After the unmissable BDJ Power Planner Fair and Scavenger Hunt last Sunday, I had lunch with my family and met Louie in the afternoon. We watched Gravity, a super BORING movie about “a medical engineer and an astronaut working together to survive after an accident that left them adrift in space” starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

Although the special effects were okay, we were totally disappointed at the storyline and the predictable plots, since imdb and Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a high rating. Anyhow, the night didn’t end as tragically as it could have, for a wonderful dinner at Boon Tong Kee, SM Mall of Asia was able to redeem our satisfaction.

Boon Tong Kee is one of the popular restaurant chains in Singapore which has garnered rave reviews and accolades from both industry luminaries and customers alike. The first branch was built at Balestier Road in 1983. Outlets at MacPherson Road, Whampoa West, River Valley Road, Cheong Chin Nam Road and East Coast Road followed suit. The first country to have its overseas branch is none other than the Philippines.

Review of Boon Tong Kee 文东记 (SM Mall of Asia, Pasay)

Ambiance: ★★★★☆

It was a cozy and quiet place for about 40 people. There was a glass window, making way for connection between the kitchen staff and the customers. The color motif which looked like brownish orange brought out an oriental vibe. The design of the lighting enhanced the effect which suggested “artistry and sophistication through simplicity.” The walls were decorated with framed pictures of food, blending tastefully to provide more accent to the room. Oozing with practicality, overall this restaurant was neat and convenient.

Diners can choose to either enjoy Manila Bay’s breeze outside in the al fresco setting or stay indoors (albeit air conditioning did not happen to encompass the entire area). The round table by the door is great for people-watching and/or chilling moments. It’s a homely corner that looks just right for a small family.

Service: ★★★★★

Our server greeted us with a smile and maintained his graciousness till we left. The food was served in 15 minutes as promised and at perfect temperature. Service was quite remarkable here.

Food: ★★★★★

Although this Boon Tong Kee branch is designed with minimal embellishments and isn’t much of a looker, it takes its food dead seriously — presentation-wise and taste-wise. The menu is patterned after the River Valley Road branch in Singapore.

The Crispy Cereal Prawn (PHp 375, Regular) was the star of the night, leaving me struggling to find suitable adjectives to describe its merit. I thought it was perfect, with lovely fragrant morsels of cereals mixed with pork floss or mahu (肉鬆) that burst into flavorful bites complementing the taste of the freshly cooked big prawns.

On the other hand, the Sambal Rice (PHp 225) was outstanding as it had just the right balance of heat and spice. It was topped with shrimps, peanuts, vegetables and sambal sauce. Warm and very authentic, it’s one diners should not overlook on the menu when dining at Boon Tong Kee.

Price for Value: ★★★★☆

It was an awesome evening of deliciousness that made us feel sated for the night. The portion of the dishes was enough for two or three people to share. I thought the prices were passable and proportionate to the quality received in the food served. So I’m excited to dine in here again; and next time, I gotta try the Baked Prawn with Cheese (PHp 395) and Yam Donut with Typical Seafood (PHp 345). 😀

2/F, Entertainment Mall, North Wing (by Seaside Blvd), SM Mall of Asia, Jose Diokno Blvd Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay
For inquiries, contact (02) 804-2862
Date Published: 10/17/2013
18 / 20 stars

Operating hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 10am to 10pm; Fri-Sat 10am to 11pm

Other branches:

3/F, Power Plant Mall (near cinemas), Makati City
Operating hours: Mon-Thu 11am to 9pm; Fri 11am to 10pm; Sat 10am to 10pm; Sun 10am to 9pm
Contact number: (02) 890-0160

310 Tomas Morato Avenue (near ABS-CBN), Quezon City
Operating hours:  Mon-Thu 11am to 9pm; Fri 11am to 10pm; Sat 10am to 10pm; Sun 10am to 9pm


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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34 Responses

  1. Angie Vianzon

    Yay! They have a branch in Tomas Morato at least I’ll be able to try it out for myself. I really wanted to try their Crispy Cereal Prawn.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hehe I have seen other crispy cereal prawn on menus of other restaurants and by far, this one is the cheapest. There’s no escaping Boon Tong Kee without ordering this dish!

  2. papaleng

    The place’ interior suits my taste and its good you pointed out na maganda ang service. The dish, ah, I like to try yung Sambal rice. Ma-take kaya ng panlasa ko ang spicy rice?

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha. I’m not sure if there’s Instant Cereal Prawn Mix that you can buy from your local grocery stores. If you can find it, try using the mix to create your own crispy prawn cereals. However, unlike the normal type of oat, the instant cereal may taste a bit weird and salty.

  3. jane

    wow i miss some of my fave singapore foods that i can’t find here in malaysia. glad to know that i can find some restaurants like this whenever i crave for SG foods!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah. People have to stop thinking that Sinagporean cuisine is just similar with Chinese food. They are far different and Sinagporean food has its own uniqueness as well that makes diners want to race and go for it.

  4. sir rob

    I am curious of the crispy prawn and it made me want to have one but there isn’t any store of this kind here in our place. hehe

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      With an extensive menu, each entree looked equally appetizing on paper, but between the two of us, we felt that we could only stomach just two so we went for the “really signature dishes” and were glad of our decision.

  5. Genzel

    Wow! First ang Philippines. I wanna go here. Hahanapin ko talaga to next time I visit MOA 😀 Nagutom naman ako sa photos mo sis :O

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      We were pretty stuffed full by the time we finished our mains and it didn’t feel like an incomplete food journey even without desserts to sum up a sumptuous dinner. But next time, we should also try their desserts. Mukhang masasarap din hehe.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Although I haven’t tried their Hainanese Chicken, I suggest you and your family try it because it’s regarded as the “Imperial Chicken” – the best. I’ve read that it’s moist and meaty. The other dish that I can’t try that people say is great as well is the spare ribs.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Well, don’t just take my word for it. If ever you drop by to anywhere near Boon Tong Kee branches, dine in there yourself. 🙂 Prepare to be blown away sa sarap hehe.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      If you’re looking for a sit-down “Singaporean” dining experience with my stamp of approval, look no more because this is the one. Make sure that you chope a table before you begin feasting. This will guarantee you a comfortable spot to enjoy your food.

  6. Francis Balgos

    Nyam! Nyam! Nyam!
    Crispy Cereal Prawn??
    natakam na ako agad.
    Im curious with the Sambal Rice, looks like a complete meal for me already..

    on the other hand, I dont understand what made Gravity such a bore for you. anyway! its a different story, in another day perhaps.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Are you saying that you enjoyed watching Gravity? Hahaha. It’s just one of the most boring movies I ever watched. I did not like it even though I like Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Oh well, at least I have an opinion. 😛 On another note, I miss eating the cereal prawns at Makansutra in Singapore. 🙁


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