The Original Botak Jones Opening At Bedok, Try Their Botak Burger, Chili Dawg, Shitake Mushroom Soup, And Stuffed Jalapeños

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 will be launching at Bedok (5 Sep 2022), 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.

Botak Jones Opening Third Comeback Hawker Outlet In Clementi

The Botak Jones chain is expanding again.

After opening a second comeback outlet in Tai Seng, nostalgic Western hawker food chain Botak Jones is setting up a third branch in the West, this time in Clementi.

For those who’re unfamiliar with Botak Jones, the chain was founded in 2003 by Detroit native Bernie Utchenik, who later sold his shares and left the company. The chain quietly left the market till Bernie revived it this year under the name The Original Botak Jones.

1 of 2 Westside outlet

The third outlet will be located at Blk 328 Clementi Ave 2, according to a teaser post on Botak Jones’ Facebook page. Bernie tells that it will be open for business circa November 2021, and “the menu will be consistent at all outlets” with dishes like the massive U-Crazy-What?! beef burger (from $24.50)Cajun Chicken (from $7.50) and Stuffed Jalapenos ($10). From next week, he will start taking preorders for our Louisiana whole fried turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as our special grain fed prime steer roasts .

The Original Botak Jones (Kampong Ampat)

Still as good!

It has been a long time since I last ate Botak Jones! As a kid, I loved their fish and chips and double baked cheese potato! They have since reopened in Singapore with 4 outlets in Singapore!

Here are the items we tried on a recent visit!

Haddock Fish n chips: This haddock fish and chips is definitely worth it! It still tastes as good as how I recall it to be! This premium haddock version has a meatier texture and I love it!

Fish n chips (dory): If the haddock fish and chips are slightly pricey to you, go for the dory fish and chips! It is also good! You can choose between the Pacific Dory or White Basa!

Botak Burget Set: We opted for the well done beef patty! The flame-grilled beef patty was super juicy and flavourful!

Black pepper Chicken set: This chicken set came with chicken breast meat, so do note it is slightly drier. I love the mushroom sauce that coats the black pepper chicken breast meat though!

For the above set menu items, you can opt for two sides (some sides come with additional premium charges):

Chicken Gumbo Soup: Have heards lots about this soup so decided to give it a go! Reminds me of chinese chicken soup for some reason! Has sausage and chicken meat in it!

Mushroom Soup: This mushroom soup was very thick and creamy, with many sliced mushroom bites in it!
Double baked cheese potato: My all time favourite sides! It is #stilldamngood !

Spicy Cajun Fries: Crispy fries! What is not to love about this!

Not-spicy fries: Surprisingly, i preferred the not-spicy fries to the spicy cajun fries!

Coleslaw: If too much fried food and fries is too much for you to handle, get this!

The Original Botak Jones American comfort food served in generous portions

Botak Jones is a national chain of American food restaurants in Singapore. The company was founded in 2003 by Bernard “Bernie” Allen Utchenik.
The brand is best known for its hearty American comfort food served in generous portions.
At its peak, they have 14 outlets islandwide but they sold off that business to their partners in 2011 and went on to start their own Big Bern’s American Grill at Timbre+ and Makansutra Gluttons Bay.
In the middle of this year, they closed the Big Bern’s American Grill and decide to join forces with two new partners to start the Original Botak Jones, after checking that the previous Botak Jones has left the market and they can use the name again.

We visited their newly opened third outlet at Clementi one afternoon to try their signature dishes.
We hear from Bernie himself explaining some of his favourite dishes. We decided to order a small selection of his wide menu.

First, we go for one of his burgers:
CAJUN CHICKEN BURGER $7.50, Set $10.50
A SET includes spicy fries and handmade coleslaw
The skinless, boneless chicken breast is hand marinated with its own mix of spices and then gently grilled until it’s just tender and moist.
Then covered with mozzarella cheese and Cajun Sauce.

New in town: The Original Botak Jones, Tai Seng — Authentic & affordable American comfort food

Founded in 2003, Botak Jones, was a popular Western hawker chain widely known for its authentic and affordable American comfort food with over 14 outlets spanning across Singapore. They also started a new brand, Big Bern’s American Grill but all of it closed down by the end of 2020.

