Yeh Gong Guan (葉公館; aka Chez Yeh) on Anhe Road

restaurants
awesome
sichuan
anhe
taipei

#1

I want to start off by saying that for forumosans interested in saving every last possible NTD, this thread will not be of interest. For readers in Taipei City with a few extra coins in their pocket, and a hankering for some of the fine things in life, read on.

You know how the cafe and international dining scene in Taipei City (and also elsewhere in Taiwan) has jumped forward over the past decade? We are now blessed with numerous beautiful clean cafe spaces with attentive bosses and also some extraordinary owner/chefs presiding over some incredible places to eat.

Have you found yourself wondering why the Chinese food scene here has not kept up? Why has there been no Chinese place as remarkable as, say, Angelo’s place (before he moved on to a new gig in Hong Kong) or Joseph Bistro? Where’s the freshness, the vision?

I am happy to say that earlier today I stumbled across (through a helpful recommendation from a great cafe owner) a remarkable exception: Yeh Gong Guan (葉公館; aka Chez Yeh) on Anhe Road (address: 118, Section 2, Anhe Road, Taipei City–it’s on the west side of the street between Heping and Xinyi; tel 02-2736-1999). Yeh’s understated storefront, with an open kitchen, and clean simple lines in the dining area were all promising–but the food! My god, it’s been a while since I’ve had this sort of attentively prepared and extraordinarily tasty Chinese food. The focus here is Sichuan cuisine, but the gracious owner/chef (who took the time to come and chat) and his team are obviously capable of ranging across different regions. The mapo doufu I had (made with house-made doubanjang–at its best after 2-3 years, I was told) knocked my socks off. A few bites into my meal, I was already planning a return visit. As I work my way through Yeh’s menu on subsequent visits, I’ll do what I can to report back.

Guy


#2

Sounds good!


#3

Earlier today, I was back at Yeh Gong Guan for another fine meal. This time I tried the dry fried green beans and some of Yeh’s chili oil wontons–both dishes were excellent, if not quite as stunning as the mapo doufu I tried during my first visit.

What stuck me most this time was the chance to observe, near the end of my meal, a worker preparing drinks for other guests. I saw her spooning and carefully weighing tea leaves on a small precise scale–the type you usually see used in high-end third wave coffee shops–in order to prepare pots of tea. Let’s just say this attention to detail is not quite the norm at other Chinese restaurants I’ve visited around town. But it does seem to be the norm at Yeh’s. I hope they can keep this going, as the results are exceptional.

Guy


#4

Looks like a nice place. Location is terrible… almost no street walking traffic in that area except business people running out for a quick cheap lunch. I suggest going to try it soon, because shops in that area just don’t get enough customers to survive. I wish them well.


#5

Yeh’s location (on Anhe, just north of the Far Eastern hotel/mall/office complex) is, as tango noted, amidst many office towers populated during the daytime only. I don’t think office workers are the target though–the price point is way beyond what these folks will usually pay.

From what I can gather, this place is set up as a destination restaurant. We’ll see if that works out as it is a bit of a walk from the nearest MRT stations (Xinyi Anhe on the Red Line; Liuzhangli on the Brown Line). Alternatively the 235 bus stops right near by.

Guy


#6

I had a simple but satisfying lunch today at Yeh’s: a basket of steamed vegetarian dumplings (eight dumplings for NT$180). With bright flavours from green veggies and tender shiitake mushrooms, and crisp textures from chopped water chestnuts, these dumplings were pretty close to perfection. Highly recommended!

Guy