Apr 04 2011
You can feast on every kind of Asian food imaginable in Singapore, but sometimes nothing satisfies like a burger. Restaurants in trendy areas like Clarke Quay charge upwards of S$20 for a burger and fries, but it is possible to satisfy your Western craving for much less at a hawker centre.
While the Western food from many hawker stalls is of dubious authenticity (think “chicken chop with black pepper sauce”), Botak Jones serves the real deal. This chain was started by an American expat and the founder’s appreciation for the home-style cooking of his home country really shows.
The Botak burger, the smallest on the menu at 135 grams, is incredibly juicy and tastes like it was grilled in your own backyard. By default, the burgers come naked with just tomato and onion on the bun, but cheese, jalapenos, chili, and bacon can be added for a couple dollars more. With their success the menu has expanded well beyond burgers and they offer chicken gumbo, fish and chips, chilli con carne, and carrot cake (not the Singaporean kind!)
The flavours are authentically American and so are the portions. All mains are served with two sides and you can choose from fries, cheese potatoes, corn on the cob, coleslaw, vegetable stew, and a few more that I’m forgetting. Despite being a regular customer, the spicy fries are so good I rarely order anything else.
Botak Jones outlets are located in hawker centres so don’t expect table service or even air-con, just “Damn good food at a damn good price”. They really do make good on this motto and, with a few exceptions like steaks, a gut-busting meal will cost less than S$10.
For visitors to Singapore the most convenient outlet is the Orchard Youth Park beside Somerset MRT, but Botak Jones has 10 outlets island-wide including halal outlets and a garden restaurant in Dempsey Hill.
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