Boon Tong Kee is now open in Manila, Philippines. Boon Tong Kee is a popular family restaurant in Singapore for casual dining. Its a creation of Mr. Thian Boon Hua, a native Singaporean who started a small stall in Chinatown and has grown it since then to several restaurants in Singapore. They are known for their signature dish, the white chicken rice. Boon Tong Kee, has been brought over to the Philippines by Miguel Aranaz and his family. They have branches so far in Mall of Asia, Rockwell Power Plant, Tomas Morato, and soon in UP Town Center Katipunan. The review here will cover the experience in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.They are located exactly beside Burgoo and opposite Il Terrazo. It’s not hard to spot but just make sure you are on looking at the correct area as most people tend to look for it on the main strip of Tomas Morato after the Boy Scout Circle Memorial.
Boon Tong Kee has been given numerous awards and recognition in Singapore and they have proudly displayed one of such in their restaurant.
Their menu selection is very visual but hey, actual pictures may vary but in our experience, its very close. While prices may look reasonable for such a place (Php 150 – Php 300) mostly, their serving is quite few so you’d tend to order more and be amazed at your final bill. Oh yeah, they charge a 10% service charge on top of your bill for a less than stellar service. Food took a long time to arrive, tea and water refills were tedious requests.
To their chef’s credit though, the food is not bad. It did look very similar to the photos and the taste is quite good. For appetizers we had the Char Siu Honey Glazed Pork and it was satisfying. The meat is soft but not fatty. The honey glaze adds just the right savory flavor.
Their Fried French Bean with Scallop in XO Sauce is not bad either. A bit oily for my taste but the dish is done just right. It may not be for everyone but if you love XO sauce then this one is for you.
Their Cereal Prawn is dish some swear by its the best they have had but with food, its a matter of personal taste. I preferred Wee Nam Kee’s Cereal Prawn. Wee Nam Kee’s had tons of buttered cereal for its flavor topping and hey its called “CEREAL” Prawn for good reason. Boon Tong Kee’s meanwhile had more pork floss on it than cereal.
But speaking of prawns, Boon Tong Kee made it up for me in a big way with their Cream Cheese Prawn dish (Php 655 for 6pcs). This is one dish that has made enough impact that I will go back to Boon Tong Kee just for this. Its huge prawns with generous cheese sauce with a slight hint of spiciness. Take care not to let your server take away the plate when the prawns are gone as the cheese sauce itself is good to pair up with rice. Just be mindful of the calories and expect this to be one of those great indulgent dishes.
Last but not least, we had the Coffee Pork Ribs. This was a good dish too and one of the recommended orders if you visit Boon Tong Kee. It may look dark in photos but take a bit and you will feel the rich glazed coffee flavor with the pork. There are some other places like Saint Alps that serve this dish too but what I liked with Boon Tong Kee’s version is the meat is not full of pork fat layers.
Boon Tong Kee Restaurant, Tomas Morato Branch
Address: 310 Tomas Morato Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City
Phone: 332-5692 (it may be difficult to call as they have habit of ignoring calls and letting it ring)
Store Hours: Mon-Thu 11am to 9pm / Fri 11am to 10pm / Sat 10am to 10pm / Sun 10am to 9pm