style Taro Paste with Coconut Milk and Gingko Nuts

As for the desserts, they were hit and misses. The Taiwan-style Taro Paste with Coconut Milk and Gingko Nuts is very well executed.  The taro paste is smooth and velvety. Most importantly, it’s not too sweet.  But I can’t say the same for the Almond Jelly with Peach Slices in Syrup. The hand-made almond jelly is great but it is soaked in this unappetising canned syrup which kills the dessert. The almond jelly deserves a better base. I was most disappointed with the Glutinous Rice Balls coated with Ground Peanuts. This is Shin Yeh’s signature dessert! The glutinous rice dough is not cooked thoroughly and some parts of the balls are very hard.

Almond Jelly with Peach Slices in Syrup

The prices at Shin Yeh Bistro is about 30% cheaper than the higher-end Shin Yeh. But cheap doesn’t mean inferior quality.  It’s extremely depressing that in its attempt to break into the lower-end market that Shin Yeh Bistro has to compromise on its food quality.

Shin Yeh Bistro
Novena Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive #01-73, Singapore 307506

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