The name “Botak Jones” would ring a bell for Singaporeans who love their American-style comfort food and burgers.
Now, who’s craving for some of their Botak Burger, Cajun Chicken Burger, Cheesesteak, Barbecue Chicken Wings, Cheese Fries?
Founded by the affable Bernard ‘Bernie’ Utchenik in 2003, Singapore foodies are happy that it is back as “The Original Botak Jones” – a Muslim-owned establishment with the same good taste, big portions, affordable pricing, and an expanded menu.
I first visited after their revival at Depot Road, and it has now expanded to locations at Kampong Ampat (MacPherson) and 43 Holland Drive.
For the Easties, a NEW store has launched at Bedok, found at JTC Bedok Food City.
Perhaps you may not know there is actually a café-style “Botak Jones” at Kampong Ampat (near Tai Seng), located on the 7th storey of an industrial building.
It is quite a find. And it is air-conditioned.
Check out some of our favourites from The Original Botak Jones:
Botak Burger ($11 for burger only, $14 for set), Double Botak Burger ($17 for burger only, $20 for set)
A classic cheeseburger epitomises American comfort food, and the Botak Burger does it justice in every way possible.
I would suggest getting the Double, though there is actually a triple patty U-Crazy-What version ($25 for burger, $28 for set) if you are missing your meats.
The team uses minced meat only from a tender region of the steer. As a result, their signature handmade patty, weighing 150 grams, is thick and juicy. The meat further gets its flavour from a special mixture of spices.
Finishing the preparation of what is already quite a large burger is melted American cheese, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.
It was still that good-old classic Botak Jones Burger that would give you that sense of familiarity and comfort. The patties here are flame-grilled till medium-well. If you like your burgers well-done, let them know before hand.
The dish includes two sides, fries and coleslaw. Remember, considering the burger’s size, it is more than enough for one person as a main (as you should leave some space for their starters).
Whoopass Chili Dawg ($14 for set),
For starters, the chicken sausage is 22cm long. Grilled nicely, it comes bundled inside a soft hotdog bun.
Botak’s Chicken Dawg is the simpler version of the dish that has sausage with chopped onions and mustard.
On the other hand, the Chili Dawg elevates the flavours of the hotdog with the help of the house-made “Whoopass” Chili, purposely spread all over in a messy fashion.
Big and bold – it can be messy to eat, no doubt, but a delight to bite into.
The World’s 2nd Best Chicken Gumbo ($4, $6)
A gumbo is such an integral part of Louisiana cooking that no trip to the American state is complete without having this dish.
No wonder Louisiana gumbo is, what many believe, the best gumbo in the world.
This brings us to the “World’s 2nd Best Chicken Gumbo” (they must be really confident to name this) that is available in Singapore.
The Original Botak Jones keeps the recipe of this iconic soup as authentic as possible. They make it using a roux, spicy chicken sausage, Cajun veggies, bell peppers, spices, herbs like celery, and plenty of chicken.
Preparing gumbo is time-consuming. The roux requires slow, medium heat cooking with constant stirring. Served on the bones, you can expect the chicken and the broth to have deep, robust flavours.
Promises a genuinely heart-warming start to the meal.
Shitake Mushroom Soup ($3.50, $5)
This Shitake Mushroom Soup is one of my favourite mushroom soups in Singapore, one that does not involve artificial components.
The soup itself is earthy-tasting with delectable creamy consistency. I don’t overly fancy mushroom soups that are overly pureed, and for this rendition, you still get to taste those real pieces of mushrooms.
Stuffed Jalapeños ($10.50)
The construction of this Stuffed Jalapeños dates back to 1996 when Bernie and his chef Greg decided to make their own version, having not liked any pre-packed finger food.
Preparing the Mexican jalapeño requires the removal of seeds, which makes the pepper a bit less spicy. In their place goes mozzarella cheese, not cream cheese, which is otherwise the most common ingredient.
Breaded using panko, the deep frying of the jalapeño melts the cheese inside while giving the surface a lovely crunch.
Because the jalapeños have cheese, they aren’t that spicy. Still, the dish comes with in-house tartar sauce that cools the tongue from the heat of the spicy pepper.
Caesar Chicken Salad ($9.50 with chicken, $12 for fish option)
The Cajun Chicken here is hand marinated in a house-prepared original spice mix that honours the uniqueness of Cajun cuisine.
When grilling the chicken, the chefs carefully maintain the juiciness of the meat but also give it that charcoal-like smokiness.
Adding freshness to the dish are leaves of Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and finally, house-made croutons for that much-loved crunch.
Completing the salad with its sweet, sour, and zesty taste is their very own Caesar dressing.
Black Pepper Chicken ($8 for 1 pc, $13.50 for 2pc)
A wholesome and hearty preparation, Black Pepper Chicken is unique because it is of Chinese-American origin and is also quite popular in Singapore.
At Original Botak Jones, they use different types of black pepper when cooking the chicken, giving it a more intense peppery taste.
At the same time, the mushroom pepper sauce helps balance the dish’s overall flavour.
Fish and Chips ($11.50)
Original Botak Jones uses one of two types of fish for its classic Fish and Chips serving, depending on what’s fresh and readily obtainable. So, you can expect either a whole fillet of Premium White Basa or the Pacific Dory.
The preparation includes lightly marinating the fish and then breading it with Japanese panko. While kept ready, they fry the fish only after the order comes in.
I liked that the fish was not too oily, and while the exterior was golden and crunchy, the breading wasn’t too thick.
The Fish and Chips typically arrive with fries and house-made coleslaw as sides. You can, however, switch them with some of the other sides in the menu.
Ribeye Steak ($24 for 250gm, $30.50 for 250gm)
The steaks come from both New Zealand and Australia. Which one you’ll get depends on what’s available (having two sources means they can continue to serve their clients should there be any disruptions in shipment from one place in these unpredictable times.).
No matter the origin, the steak is always Prime Steer. The kitchen team further tenderises it by hand and marinates it to intensify the flavour profile.
Moreover, diners can choose how they want the steak, from rare to very well done – your choice.
Served with brown gravy, their Ribeye Steak is a filling meal in the true sense.
The Original Botak Jones
153 Kampong Ampat #07-05 Singapore 368326
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Other The Original Botak Jones Locations:
Depot: 118 Depot Road #01-01 Singapore 109754
Holland: 43 Holland Drive Singapore 270043
Bedok: JTC Bedok Food City, 1550 Bedok North Ave 4, Singapore 489950
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with The Original Botak Jones.