MANILA, PHILIPPINES - It is weekly that I go to Rockwell and I always pass by this Chinese restaurant named Boon Tong Kee, sandwiched between Burgoo and Make Room on the 3rd floor, but it is only last weekend that we were able to try the restaurant out! Hailing all the way from Singapore, Boon Tong Kee reached our shores last 2012 and unknown to some, it humbly begun in Chinatown in Singapore and was not then the same extravagant establishment that it is now. It also had its own share of stories of how it came to be, you know! Mr. Thian Boon Hua opened a stall that serves Cantonese chicken rice in 1979. You must know that chicken rice is a staple food in the country and almost all of the restaurants and stalls offer the same thing. Despite of it, customers still line up for his silky white sauce chicken rice. When he felt that everything is going well, he then persuaded his family to open up a restaurant in 1983. Good thing they supported his vision and his dreams because though unknown to them then, the birth of Boon Tong Kee will give them the greatest fortune and luck of all! In ts second year of operation, the restaurant had already gained some praises and followings and more so during the years to come that branches sprouted in other parts of Singapore like mushrooms! It later expanded to other parts of the world and grew to what it is now!
After going through the big, red arch in the facade are we then led to our table right at the back of the restaurant since it was lunchtime last Sunday when we came in and the restaurant was packed to the brim. We loved it since we were seated near the glass divider isolating the diners and the chefs and showcasing the oh-so-delectable boiled chickens that are ready for consumption! The establishment has an unassuming feel to it; just the right kind of cozy if you know what I mean.
As a complimentary, we were served pickled veggies to start our meal with. For starters, you may order the ever-controversial pork bun (Php 100 for 3 pcs). These I tell you are to die for! An order consists of three big, glazed buns with pork inside; pretty much like Asado Siopao in taste but more enjoyable to eat due to the softness of the bread and the hugeness of the chunks of pork. This could get pretty addicting too so I will suggest that you allot at least 2 pork buns for each member of your group as one pork bun for each will not be enough!
Since they specialize on boiled chicken (Quarter/Half/Whole - Php 245/455/845) and chicken rice, I knew we should get it too! As usual, the chicken is so tender and flavourful! I just had an issue with the serving because it was too small and a little too pricey for us. The chicken rice, on the other hand, I forgot to order which was outrageous since this is one of their specialties! I will definitely order it the next time we are going to be there or when I happen to visit Singapore.
The Char Siu (Php 145), or Honey Glazed pork as we normally call it, tastes nothing out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, it could still be a great complement to your happy, family meal because of its hefty size and meaty nature!
The Poached Chinese Spinach with Assorted Eggs (Php 295) came as a great surprise! This dish came in a big bowl filled with lots of good things like century egg, normal farm eggs and lots of spinach! The broth though tasting somewhat fishy because of the century egg was simply amazing I helped myself with two more servings! Popeye would be extremely happy with this!
I love beancurds especially if they do not give off an aftertaste, like this Crispy Beancurd (Php 185) from Boon Tong Kee. The special green mayo enliven and complement the dish furthermore!
Another tasty dish that we enjoyed was this Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish (Php 195). The combined umami and salty taste was so addicting you will never had the heart to put down this dish until you have fully consumed it.
Food: The food were great, enjoyable to eat, for sharing for the whole family and aptly priced!
Ambiance: Just like any other Chinese restaurant in the metro, this restaurant also has a down-to-earth vibe. You do not need to worry about how you look or how you dress, all you have to do is eat and have a great time with your companions.
Service: I love the service of this place. They were quick, attentive and patient with us. Although they forgot to serve us a plate of the Prawn Crackers while we were waiting for our orders, they did not think twice of giving us a plate of it when we noticed that we had not been given one earlier on and even though we have already done eating and paid already our bills.
Tabs: Php 350 to 400 pesos each.
BOON TONG KEE
- Address: 3/F Powerplant Mall (near cinemas), Makati City
- Website: www.boontongkee.com.sg
- Facebook: /BoonTongKee
- Phone: +632 89090160
- Business Hours
- Mon-Thurs: 11 AM to 9 PM
- Fri: 11 AM to 10 PM
- Sat: 10 AM to 10 PM
- Sun: 10 AM to 9 PM
- Other branches
- Mall of Asia, 2/F Entertainment Mall, Pasay City
- Tomas Morato, 310 Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City
- UP Town Center, 2/F Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City