i can have my steak and eat it too – and eat i did, as i plowed through the plate, finishing ahead of my family.
this was no competition of course. what it was was a nice family sit-down, courtesy of my little brother, who has had a windfall of sorts lately. slicing through the steak – medium rare, no doubt – i marveled at the thought of how i was actually enjoying a proper hunk of half-cooked meat in a kopi-tiam (coffee shop). not the thin, jawbreaking excuse of a steak served by all those pseudo ‘western food’ stalls, but an authentic piece of australian ribeye, served with generous portions of coleslaw and spicy fries.
all business is competition. to succeed from scratch, you must have a business model that is unique yet viable. there is no point going up against the big boys. you simply have to quietly skirt past them. that is what ‘botak (bald) jones’, by serving authentic western fare in the heartland, has done. think about it, if ‘botak jones’ was to set up shop in the city area, it would just be another joint serving large portions in an already saturated market. what dear mr. ‘botak’ jones has done was to combine the novelty of the assimilated ‘angmoh’ (caucasian) in the heartland with fantastic food and bingo! you have a winner!
thinking about it, the botak jones phenomenon has come to represent the state of our society. singapore, the melting pot, a microcosm of the world. where the influences of the outside have reached the innermost sanctum of our identity. after all, i am a 22 year old undergraduate who studies the works of american scholars and listens to american independent music.
so rightfully, i ought to have my piece of america (or australia, or wherever) in a good old steak too.
for more on my thoughts, click here.