Saturdays usually mean Saturdates for Neil and me – and dates = tons of gastos. Which is why Neil and I have been talking recently about finally adulting: we’ve been planning to start saving up. To finally put this plan to action, I decided to check Metrodeal and see if we can finally start controlling our budget by buying discounted vouchers for our dinners out. I looked for restaurants in UP Town Center because that’s where we would always hang out on Saturdays (20-min drive from home and Php 20 parking fee!). I chanced upon this Boon Tong Kee Philippines restaurant voucher.
Boon Tong Kee is one of the very few Singaporean Restaurants in Manila that we know of. I had to choose between a Banana Leaf voucher or a Boon Tong Kee voucher (both in UP Town), but finally decided on the Boon Tong Kee one. We haven’t tried a lot of Singaporean Restaurants in Manila yet after all so maybe it’s time for a change. Besides, we’d already eaten there before but it was a long time ago so I was thinking why not try it again?
Boon Tong Kee Philippines – UP Town Center
Boon Tong Kee is usually one of the less crowded restaurants in UP Town Center. We decided to drop by last Saturday at around 7pm and yup, half of the place wasn’t occupied yet. The friendly staff welcomed us and prepared our table as we chose items from their menu. We had a hard time choosing (as always, because we both suck at decision making), but we finally ordered Imperial Pork Ribs, Char Siu, Hakaw, and some Chicken Rice.
They served us complimentary prawn crackers while we waited. I’m a sucker for free stuff, so plus points!
Boon Tong Kee’s Hakaw Chinese Shrimp Dumplings: Php 125 for 4 pcs
Gia’s Rating: 8/10
Neil’s Rating: 7.5/10
After around 5-10 minutes, they served the Hakaw (Chinese Shrimp Dumplings).
Neil and I rarely order Hakaw when we eat dimsum so we weren’t quite sure of how the quality and flavor was supposed to be. For me, the wrapper was not too thick nor too thin. The dimsum was also well-steamed: no flour-y parts on the wrappers. Overall, I think the Hakaw was good. But then again, I haven’t eaten enough Hakaws in my life yet to have a super valid basis. Haha!
I love Calamansi which is why I really liked that they had Calamansi juice in a condiment container! Very handy and convenient! No need to get my fingers dirty and get OC trying to squeeze all the juice out of each Calamansi.
After around 5-10 minutes more, they finally served the Imperial Pork Ribs, Char Siu, and rice.
Boon Tong Kee’s Char Siu: Php 145
Gia’s Rating: 8/10
Neil’s Rating: 8.5/10
When we ordered the Char Siu, we didn’t know what it was. We didn’t ask because we just wanted to be surprised. Turns out it’s just Asado, haha! I’m not a big fan of Asado, but I kind of liked it anyway. Neil is the bigger Asado fan so here’s what he has to say:
I’m a fan of dishes that have some sort of a sweet sauce, just like Asado. I’m always biased to favoring such food. Eating Boon Tong Kee’s Char Siu which we had no idea to be actually an Asado just like she said (forgive us for not knowing haha!), was no different. I liked it. The sauce has the right balance of sweetness and saltiness. It was really delicious. I was just a little thrown with the amount of sauce. It was a little too much that as you eat more, it became kind of overpowering. But overall, it was good. The meat was also tender. – Neil
Boon Tong Kee’s Imperial Pork Ribs: Php 245 for 6 pcs
Gia’s Rating: 6/10
Neil’s Rating: 6/10
Finally, Boon Tong Kee’s Imperial Pork Ribs, which was supposedly our main dish. Bottomline: I wasn’t satisfied with it. I really liked the sauce and its oriental flavor, but the meat itself: thumbs down for me. Thumbs down because I felt like I wasn’t really able to eat a lot of meat. Each piece that I ate consisted mostly of flavored breading. Mostly breading. Not much meat. So even though I’m not an Asado fan, the Char Siu ended up being my main viand and saving my dinner. (Can’t agree more! The Imperial Pork Ribs was disappointing overall. The Char Siu was also my favorite. -Neil)
In terms of service though, I really liked the quality of service at Boon Tong Kee. The staff would voluntarily refill our water without us having to call them. They were all friendly and accommodating also.
To sum it all up, here are our ratings:
- Gia: 8/10
- Neil: 7.5/10
- Char Siu
- Gia: 8/10
- Neil: 8.5/10
- Imperial Pork Ribs
- Gia: 6/10
- Neil: 6/10
- Value for Money:
- Gia: 7.5/10
- Neil: 7/10
- Over-all Boon Tong Kee Philippines Experience:
- Gia: 8/10
- Neil: 7.5/10 ( I didn’t like the fact that the dominant flavor of our meal was salty. Overall, our meal lacked balance. Although that was partly our fault for not ordering other dishes.)
Overall I think Boon Tong Kee is still worth a try and a must-visit Singaporean Restaurant in Manila. We would probably come back to try out their other dishes – maybe their Hainanese Chicken would be better.
Have you tried Boon Tong Kee Philippines out? How was your experience? Which dish for us to try next would you recommend? Feel free to comment below!
Boon Tong Kee Philippines Branches:
POWERPLANT – 3/F Powerplant Mall, Makati City
Tel. (02) 890-0160
UP TOWN CENTER – 2/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave., Quezon City
Tel. 0915-6624406, (02) 955-2292