This place has been featured extensively in the newspapers, IS Magazine and pretty much every food show on TV. Their hook is "damn good food at a damn good price" - American food served in a coffeeshop at heartland prices. Botak Jones himself is Bernie Utchenik, the former owner of Bernie's BFD at East Coast Park and Bernie Goes to Town at Boat Quay.
Because of all the publicity, and as you can expect with kiasu Singaporeans who are always swarming the newest eating places, this place has really been packing it in...
Our first attempt at eating here was abandoned as there was a really long queue snaking around the building and we were way too hungry to wait for our food. On the second attempt, we came here at 6 plus to try and beat the crowd. Not much point though - there was still a 15 minute wait to place our orders and about another 30 minute wait for food. The staff do try to manage customers' expectations by telling them that the food will take at least an hour to be ready...
I ordered the Botak Burger at $4.50. There were add-ons but I just thought that $2 for 2 rashes of bacon was a ridiculous price to pay, and with add-ons, the price of the burger would end up being more restaurant than heartland priced... so I ended up with this -
It doesn't come with any sides, so it looks kinda sad all by itself on that big plate... and the taste of the burger was not at all worth remembering...
We also ordered the NZ Ribeye Steak (200g) $13.50...
... which was a decent size but again taste-wise, it wasn't anything fantastic.
The Cheese Fries $7 were a huge disappointment!
By the time it got to us, the cheese had already hardened... and when I pulled a fry out, the cheese pretty much stayed where it was. Erm, isn't the cheese on cheese fries supposed to be gooey and melted all over the fries, and you're supposed to get some melted cheese when you pick up a fry??
My first thought when I saw the Egg Salad $5 was - "Damn, that's a lot of onions..."
As you can probably tell by now, I think this place is highly over-rated - prices seem reasonable, but they do add up if you want a decent burger... long long wait for food... and I'm willing to overlook all that if the food was good, but sadly that is not the case here. I suspect that all the business they've been getting has caused the quality of food to suffer...
If you want to have very good steaks and burgers at extremely reasonable prices, go check out Aston's instead - watch out for an upcoming post, I ate there again recently :)
Blk 608 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5
Tel : 6755 1225
Operating Hours : Tuesday - Sunday 12:00 noon til 10:00 pm, Monday closed
www.botakjones.com (check website for other locations)