Koon Signatures by Koon BKT
Koon looked very promising from the look of it. Nice signage. Attractive posters. Extensive menu. Seemingly reasonable prices.
But we had a hard time figuring its dining genre. Is this a bak kut teh restaurant or a zi char restaurant? And where does the lava cake fit in?
We ordered a pork rib set lunch ($9.90) that came with 2-piece pork rib soup, two side dishes (braised peanuts and salted vegetables) and drink. Since there were three of us, we also ordered an extra bowl of pork rib soup ($6.50), a braised meat rice (卤肉饭 $5.90), sesame oil chicken ($7.90), crispy tofu with Thai style sauce ($4.90), youtiao (fried dough fritters $1.30) and two onsen eggs ($2). The prices seemed reasonable enough but the portions were generally small.
Unfortunately, the quality of the food fell short.
Food mainly tasted like they were prepared from a centralised kitchen and reheated in the kitchen before serving.
The pork ribs were not the freshest, tasted more frozen meat. The two pieces of pork ribs looked so pathetically small, almost invisible, submerged under the soup. Maybe I was benchmarking this to my all-time favourite BKT at Founders’ BKT!
The peppery soup was flavourful without being too overpowering. But I guessed it boiled down to personal preference. One of my foodie partners prefers a stronger peppery kick.
The youtiao was crispy, very crispy indeed. It was so crispy that I had a feeling that it was likely refried.
As for the onsen eggs, they were more like soft-boiled eggs. A well-cooked onsen egg should have the silky white and custard-like yolk that comes out firm but retains the colour and creamy texture of an uncooked yolk.
The Thai style tofu (beancurd) was crispy on the outside and very soft on the inside. I found the sauce a bit too sweet. But I supposed this is typical of Thai sweet sauce.
Next was the sesame oil chicken. The pieces of chicken were huge. The gravy was weak in sesame flavour and could certainly use more oomph.
The braised meat rice, topped with braised pork belly, half braised egg, taupok, peanuts and salted vegetables looked appetising. My main gripe had got to do with the star of the dish – the braised pork belly – they were too lean and not cleanly chopped.
The key to eating pork belly lies in the combination of the skin, fat and the meat. When it’s not adequately chopped, each piece you pick up may not contain all three parts – a big flop!
Service was lacking for a slow lunch day with only four out of the 16 tables occupied (25% full). Refill of the soup was on the house, but we struggled to catch the attention of the wait staff for a refill and the soup was merely lukewarm.
Overall, if I must describe this dining experience with one word, I would say – forgettable. Koon tries to offer too many things and ends up Jack of all trades but master of none.
It was not affordable by any means. The cost was pretty much similar to other establishments but the quality was certainly very wanting. Our bill came up to $16 per head which I think could get you much better quality food elsewhere – easily. Till next time!