Ramadan 2010- Specials at Botak Favourites

Country: Singapore

I should be at home enjoying the spectacular display of the fireworks of the YOG official opening ceremony tonite but I’ve got a “food date”. Well,sometimes being a foodie, I just got to make some sacrifices here and there. And some food are DEFINITELY worth these sacrifices….

Arriving at 8pm in the northern part of Singapore, traffic was massive with jams here and there probably people leaving and entering Malaysia. I was in one quiet corner of Woodlands Town but I was in for a shock when I arrived at the coffeeshop.It was bustling with activities and filled with many hungry customers!

Feeling a lil jittery tonite…I am about to meet up with the owner of the so called one of the BEST authentic American style food in Singapore.Unsure what to expect, I let the bustling crowd drown my jitters.

Within minutes, 2 “macho” men appeared and embraced my presence. Mr Bernie aka “Botak” is there with Mr Richard (the man who oversees all branches of Botak Favourites) to answer my queries and doubts.

Almost immediately, I felt very at ease with Bernie,an American born from Detroit (now a Singaporean,Congrats!)telling me stories on BF’s background and their top notch quality products and stringent quality checks.His down-to-earth attitude in embracing all customers from all walks of life, his openness in accepting their constructive criticisms and trying to solve them asap and his good listening skills attach attentiveness to details.. makes him sort of your next best friend.

I noticed this as I was giving an informal “interview”.Customers (from young adults to kids) flocked by and shaked his hands. And I can see from their eyes, how they “idolise” the food and the “big man” himself (he’s not really that big, just towering over the “dwarf” me).

The history…
It wasnt as easy as I pictured it…Bernie and his wife started out working for someone else and then later they strike it out on their own.They did go thru good and bad experiences in F&B. But because they did this with great passion in wanting to serve the best food to the public and somehow their determination shines thru and success falls in their laps.

Starting out from Tuas and then in Ang Mo Kio (Botak Jone’s first branch), they were dicovered by Straits Times food writer and eversince their business has been a blast. Bernie believes in serving only food that he himself will want to eat.And I heard, he personally tasted the veggie burger and gives the thumbsup before it can be served to the public.

As we progress on to meats.I listened intently to him describing the steaks and all that marbling, grade and different parts of the animals. I felt a distant rumbling in my tummy.

I commented that their steaks are one of the best I have eaten in Singapore (do check my previous posts). And I found out why: It’s because they select CHILLED prime steer instead of Frozen Prime Bull. Irregardless whether it’s costly or not, they only deal with top notch quality meat and will not substitute anything for less.And every sauces,gravies and dips are home-made to their own original recipes.Bernie further explained the “secret” as to why their food are good is because they choose only the very best.

They do not use MSGs, tenderisers and other “unlawful” preservatives for their food. Every meat is marinated by hand to give that extra personal caressing touch so that you will feel good consuming the food. Bernie further added that he wants to leave a legacy whereby people will remember him for his top quality food and service. And he wants the customers to keep coming back for more. He wished his food to be “comfort food” that people will often indulge to satiate that internal cravings weekly.

And I asked Bernie (I’m like a lil child,inquisitive and hungrily engrossed in this “meaty” business)-What makes the Chilli Dawg so crunchy? (read my previous post)He chuckled saying that the casing is purely from the sheep thus when you eat it, it will pop. (Hmm,that explains..)

I do follow them up in their facebook and noticed that they are very updated with the current events and have many tickets giveaways to their loyal customers especially American celebrities such as Pussy Cat Dolls and the recent Slash concert. And its not the cheap seats, mind you…they are all very exclusive seatings indeed.

I did ask whether there will be Wagyu beef in the Halal menu, Bernie replied that there is a great possibility there…leaving me with a silly grin of sunny hope. But he also mentioned that they are the only ones who are serving USDA Prime beef (the highest top 2 grade)to the Halal community in Singapore and that itself is almost as good as Wagyu. Hmm…

As the food arrived,I promised myself that I shall treat myself to that USDA prime steak,someday insyaAllah. And Im going to savour every single meaty bits like a real gourmand.For now, I am satisfied with the Ramadan Promotion sets.Look at them.They looked so good!

This is the Ramadan Promotion. Starting this Monday, 16.8.10…with complimentary dates.

If you want to order them, you are greatly encouraged to call them up to reserved your seats and food (so that they won’t be rushed since dinner is a busy time esp in Ramadan) by 4pm.They can reserved a certain number of tables for their patrons and they will try to accomodate your reservations but remember, it’s a coffeeshop after all…

You can also opt to change any of the menu entries and you still will get that 10% off! But take note, this Ramadan promotion is valid only for Bukit Batok and Woodlands branches. Simpang Bedok is not applicable because its kinda tricky since they share the same POS system as the Tang Tea House (complicated,really).