However, they made a comeback early this year with a new brand name—The Original Botak Jones—with the tagline, ‘still damn good’, meaning to say we can expect the same quality food the eatery was known for. After opening up their first outlet in Depot Lane, their second outlet in the east at Kampong Ampat, near Tai Seng will be also be serving the same items as their first outlet. They will also be available for islandwide delivery, pick-up and dine in.

Botak Jones Opens Second Dine-In Outlet In The East

In June this year, Bernie ‘Botak Jones’ Utchenik thrilled his longtime fans when he announced that he was reviving his famed Botak Jones hawker Western food chain. The chain’s 14 outlets had a huge following in the noughties, though Bernie and his wife Faudziah Mohd Ali later sold their shares to their partners in 2011 as he tells that “the business came to a point where it was not something I had in mind”.

The Botak Jones stalls then quietly closed one by one over the years till it completely left the market, which allowed Bernie to revive the brand he started under the updated name The Original Botak Jones.

First reopened in Bukit Merah

The first comeback Botak Jones outlet is located in Bukit Merah, which attracted an almost two-hour queue on its opening day in June 2021.

Still Damn Good American Food: Singapore Icon Botak Jones Is Back

Since it burst on the scene in the early 2000s bringing delicious American fare to Singapore’s suburbia, Botak Jones has been a local icon that many Gen Xers have fond memories of. This National Day, GEN X Singapore talks to its founder American-born Singapore citizen Bernie Utchenik.


AUGUST 17, 2021

“Botak Jones was one of the few places I could bring my girlfriend for a decent Western meal,” remembers Joshua Gan, 40, who is now married to said girlfriend with a 6-year-old son. “I had budget constraints and that was what I could afford back then. I appreciate Botak Jones for offering good food at affordable prices, but more than that, I thank my wife for being willing to have coffee shop hot dates with me. Company is the most important part of ambience.”

Joshua is not alone in having fond memories of Botak Jones. When Bernie Utchenik and his wife Faudziah Mohd Ali (better known as Zee) opened their first outlet at Tuas Industrial Park, introducing Singapore to quality classic American food at kopitiam prices, Botak Jones quickly became the go-to place for Cajun Chicken, steak and truly great burgers. One stall became two, three, five… and at one point, grew to 14.

Bernie, 68, became as iconic as his brand, appearing on radio, TV, in magazine, newspapers, also speaking at entrepreneurship forums. But in 2011, he and Zee sold their stake in Botak Jones to their partners, returning to the scene the same year with Big Bern’s American Grill, which changed locations over the years, starting at Balestier, then at Toa Payoh in 2014, and in 2016, Timbre+ and last year they added on another outlet at Makansutra Gluttons Bay. Both have since closed.

Journalist Judith Tan remembers, “Big Bern’s was next to SPH [in Toa Payoh] and I ate there for dinner whenever I was on late shift. I would usually have the New York strip or the ribeye—after a while, Zee seemed to be able to tell if it was going to be a ribeye or New York night! Then came the jalapeno cheese bombs, which was what we always ordered during tea break. Sometimes we would drink margaritas and eat jalapeños at tea and hope our faces were not red when we went back to the newsroom to continue work.”

This June, Gen Xers got excited all over again because, after an absence of 10 years, The Original Botak Jones opened at the coffee shop at 18 Depot Lane in Telok Blangah. As if they never left, the queues started up again, drawing attention from local media and sending this generation back down memory lane.

Botak Jones: A Journey of Ups and Downs

Mr Bernard Allen Utchenik shares why he’s keeping his entrepreneurial dream alive.

Published: Mon, 19 Jul 2021 – 4:30 PM

Mr Utchenik met his wife, Faudziah ‘Zee’ Mohd Ali, at the first restaurant he worked for and fell in love with her. Photo Credit: The Original Botak Jones

Mr Bernard Allen Utchenik, better known as Bernie or Botak, is almost 70. The founder of the well-liked Botak Jones brand survived a heart attack in 2017, and had to close his Big Bern’s American Grill outlets due to the impact from Covid-19.

