Boon Tong Kee @ Katong
We are very much “easties”, often wondering around the Katong- Siglap stretch looking for places to eat and try out new stuff. We are not very big chicken rice people but since we kinda ran out of dining ideas, we thought why not?
The Katong stretch of eateries is home to several chicken rice joints. There used to be a rather low profile shop that sells fairly decent chicken rice just under the overhead bridge that co-joins the infamous but now dyfunct “red-house” confectionery and Roxy Square. When we visited the place over the weekend, we’d discovered to our horror that it has “succumbed” to the cruelty of fate, with half the shop becoming an internet cafe. Human traffic was zilch and the “chefs” sitted lazily by the counter looked fairly jaded. I guess the word “sian” basically sums it all up. We quickly avoided the place and walked further up the stretch. Five Stars or Boon Tong Kee we deliberated. Being creatures of comfort, the air-conditioned Boon Tong Kee seemed like a wiser choice. Quality of food seemed somewhat secondary now.
Perhaps still recovering from the shock from the first chicken rice joint we went to, we ordered roasted chicken instead of their famous 白斩鸡 pak cham gai (white poached chicken) at Boon Tong Kee. Half a small chicken for 6 bucks. It was quite ordinary with nothing much to rave about. The meat was quite tender but nothing impressive. The skin was over-seasoned I thought, overwhelming with pepper and five-spice powder with every palate attempt. The pickled vegetables (giam chai) was quite refreshing though.
Chicken liver, redeeming the failure of the earlier roast chicken. Its not exactly foie gras but enough to heighten my day. Cooked to just the precise moment without a hint of dryness or “powdery sensation” which one would get if the liver is too “old” or overcooked. Drizzled lightly with a condiment of soy sauce and sesame oil…simple bliss…that was all it takes!
Another day saver has to be the deep-fried tofu. Coated in batter, the tofu cubes were deep fried to a brilliant golden brown crisp on the outside while the insides remain smooth and silky. Very well-done indeed! Despite its winning presentation and texture, the tofu tasted quite bland and was to be eaten with a mayonnaise-based dip. We thought it would be good if it was flavoured or marinated prior. Then again, its already very good on its own already!
Another dish we liked was the pork ribs. Despite the name, it came with relatively few bones; mainly chunky pieces of pork chop which had been tenderised rendering the meat very soft and gentle to the teeth. The sauce was also well-belanced, mostly savoury with hints of sourness and sweetness from the tomato ketchup and Perrins added.Well-done Boon Tong Kee!