Being a 400-year-old historical town, Tamsui was one of the earliest established harbors in northern Taiwan. Tamsui used to be called Hobe and, being situated in the delta area of Tamsui River, was once a very prosperous establishment during the Qing dynasty.
Even though the bustling scene of business ships ceased to exist in this harbor town, many western, Fujianese, and Japanese style buildings are still standing to this day, telling their rich stories from the past.
Tamsui has several streets and roads that depict the old town and its historical buildings: Zhong Zheng Road, Zheng Li Street, Chong Jian Street, San Ming Street and Ching Sui Street. Strolling by those places is the best way to enjoy Tamsui.
Tourists can visit Tamsui using all types of transportation, such as metro, bus, boat, etc. —there are ferries and sightseeing boats traversing cities among Tamsui, Bali, and Tataocheng.
"Tamsui Old Street" refers to the Zhong Zheng Road area (from the ferry dock to the intersection of Zhong San Road) and also includes the San Min and Chong Jian Streets. From the Old Street, one can still see the partially preserved old buildings, antique shops, and shops that sell sculptures made of stone or wood. There are also many interesting shops selling bags, clothes, wallets, bears, toys and food. This town offers different attractions for foodies, photographers, couples, and families.
Why do we sell Wenchou style wontons, and not Suzhou, Beijing, or Shanghai wontons?
Near the end of Qing dynasty, many chefs retired from the Forbidden Palace, and migrated from the Jiangnan area to cities such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Wenchou. Those retired chefs decided to open their own restaurants and introduce the royal cuisine to the commoners. Royal cuisine has been popular ever since.
Ye's wonton restaurant was established in 1976. Mr. and Mrs. Ho-Lin Yeh recreated wonton soup according to the childhood memoir of Ho-Lin’s mother who was born in Wenchou, China. She was an excellent cook, and taught her son and daughter-in-law many dishes from the Wenchou cuisine.
In the 1980s, the streets were widened and the restaurant building was reduced to half of its original size. Even though only half the store remained, the restaurant still tried to preserve some of the old-time feeling.
In 2006, the Good Neighborhood Foundation selected Ye's Wonton Restaurant to renovate. They invited advisory teams from many areas, provided business consulting, hired interior designers, and helped design the new logo. Ye's wonton restaurant was given new life as a modern restaurant in a rapidly changing town.
SETTLED IN TAMSUI
Mr. Ho-Lin Yeh graduated from Tankan University, and he loved this town so much that he moved his family and business to Tamsui. He wanted the Tamsui people to enjoy the royal cuisine from the Qing dynasty, so he started to introduce traditional Chinese health foods like the Dried Plum & Sweet Osmanthus Drink, Sesame Rice Balls with Lychee & Dried Osmanthus, and many others. He and his crew prepare all the food in the restaurant because they believe consistency and high quality food is the key to providing the best dishes to the customer.
Over the past four decades, Mr. and Mrs. Yeh start at 6:00 AM every day to prepare everything for the restaurants. They prepare the freshest ingredients; grinding their own pork, milling glutinous rice to make rice ball dough, making their own green onion pancake dough, and cooking many other dishes. They believe that using the best and freshest ingredients, paying close attention to their food, and following what was taught are the keys to create a nostalgic and delicious cuisine. Through their persistence, Ye’s Wonton Restaurant gradually gained popularity among the local Tamsui people. With this little restaurant, they were able to support all their children, who went abroad to pursue advanced degrees from prestigious universities in Canada and the United States. Mr. Yeh has a great affinity for art; his two daughters majored in music, and now their six grandchildren are all piano prodigies. That accomplishment could not have happened if Mr. and Mrs. Yeh did not set a great example for their children.
Aside from raising children and owning the restaurant, the biggest reward for Mr. and Mrs. Yeh is feeding their customers healthy and delicious food.
The produce we select must meet our rigorous standards.
Generation-old tradition behind our handmade food
STORIES FROM OUR CUSTOMERS
Mr. Chang married a Vietnamese woman in 2004. When Mrs. Chang was pregnant, she had horrible morning sickness, and the only food she would be able to eat was wonton soup. Later, they had two sons. Recently, Mr. Chang took his family to visit the restaurant again. He asked Mrs. Yeh, “Do you remember us?” and he went on retold his wife's pregnancy story. Feeling like a family, he went ahead told his sons to call Mrs. Yeh “Grandma.” Mrs. Yeh was very happy to have two more grandsons.
When Mr. Yeh had to be hospitalized for his cancer treatment in 2014, he asked Mrs. Yeh to bring him a bowl of wonton soup after his chemotherapy treatment. It was his comfort food. Other patients saw him happily enjoying his food, and asked Mrs. Yeh if they could also have wonton soup. She understood their pain of not able to eat well, so she personally delivered wonton soup to them.
Many funny and heart warming things have happened in this 40-year-old restaurant. Mr. and Mrs. Yeh will continue to share these stories through Facebook in the future. If you would like to share your great stories of encounters with Ye's wonton restaurant, please email us email@example.com.