Botejyu: A Mediocre Disappointment

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Visited on 1st May 2010. Written by Mu Yao.

After a shoot with my two lovely girlfriends at Henderson Waves we decided to settle go to Liang Court for dinner, as I had promised them I was to treat them to a dessert place (Tampopo deli, reviewed again later). We were originally intent on going to Tampopo for their ramen, after being shortlisted by ieatishootipost's Top 10 Ramen in Singapore list, but seeing the long queues there put us off. I, for one, never believe in the virtue of waiting for food. So we settled on Botejyu instead, which was more famous for their okonomiyaki (which originated from Osaka).

We got there, and there was a mounting queue brewing, an indication that this restaurant was obviously understaffed. For there were numerous times while in the queue we saw emptied tables which were not cleared promptly due to the eternally busy and harassed looking service crew catering to the demands of the occupying diners. It's okay, we thought. At least the wait's more bearable with friends around. 20 minutes later, we were finally seated, much to the protest of my legs.

There weren't too many items on the menu, and as the proposed value set meal could take up till 30 minutes to arrive, we weren't too keen on ordering that. Irene had the Chicken Tempura and Curry Udon ($13.80) and Baby Octopus ($5.80), I had a Pork Kamu Yakisoba (not sure if it was the correct name) ($12.80), while Sonia had the basic Pork Yakisoba ($9.80). We also ordered a Sausage and Cheese Okos ($8.80 for a 13cm regular size) to boot. Service was painfully slow, although the staff tried to make up for it by seeming genuinely apologetic about the situation. Our food got served with a bearable wait.

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First to arrive was the Baby Octopus. Smallish portion, nothing to write home about. But the sauce was nice and sweetish, texture was a little firm and turgid (but I guess that's expected of octopus?) Not too bad, but also quite forgettable.

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Then came the Pork Yakisoba. At first glance, it just looked like a japanese version of some classed up char kuay teow served with a dash of pickled ginger. I had some of it, not too bad though - there's this nice sweetish taste resembling teriyaki sauce to the noodles, which were nothing to write home about (the texture tastes exactly the same as those brown noodles they serve at your normal tze char stall during your hawker centre breakfast), and the pork was... pork. I mean, besides it being a little tough, there was really nothing to fault about the dish, but there was really nothing to write about either. Decent, but again forgettable.

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My Pork Kamu Yakisoba came next. I thought it was quite a rip off, just for them to add an egg on top. 3 bucks more? And although they could claim to have different sauces from the Pork Yakisoba, it tasted no better - in fact, I thought that the regular pork one tasted better because of the sweetness in the noodles - it was totally absent in mine, and it got quite sian after awhile. I alikened the dish to eating a very dry version of salty hokkien mee, sans the seafood replaced with pork that was a little dry. It was still edible enough, at least for this army boy who survives 5 days a week on cookhouse food from Singapore Food Industries.

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(apologies for the messed up dish, Irene started tucking in before I could take a picture, heh)


I think the best dish was the Curry Udon with Chicken Tempura that Irene ordered. The noodles were slightly springy but with a totally soft and bouncy texture to it. Its a really pleasant bite. The curry did not overwhelm and taste like the normal curry premixes you can buy at any supermarket (which is a welcome relief), and was fairly "light" for the normally pungent jap curry smell. The chicken, on the other hand, was nothing to write home about - mainly because there was really nothing to fault here. The udon noodles were indeed the highlight of this dish.

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The supposed feature speciality of this restaurant, the sausage and cheese okos, was pretty forgettable as well (unfortunately). It tasted like the typical okos you could buy at the pasar malam in your neighbourhood, sans the nicer presentation and portions. Not too bad, but as we all felt quite full, we weren't in the mood to give this dish a sterling review either. Especially when our repeated calls of refilling our green tea went unanswered.

The bill came to about 60 odd dollars for the 3 of us, which wasn't that value-for-money as I thought that it would have been. In all, a disappointment, but again the company I was with covered that quite well thankfully. Would never visit again, for its an overrated restaurant in my opinion. Mediocre food and service.


TECHNICAL INFORMATION:
Address: Liang Court, #02-33
Contact No.: 6338 8557
Operating Hours: 11AM to 9PM Daily


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