Thursday, November 8, 2007

Botak Jones @ Clementi

I was reading the Sunday Times, dated 28 October 2007 and chanced upon this interesting article titled, "Ang Moh Hawkers" (which literally means Caucasian Hawkers) in the lifestyle section. It was about 2 permanent residents of Singapore (Botak Jones and Crazy Ang Mo) penetrating into the wonderful "Singapore Hawkersphere", each with their distinctive business philosophy, history and taste. There was even a comparison of food between these 2 eateries.Still, to me, despite all the hype, it's just "western food" lah. (My first ever Singlish/Manglish vocabulary on my blog!).

When a colleague of mine, Mr. D asked to me join him for dinner at Botak Jones (Clementi branch) last Friday, I was hesitant, not because of my preconception, but rather a dinner appointment with a group of food avids at Sage (which I will review right after this one) later in the evening. After much persuasion (it's an exaggeration), I agreed to give it a try.

You can see customers (mostly youths and the after-work crowd) queueing to place their orders as you approach the Kopitiam at Clementi Avenue 5, while the elders were seen enjoying their wanton noodles instead. At 6.20 pm, we still managed to secure a table. According to Mr. D, the queue can be astonishingly long after 7.00 pm (Clementi branch).

The first dish to arrive was the Botak Chez Set (S$8.00). The burger basically consisted of a piece of beef patty topped with melted cheddar cheese, a halved burger bun, raw onion rings and a slice of tomato. Despite the generic ensemble, the beef was rather fresh, moist and tender (unlike those hard and dry type found in some fastfood chains). The fresh raw onions added crispness to the burger but the cheddar cheese did not amplify the taste of the patty. Sides included crinkle fries and coleslaw. Taste aside, a definitively filling portion nonetheless.

Next came my Fish and Chips ($S6.50 - for the small portion). The golden brown fish fillets were rather thin but well cooked. Since there was no hint of "frozen fish" smell and the flesh was quite firm, I concluded that the fish was commendably fresh. A drizzle of lemon juice provided slight tanginess to the fish. I personally enjoyed the tartar sauce as it was optimally flavoured (I was not sure if capers were added) and did not leave me with a cringing feeling (some eateries tend to overuse vinegar in their sauce). Sides were similar to the first dish; crinkle fries and coleslaw.

Service was efficient (and friendly too) despite the stacks of orders while the price was alright (by hawker centre standard). By the way, Mr. D mentioned that the Cajun Chicken was highly recommended too. As we packed up to leave after our dinner, the queue already doubled in length.

Was the food worth the queue, you asked? If it's a 45 minutes queue, then, NO.

Botak Jones' slogan: damn good food, damn good price.
Nic's humble opinion: so-so food, affordable price.

Find out more on Botak Jones here:

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