Still, the spirited man, who hasn’t consumed red meat for about 40 years, is bent on bringing back The Original Botak Jones to continue serving his iconic American comfort food with the help of his wife, Faudziah ‘Zee’ Mohd Ali.

“My wife takes care of all the running,” said Mr Utchenik, who gets around on a four-wheeled scooter now.

“I did go into the kitchen a couple times, briefly, to demonstrate some of the things that weren’t easy to explain on paper,” he told The UrbanWire over Zoom. “I’m still doing a lot of the marketing, a lot of the posts on Facebook are coming from me.”

When his new outlet at 118 Depot Lane opened on 14 June, it drew a long que

The Original Botak Jones – Beloved Western Stall With Juicy Burgers Reopens at Depot Lane!

Younger folks might remember Big Bern’s American Grill at Timbre+ and Glutton’s Bay, but long-time fans will be familiar with the true OG Western food brand Botak Jones. Founded in 2003, with more than 13 outlets scattered around Singapore back in the day, Botak Jones is now back and better than ever at Depot Lane under the name The Original Botak Jones. 

Detroit native Bernard Utchenik aka Bernie and his wife Faudizah Mohd Ali decided to set up shop at one of their old haunts to reach out to one part of their previous customer base. While they’re still in the midst of receiving their official halal certification, all the dishes are Muslim-friendly. 

Bernie is one of the most jovial people I’ve ever met and he takes a lot of pride in what he does, right down to teaching his staff every preparation step for the more challenging recipes like Chicken Gumbo ($3.50/5.50). He has since taken a step back, and acts as more of a consultant, with Faudizah being the one who plays a more active role on the operations side. 

Ever since their opening, the humble stall has seen astounding queues that stretch across the coffee shop. Initially, it was a bit of a struggle keeping up with the flow of orders which also included delivery orders, especially with such a small kitchen space. But since then, their mini squadron of chefs have been keeping operations going at a smooth and orderly pace. 

On their menu that is written entirely in Comic Sans font and quirky food descriptions, you’ll find a number of hearty American fare made according to original recipes from their heyday. Expect to find classic favourites such as The Botak Burger ($10.50 for a la carte, $13.50 for a set), Chilli Dawg ($13.50), Fish and Chips ($8/15) and Rosemary Lamb Chops ($22.50 for two, $29 for three)….

Botak Jones brings back popular Western fare to Singaporeans after a decade

Botak Jones brings back popular Western fare to Singaporeans after a decade

Popular Western food eatery Botak Jones is back after a decade of absence, with crowds already swarming its new location yesterday. 

The brains behind the famous brand, Bernard Utchenik, 68, whose bald (or botak in Malay) silhouette make up the eatery’s logo, joked to Coconuts over the phone this morning about being “older and fatter” and ready to serve Singaporeans their favorite spread of burgers, chicken, and fish and chips again. The brand’s revival began at 118 Depot Lane in Bukit Merah, where hundreds arrived yesterday after hearing news of its reopening. 

“I had no idea how entrenched Botak Jones had become in people,” Utchenik said. “A lot of these people, when they first were eating our food, were either kids or in their teens. And now they were coming back as adults with their own children.”

“And in a way it was kind of what I was hoping originally would happen that we would become a mainstay and long after I’d be let’s say dead and buried or gone, you know the brand will live on,” he added. 

In Singapore, so-called Western food outlets at hawker centers and coffee shops usually offer a hodgepodge of British- and American-inspired dishes like fish and chips, grilled meat chops, or fried chicken. Botak Jones elevated this when it opened in 2003, expanding to 14 outlets islandwide. Unfortunately, Utchenik severed ties with his business by selling his shares in 2011.

The Singaporean then opened the Big Bern’s American Grill steakhouse in 2014 but closed its two outlets last month after struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. Utchenik then reached out to old partners to revive Botak Jones.

Despite not being around for a decade, Botak Jones’ catchy name still rings in the minds of many Singaporeans who frequent it during their youth.

About 300 people queued up on reopening day yesterday, with queues stretching to the edge of the coffee shop 15 minutes after the store opened at 11am, according to Utchenik, who arrived on his “Hardly a Davidson” four-wheeled scooter. He did not expect that response at all.