I have tasted these food. And although I ate them not on the spot, or as piping hot when served (cos we are quite a chatter bunch so much so we kinda “neglect” the food), the food still taste unexpectedly good.I have these “feel-good” vibes after eating them. I might have to update my list of comfort food. Aah…I miss America and by eating these food, I felt that missingness satiated some way or the other…(but wait!I did not even taste the STEAK in America!)

I believe you want the details right?Alright,let me indulge you…

I was served with the cheese set, rib eye steak, fish and chips, mushroom soups and salad.

The mushroom soup was oohlala….thick,creamy and tasty with generous heaps of fresh shitake and whipped cream and not forgetting tiny lumps of potatoes and dispersed fresh herbs leaving my tongue tingling for more. Mmm…I like!

The How’s Salad is fresh,crunchy. I love the FETA cheese. U know how cheese and me don’t really click (unless its fresh mozarella and melted cheese) but this feta cheese, I like! There is a certain freshness to it.And black olives…mmm

I was given 2 dressings-thousand island and I think the other one is mustard dressings.You can really taste the difference as compared to the dressings in many places that I have tasted-mostly generically either from bottled/can or mass produce products.This one tasted legitimately homemade.And its not overly sweet ,tasted naturally sourish.

The Spicy Fries are nice!They make their own spice mix and let it drizzled on the fries right after being freshly fried. Not too spicy for my fussy palate,humbly tone down. There is no flavour enhancers/MSGs, so don’t worry.

I also like the double baked cheese potato,to my surprise. It’s chunks of potatoes with cheese in it (duh!).Like I said, Im quite surprised that I did not get too “jerlak” with it. It seems that BF’s cheese and me are on very intimate terms (unless they DO read my blog and notice my natural “unfriendlyness” with cheese)

Ok,let’s get to the BIG food quickly….(I bet u must be very impatient by now *chuckles)

Fish and chips…fascinatingly, it does not taste like the blah..blah..frozen dory or whatever fish fillets u can find in the supermarkets. The outer layer crumbles with a crunch as I bite it,the flesh is juicy saltish. Squeeze some lemon.I can eat this without the tartar. Nice.

The rib eye steak is done medium .Pink but no blood. As usual, Good! I love munching on the chewy edges with juicy fats. …ahh..good steaks are my prime weakness.I can go weak in my knees….

The last but not least…is the burger. It comes in the Cheese set along with the double baked cheese potato. This has gone up a notch in my favourites. I explained to you why. Many burger chains have mentioned that their burgers are 100% beef in their ads but have you seen them flashing “100% meat” in their ads campaign? Well, probably not but BF is definitely 100% beef and 100% meat.

As as I give a BIG mama bite into this cheesy burger,I closed my eyes to savour its “purity”.Oh my…this is what BURGERS should be. Suddenly the thought of visiting halal CARL’s JR in KL, is being erased at this sudden goodness. The meat twirl and swirl in its own tasty juices and marination. And gulped…

Now I know why they are rated as THIRD best burger in Singapore (Morton’s of Chicago and Prime Society-are top 2.. rated by Timeout Magazine 2009). It was so JUICY and tasty! Of course the PURE meat is already pulling me to its carnivourous side.I’m biased really. Don’t take my word for it, you got to go there and taste them for yourself!!

Hurry down, limited time only (Ramadan is 26days left) and it’s a great bargain for the whole family.And mind you, the food is as good as some top restaurants! So what are you waiting for? Come on down….

And if you see Bernie, give him a hi-5, will ya? *wink

Neighbourhood coffeeshop
Blk 892C Woodlands Drive 50
Botak Favourites Facebook
Psst…they do catering too!

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Thank you to Botak’s Favourite for this invitation. Especially to Bernie,Leonard,Richard and all BF’s staff that has welcomed me today!Cheers.

Disclaimer: Food featured are subject to my personal taste. I hold no responsibility for your body’s gastronomical adventure.All food shown are either from Halal-certified or Muslim owned establishments(with no liquour/alcoholic beverages).I will try my utmost best to update and maintain the relevant information shown,insya-Allah…but your body,your responsibility.Do ensure that the Halal-certificates are up-to-date,renewed (not expired) and displayed promptly before ordering/consuming. If in doubt,always ask the staff with a smile.Remember: Use ur senses especially your heart.But mainly, ask your iman (faith). Don’t assume: A headdress/scarf lady is not equal to HALAL. “No pork no lard” signage is not equal to HALAL. A crescent moon and star symbol is not equal to HALAL. Not all Mediterranean (e.g Turkish kebab), Malaysian, Indonesian cuisines (especially Nasi Padang food) is HALAL. Whatever franchise that is HALAL in Malaysia,Indonesia or in any muslim country does not mean it is HALAL in Singapore or anywhere else. Your body,your responsibility, check its HALAL authenticity.More on disclaimer?Thank you for your kind attention.

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