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Review: Knuckles Bistro @ Kovan

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Knuckles Bistro, located a 5 minute walk away from Kovan MRT, serves up ridiculously affordable mains, such as Pork Knuckles at S$10, truffle fries at S$6, and cheap beers! Ran by the same owners of the ever-popular Thai eatery, Nakhon Kitchen, it did not come as a surprise to find them located right beside the Nakhon outlet in Kovan, with similar value for money food!

The Ambience

The bistro may be located underneath a HDB flat, however, the atmosphere it exudes seemed more atas than it really is, with the dim romantic lights and a creative play on the crate-like design for their tables. The dim lighting gives off the cosy and relaxing atmosphere in the bistro, however, it can really be a hassle when you try to take photos of your food, because it’s really SO DARK.

The Food

I have visited Knuckles twice. The first time I was there after a dinner at Nakhon, so we only ordered drinks and truffle fries. Priced at $6, I felt that the serving of truffle fries was quite generous, however, taste-wise, do not expect much for just $6! I am not a fan of alcohol, however, my sister ordered a bottle of Guinness Black for $10, and according to her, that’s relatively cheap in Singapore!

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Truffle fries ($6) and a bottle of Guinness Black ($10)

I paid Knuckles another visit 2 days later, because after realizing that they serve Pork Knuckles at just $10 (I mean, obviously they serve pork knuckles, it’s stated all over the name of their bistro!), I decided to bring the boy here as he is a fan of pork knuckles!

On this visit, we ordered an appetizer and 3 mains to share, because their food were simply too affordable! However, I felt that the menu was a little limited, as they only served up a couple of appetizers and finger foods, such as truffle fries, sotong balls. grilled mushrooms and wings, and for their mains, they served up the Western fare that we are all familiar with, such as chicken chop, pork chop, aglio olio, and also uncommon finds, such as their signature Pork knuckle, as well as, Bangers and mash. 

We obviously could not leave out the Pork Knuckle ($10) when we made our orders, coupled with the Chicken Chop ($8), and Aglio Olio with chicken and mushroom ($8). The boy also sneakily ordered a Grilled Mushroom ($3) for our appetizer because I love mushrooms!

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Grilled Mushrooms ($3): This appetizer sounds ridiculously affordable at a price tag of $3, especially in a bistro. However, the portion of mushrooms was disappointing, and much less the taste of this dish, which made $3 seem overpriced for a dish like this.

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Pork Knuckle ($10): Have you ever seen a pork knuckle that cost just $10? I know I haven’t. Served with a side of creamy mashed potato, and pickled vegetables, this crispy and succulent de-boned pork knuckle was definitely worth the money, because you don’t have to go through the hassle of removing the bones, which is something I really liked. I did not have much of this dish, however, the boy said it was good, so I guess, it’s worth a try!

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Aglio Olio with Chicken and Mushrooms ($8): Just a typical plate of aglio olio you would find anywhere, nothing to shout about, except for the fact that the chicken was quite tasty. Haha!

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Chicken Chop ($8): This was the dish that I had, and I personally felt that for $8, the portion was justified, because it was really a relatively large serving of chicken and generous sides. The chicken was adequately moist and it wasn’t too oily. A good old dish to fall back on if you don’t fancy anything else on the menu!

Closing Remarks

I am not surprised that there isn’t much of a queue forming for this bistro, even though it serves up such an affordable fare. I guess people would prefer an authentic Thai experience from Nakhon, to visiting Knuckles for a pseudo Western affair, which is just located beside the bistro. Besides, the food served at the bistro are nothing to shout about. With its limited menu, and mains that can be commonly found in other restaurants, I wouldn’t come here specially just for their food. In contrast with their counterparts, Nakhon, I would crave to return for their food, because it is rare to find such authentic, delicious and affordable Thai cuisine in Singapore. Personally if I were to crave for a wallet-friendly Western fix, I would rather pop by to the nearby hawker center and coffee shop than to make a trip down here!

Knuckles may probably be a place where you might want to visit after your dinner at Nakhon for a catch-up session with your friends under a relaxed atmosphere. However, you also have another choice of heading down to Hatter street which is located just next door, for some kickass dessert fix. Maybe if Knuckles expands their menu for their finger foods, and include live soccer screening, it may just be the next hot spot for drinks in the area.

How to get there

Knuckles Bistro
Blk 212 Hougang Street 21
#01-33
Singapore 530212

Nearest MRT station: Kovan
Located right at the end along McDonald’s opposite Kovan CC.

Opening Hours

Open from 7pm onwards; daily.

Prices are NETT. No GST and Service Charge.

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