BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Boon Tong Kee

The Singaporean Hainanese chicken classic has arrived in Bangkok.

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Those who travel often to Singapore would know Boon Tong Kee, a classic khao mun gai restaurant that's been around for more than 30 years. 

Well, now it's arrived in Bangkok. The new opening on Narathiwas looks quite similar to the mother branch with the simple decoration—most notably round tables with lazy Susans. 

The signature dish is, you guessed it, khao mun gai (chicken rice, B90-560) that comes with three different dipping sauces (chili, sweetened black soy sauce and ginger), while other dishes include tao hu tord (deep-fried tofu, B140) and pork spare ribs (B160).

Around for nearly 40 years, Singapore’s Boon Tong Kee is legendary for its Hainanese chicken rice (khao mun gai).
 
After arriving on our shores two years ago, the first Bangkok branch at the unassuming Up community mall on Narathiwas-Ratchanakarin Road is still packed most nights with Chinese-Thai families and groups of friends clambering around the lazy Susan-topped round tables. The clatter of spoons and chopsticks almost drowns out the traditional Chinese soundtrack, while newspaper clippings and pictures of star dishes add some life to the cream walls. To be honest, you’re not really coming here for the ambience.
 
Thankfully, we have nothing but praise for the signature boiled chicken (B90-590), which is a faithful rendition of the Singapore version; that means, wonderfully plump chicken atop aromatic, not-too-greasy rice and a powerful ginger and chili dipping sauce. It’s worth the visit alone, but the menu also packs plenty more old-school staples.
 
The sambal kang kong (stir-fried morning glory with sambal sauce, B160) expertly combines the heavy notes of shrimp paste with greens that are fresh and crunchy. The “Imperial” pork ribs (B200) feature a slightly burnt and crispy exterior, while their juicy flavor is so dense the ribs demand to be eaten with a side of rice.
 
Other dishes are not quite as rewarding, like the super-soft, custard-like crispy beancurd (B160), which is overpowered by an unnecessary mayonnaise. The stir-fried beef with oyster sauce (B220), too, tastes slightly diluted and overly chewy, though we like the thin slices of ginger to cut through the oil. Similarly, the bualoy haeng (glutinous rice balls coated with ground peanuts, B50) taste unbalanced: too sweet and too crunchy.
 
If you’re after an unpretentious taste of Chinese staples, look no further than this Singaporean import. Given the ease with which the kitchen nails the classics, it’s no surprise Boon Tong Kee is now up to four Bangkok branches and counting (including one at Sukhumvit Soi 49’s Piman 49 complex). 

This review took place in December 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.

 
Venue Details
Address: Boon Tong Kee, 1/F, 54/5 The Up Community Mall, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-119-4515
Website: www.facebook.com/BoonTongKeeThailand/
Area: Yannawa
Cuisine: Cantonese
Price Range: B - BB
Open since: December, 2014
Opening hours: daily 11am-11pm
Parking available
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