MK Restaurants in Bangkok are as ubiquitous as its 7-11 convenience stores. Just about every mall has a branch of this beloved steamboat chain. Being as hugely successful as they are in Thailand, I was curious to see how MK Restaurants would fare in Singapore.
Perhaps being situated in the same mall as the arguably best steamboat in town, Hai Di Lao, isn't the most brilliant of ideas. But it does get the patronage of a few trickle-down diners who are turned off by the inordinately-long waiting period at Hai Di Lao.
But such trickle-down diners will be most disappointed. I found MK Restaurants' steamboat middling at best, and mostly clunky.
To make the most of your steamboat experience, my take is to order the Tom Yum base ($4.90) instead of the chicken one; it's very robust, and while richly sour and spicy, it reeked of an instant paste packet, and tended towards the cloying, especially at the end.
The Mushroom Platter ($20) was seriously overpriced. It would have been a lot more competitive at half its pricetag.
The Shrimp Balls ($5.50) may have looked uninspired but these were quite delightful in succulence.
The Sliced Chicken ($4) was fair, and stayed tender through an extended boiling.
The Sliced Pork ($4.20) was fresh enough, but I wasn't too impressed that these were served completely frozen and stuck together.
The Fried Tofu ($2) were a little dried out and tough, but got soft enough after stewing in the broth.
The Japanese Silken Tofu ($2), clean and clear, was a nice contrast to the heavy spice of the soup.
MK's 2 signature sauces, a piquant cilantro spiked green-hued one, and its mildly sweeter counterpart.Not particularly impressive.
We also added a bundle of Glass Noodles ($2) and a couple of Eggs ($0.50 per egg) to chunk up the soup.
313 Orchard Road
313 Somerset B3-30
Tel: 6884 9224
Open daily from 10am to 10pm