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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Botak's Favourites: Fish and Chips

Botak Jones claims to serve "Damn good food at a damn good price".
And in recent times, they have expanded and opened a chain of "Botak Jones Favourites" outlets which serve certain selections from their menu but the best part is - it's certified Halal.

So now everyone can enjoy "Authentic American Style Halal Food"!!
That's supposed to be a good thing right?
They have outlets in Bukit Batok, Changi Village, Jurong West, Woodlands and Bedok (Bedok North and Simpang Bedok).

So one afternoon I dropped in to the Botak Jones Favourites outlet in Bedok North for a quick lunch.
Not wanting to have anything to heavy like a burger or anything, I decided to have something many would consider a classic dish.

Botak's Fish & Chips($7.50)

So you get a pretty huge breaded fillet of "premium" Basa fish, a side of french fries and coleslaw.
They claim that their coleslaw is their own concoction and for the fries you can either choose the normal fries or Spicy fries.

Now here's the thing.
I'm very particular about my fish. Perhaps I take after my mum but I can really taste even the slightest 'fishy taste' when it comes to my fish.

So I take into a nice big bite of the fish fillet and i get a bit of this 'fishy taste' in my mouth.
I think it's my imagination and give it a chance so I take a few more bites. But eentually I give up and I leave the fish alone so I can whack the fries and the coleslaw.

So I'm trying to figure out in my mind this whole time how the hell this could happen.
It's very seldom that I have this problem when eating out especially if we're talking about Fish and Chips.
And then I went home and took a closer look at the menu and I realized what the hell the problem was.

So at Botak Jones, you get a fillet of "premium" Basa fillet right?
What exactly is a Basa fish anyways?

Well that is a Basa fish aka Vitnamese Catfish aka Makong Catfish.

According to my research, it is found in Vietnam and Thailand and is actually very popular there.
It has also been labelled as a "milder tasting" catfish which means it's supposed to have less of a 'fishy taste' than most other catfish hence more people are supposed to like it.
I guess this is also the rationale behind the decision why Botak Jones decided to use this fish in their Botak's Fish and Chips.

Well I have got news for you buddy.
I hate catfish. I can respect that other people may well enjoy it but I do not.
The fishy taste is way too much for me and there is no way I'll be able to tolerate it which explains why I gave up on my fish after 3 bites.

It is however worth noting that most other restaurants or makan places use other common white fish such as Cod or Dory for their Fish and Chips dishes. And even if they were using catfish, they would probably include the word "Catfish" in the name of the dish. I guess it was probably my mistake for assuming that it was going to be Cod or Dory.

Well besides the fish, I have to say that the coleslaw was nothing special.
I couldn't tell the difference whether they made it themselves or just scooped it out of a tub from Bestfoods.
And the Spicy fries? They were not that spicy. In fact they were just normal french fries sprinkled with some chilli powder or paprika or something. Not much flavour to be honest.

Botak's Fish and Chips - 1/5 (Adam)

I guess this post was more of an educational alert that Botak Jones' Fish and Chips uses catfish than a review of the food you might think. But even without taking the catfish into consideration, there wasn't anything about the dish that I found special unfortunately.
But if you like catfish, then by all means this might just be your thing.

Maybe next time I'll stick to a Botak Cheeseburger or something.
I'm sure there's no catfish in that. Right?

Botak's Favourites

Blk 412 Bedok North Avenue 2
Tel: +65 62439225

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