October 06, 2013

MK Restaurant, 313@Somerset ~ Does The Popular Thai-style Suki Hotpot Chain From Thailand Lives Up To Its Name In Singapore?

"Thailand's favorite restaurant". "The most famous restaurant in Thailand". I heard many good things about MK Restaurant that I too, eagerly waited in anticipation for its opening in Singapore along with many of its fans. Notable for their Thai-style Suki Hotpot, Signature MK sauce and MK Roasted Duck, MK Restaurant has over 400 branches in Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam. Their first branch at Singapore's 313@Somerset promises many delicious dishes with their original recipes straight from Thailand.

I had walked passed MK restaurant numerous times during lunch time on weekdays and it's perpetually quiet, sometimes half-filled, but never did I see any queue, despite its reputation. Not sure if it's the same during dinner service and weekends, but it's always safe to call for a table reservation if you plan to visit. The interior is bright and spacious, going along the lines of a clean and modern look with black leather lining up the booth seats. Ordering can be done conveniently through the computerized system on each table and the food items we selected was swiftly sent over to us in no time.

My colleague and I skipped the Chinese Dim Sum items which are also featured in the menu and went straight for the recommended MK Suki Platter ($34). It's an ideal portion size for two of us as we sampled some of MK's best selling items like Sliced Pork, Fresh Squids, Fresh Shrimps, MK Shrimp Balls, MK Salmon, Special Seaweed Rolls, and Shrimps Wontons. Ordering the platter also means without having to ponder too long over what to order from the array of ala-carte items. Lunch hour is short and precious you know :p. If you're hoping for an eat-all-you-can buffet, you're in for a disappointment because there's no such option.

There was nothing much to rave about for most of the items on the platter, except for the Fresh Shrimps and Shrimps Wontons. The shrimps came conveniently deshelled, beautifully butterflied and cleanly deviened. Guess it would instantly make some of my OCD friends happy lol. The texture was enjoyably crunchy at each bite and the meat was no doubt very fresh and succulent. Equally delectable is the Shrimp Wontons. Love the dumpling filled with fresh shrimps and its thin, silky smooth wonton skin! The tangy sweet and slightly spicy flavor of the Signature MK sauce, made up of a secret recipe with over 30 ingredients, is a remarkable condiment to the food.

Choice of soup base is either Original or Tom Yum and we chose the former. I found the clear broth a tad bland with an artificially sweetened taste. Interestingly, I was told to add some MK sauce to my bowl of soup for extra flavor. I'm not fond of the result, which tasted like diluted chili water. The addition of some chopped garlic and chili padi couldn't saved it. The initial bad broth then became the better version which I learned to appreciate. Go figure.

We also ordered Jade Noodles ($3) which came in a grassy shade of green. It was subtly perfumed with the aroma of garlic and sesame oil, but the cold, hard texture was something which I couldn't get used to. Though this is a cooked dish which can eaten straight off the plate, I prefer to give the clumpy noodles a quick bath in the hotpot soup before consuming, which made it more palatable. Do not leave MK restaurant without ordering their renowned MK Roasted Duck (S-$12.90 / L-$24.90). What you see in the picture here is the small portion, a plate of awesomely tender sliced roasted duck meat covered with a thin layer of crisp skin. Doused in a delectable savory sauce with herbal notes, it somehow reminded me of a certain local restaurant chain and their specialty herbal roasted duck.

Pretty full by this time but still wanting to refresh our palates with some desserts, we decided to have just the MK Special Ice Flake ($5), even though the Signature Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Glutinous Rice ($7) looked tempting too. Upon seeing the petite serving, we wondered if it's a good idea to share lol. Looking nothing like what was depicted in the menu, the lacklustre presentation was fortunately made up with a generously medley of red beans, lotus seeds, corn, red rubies, coconut and jackfruit strips, all buried under the shaven ice.

My colleague's wife is a Thai so they travel back to Bangkok very often and MK restaurant is one of the places they will patronize frequently. He said the soup base in Bangkok is certainly more flavorful, but the standard of the other items remained more or less the same. The biggest difference lies in the prices, he would have paid half of what he did compared to Bangkok. Oh well, to pay higher prices in Singapore for the same food is hardly a surprise.

MK Restaurant may be the most famous and a favorite suki hotpot chain of Thailand, but there are just too many hotpot places here in Singapore and MK paled in comparison against some of the better hotpot I had. Being average is not good enough, you need to be excellent in order to stand out from the rest.

MK Restaurant
Address: 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road, #B3-30, Singapore 238895
Contact: +65 6884 9224
Website: http://www.mkrestaurant.com/en
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm Daily


  1. I dont know.... but i felt that everytime someone brought a famous food brand to Singapore they just dont measure up and they seems to be more expensive and less worth the price.... :/

    But the MK Restaurant in Thailand is fantastic... i promise :P

  2. Wow, so expensive here, I remember spending about 700+ Thai Baht eating with my parents and wife, eat until very full! I think I ordered two plates of the roasted duck with roasted pork too. Miss the food in Thailand, sigh.