Food Review: Kok Sen Restaurant at Keong Saik Road | You should skip this Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant for KEK Seafood or JB Ah Meng

The Place Located at buzzing Keong Saik Road, Kok Sen Restaurant is almost like an institution in this enclave in Chinatown after being around for three generations. I finally had the chance to check our Kok Sen recently, also a Bib Gourmand Restaurant on the Singapore Michelin Guide 2016 and 2017. The setting of Kok Sen is old school characterised by white tile walls, old stools and a dated looking menu.

It seems to be perpetually packed during peak dining hours where tables have to be arranged along the alley outside of the restaurant. The general protocol is to queue outside to wait for a table, otherwise the most ideal way is to reserve well ahead. Although do not expect this to be organised, with fellow diners cutting the queue, and the restaurant staff shrieking at customers to get in line.

Before reading on, we strongly recommend you to head over to have your local Singapore zichar indulgence in either KEK Seafood or JB Ah Meng instead of Kok Sen. If you are still keen on Kok Sen though, the below might persuade you off.

The Food The menu is extensive to say the least, with the signature dishes being highlighted with a thumbs up beside the dish. One of the must order dish at Kok Sen and a dish which can’t be found elsewhere is the Big Prawns Hor Fun (S$18/small). Served in a big plate, the small portion is good for sharing for 2 pax. I enjoyed the sauce most, which is slightly spicy and has a good deal of wok-hei, which makes the overal flavour a delicious one.

However, the Prawn Paste Chicken (S$13/small) is rather disappointing even though it is also highly recommended. We find that the chicken is too dry for our liking, coupled with the lack of prawn paste flavour. We struggled to finish this.

I wanted to try the signature Claypot Yong Tau Foo but it wasn’t available as we were rudely informed, hence we settled for the Homemade Tofu Minced with Pork (S$11/small) instead since it was recommended by the staff. Decent dish, nothing to shout about.

Rants We waited for about 30 minutes in the queue and a further 30 minutes for our food to arrive on a Saturday evening, which is not unexpected. Would not have been an issue if the food was on point. The service, not that we are expecting anything, leaves much to be desired.

Will I Return Again? We might have only tried a few dishes but it was enough to say we were not impressed by Kok Sen. For good Zi Char, we will return for KEK Seafood or JB Ah Meng anytime instead.

TheRantingPanda says:
Taste bud: 2.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Ambience: 2/5
Overall Experience: 2.5/5

Kok Sen Restaurant
30-32 Keong Saik Road
Tel: +65 6223 2005

Opening hours
Daily: 12pm to 2.30pm; 5pm to 11.30pm
Closed every alternate Monday

Ranted by The Ranter

About theRantingPanda (1837 Articles)
of blacks and whites and everything else | singapore | food reviews, lifestyle & travel

2 Comments on Food Review: Kok Sen Restaurant at Keong Saik Road | You should skip this Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant for KEK Seafood or JB Ah Meng

  1. The standard of the big prawn hor fun has dropped tremendously. The gravy was not as tasty as before and it was not enough for the hor fun thus it was very dry. 3 medium prawns were used instead of the 2 big prawns that were normally served. The usual big prawns were cut into halves thus were well coated with the gravy, but the medium prawns were cooked whole so they tasted bland and hard after the shells were being peeled off. I ordered 2 plates X $18, I wasted my $36 on 2 plates of sub standard hor fun that were not nice at all. I was very upset because my overseas friends were surprised by my recommendation. Will not go back again.


4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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