Burnt Ends is not the most conventional restaurant in Singapore.
Earning a space on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 at Number 12 is an indication of both good food and reputation.
Located at Teck Lim Road (a short walk away from Singapore’s Chinatown), it is a modern Australian-style barbecue restaurant which offers counter seats and open kitchen, possibly positioned to be more casual than fine dining.
This is no ordinary barbecue.
Chef Dave Pynt (backed by Loh Lip Peng and Chef Andre Chiang) customised these machines, ovens and grills where food can be smoked, roasted, or even cooked directly on coals to 700 degree Celsius.
When the heat is up, the flavours are enhanced.
We were early for our reservations, and the restaurant had an unexpected stillness in the air. Wanted to say “Hi” to Chef Pynt, but he looked intense, deep in concentration.
Go for the dining counter, which seats slightly more than 10, where you can watch the live kichen action as food is fired by apple and almond wood in a four-tonne oven.
The crowd came in, and the kitchen went into its work. For such as occupied place, it wasn’t buzzing with noise. The staff appearing serious in their work, diners then speaking in low volumes.
Maybe it was just that day.
The menu is seasonal, and some offerings then included a Pork Tomahawk, Apple and Bourbon Glaze ($23 per 100g), Rump Cap Burnt Onion and Bone Marrow ($26 per 100g), Alfonsino Red Bream ($70 for 5 people) and King Crab and Garlic ($95).
Some of the ‘cheaper’ items included Washington State Oysters ($40 for 4), Smoked Quail Egg and Caviar ($15) and Lamb and Harissa ($18).
Do not miss the Burnt Ends’ Sanger ($20) – possibly one of the best brioche burgers ever, counts as one of the best burger available in Singapore.
Sinking my teeth into the pillow soft bun, I thought, “What sorcery is this? So fluffy.”.
The combination of ingredients made an appetizing play on the palates – savoury pulled pork shoulder, cool cole slaw, mildly-spicy smoky chipotle aioli all coming together in perfect harmony.
I had the King Crab and Garlic ($95) as well. Here is what I liked about it: The taste of that crab, more correctly the sauce was so intense, it is pretty unforgettable.
This is the type of sauce that you would sweep bread across again and again without a single consideration of your carb-intake.
Perhaps this is also the correct opportunity to use the taste vocab, “Umami”.
On the other hand, my friend and I both thought the dish overall was extremely heaty, in our own words “bu zuah”.
The Western culinary world may have less consideration of this concept.
In short, we felt a need for some tea to cool ourselves down, not in the HOT temperature kind of way, but to balance our bodies yin-and-yang. Does this make sense?
Bookings are hugely recommended, available at 12pm or 12.30pm for lunch, 6pm or 6:30pm for dinners. Walk-ins are only accepted after 12.30pm or 6:30pm.
I would recommend Burnt Ends in a heartbeat, for its uniqueness and its take on barbecue that is probably not available anywhere else in the region.
Flavours are intense, food is heaty, and very tasty.
20 Teck Lim Road Singapore 088391
Tel: +65 6224 3933
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 2pm (Fri – Sat), 6pm – 12am (Tues – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
Price Tag: Varies, no degustation menu.
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