Burnt Ends is no stranger to publicity as it has been featured on the New York Times, and named among the hottest restaurants of 2014 on Zagat.
It is a collaboration between Loh Lik Peng (local hotelier/restauranteur) and Andre Chiang (of Restaurant Andre). Kitchen is helmed by Aussie David Pynt – who has had a long history with barbecue (in Aus & London), therefore – he makes the perfect fit at Burnt Ends, which as you might have guessed, serves smoked/ grilled/ wood-fired dishes.
As such, I would consider a good oven to be the backbone of support at such a restaurant, as all its dishes rely on it. Sure enough, their oven was custom-built to accommodate different temperature settings for different dishes at once. This can go up to 1,700 degC. Another system that caught my eye was the open grill, that can be lowered and raised using a lever. This was also custom and designed by David Pynt himself.
Look around the restaurant, it is small with only 18 seats along a bar counter. There is a no-reservations policy except for the chef’s table – which takes reservations almost 2 months in advance and has a min spend of $100/head. Of course, it is worth every penny. The open concept restaurant lets you witness the start-to-finish of your dish, and more interestingly, the theatrics of this lively kitchen. There is non-stop movement and action that adds to the unmissable burnt ends experience.
I started with a warmed oyster ($6), which is a fresh raw oyster in delicious hot soup – I made out melted butter and white wine.
Next we had the smoked quail eggs, their signature ($6 for 5). The egg is bouncy on the outside and when you bite into it, the yolk explodes in your mouth like a tasty revelation. The smokiness from the grill is perfectly conveyed to you via the eggs, which makes it the perfect introduction to the restaurant, and start to our meal.
On a separate visit, we had the smoked quail eggs with caviar ($15 for one). It adds a decadent texture to the classic dish, but you can do without it.
Fennel with orange and burrata was a well balanced blend of creaminess and tanginess – with added crunch.
Their other signature is the Burnt Ends Sanger, which has in it pulled pork, cole slaw, chipotle aioli in a brioche bun ($20).
The Iliocostalis ($14) was a small piece of beef, with crispy fats around it, and tender meat in the center. Served with mustard. Came highly recommended by our waiter with reason, if you are looking for a savoury starter, or meats in small portions.
The only main we ordered was the flank with burnt onion and bone marrow ($23 per 100g). Even though flank is usually the cheaper part of a cow, this was amazingly tender. It was beautiful watching our chef cut up the piece of cooked meat to reveal the red rareness of the meat inside. Would do this again 1 million times.
Dessert came in the form of a burnt lemon sherbet, blueberry compote, marshmallow and crumble. It would have been perfect without the blueberry which overwhelmed the dish and confused our tastebuds. ($12)
I find the dishes reasonably priced for this standard. Definitely deserves a revisit.