Review Score: 85 / 100.
Burnt ends was already making a name for itself even before the Michelin guide graced it with a one star ranking. Backed by Andre Chiang of Andre fame, the head chef David Pynt is a Barbeque master and cut his teeth at the legendary Asador Etxebarri in Spain, which is probably Mecca for the barbeque aficionados of this world.
Getting a table here was ridiculously difficult, even two weeks ahead wouldn’t cut it. Finally, being decidedly more obsessive compulsive than before, I made all my restaurant bookings at least two months in advance or whenever it immediately became available. Upon arrival, we were seated by the counter directly in front of Dave Pynt himself, which was perhaps a bit intimidating as the chef started orchestrating the orders with precision. Also, the four tonne oven was quite a sight, as slabs of meat were cooked within its chambers over apple or almond wood.
We started off with some small bites. First, was Jamaican chicken with Lime Crema. The chicken was incredibly juicy and tender, whilst the marinade had what appeared to be jerk spices which had a slight kick to it. The Lime crema was a nice cooling touch to cut through the heat.
Next, was some skewers of Duck hearts with Peri Peri. Also, very well prepared and amazingly tender.
The final starter of sorts was beef marmalade and pickles on toast. This was for me a clear winner, with the sweet and smoky flavours of the beef coupled with the crisp and tart pickles, which was the perfect bite. A truly outstanding dish, and wouldn’t mind nibbling on these every other day.
We moved on the Burnt End’s signature dish dubbed the Sanger, which is pulled pork with Chipotle aioli, coleslaw on a brioche bun. The brioche bun was slowly cooked at the oven door, and gently exposed to the emanating heat from the hot coals. It was undoubtedly a very flavourful and decadent dish with the combined components, but honestly I couldn’t clearly distinguish the texture of the pulled pork. It was good, but probably a bit one note and not completely well balanced.
Moving on our first main dish, which was an expertly prepared Japanese Sea Bream grilled over hot coals. The fish was coated with its own juices and what appeared to be lemon juice, then served with a side of Japanese seaweed salad. Sea salt was to be added at our own discretion. The fish was perfectly cooked and brilliant just on its own, although a touch of sea salt made the flavours pop. This was probably my favourite dish of my trip, as it was a simple but perfectly executed dish with fantastic ingredients.
We ended the meal with an “Onglet” served with burnt onion sauce and bone marrow. Onglet was hanger steak, which was well cooked and tender. The burnt onion sauce added a slightly sweet note, although perhaps a bit superfluous as it overwhelmed the meat. The salad on the side was also a bit too acidic and probably overdressed. I reckon the meat by would have had been sufficient, as it was a lovely piece of hanger steak.
Now, this was a great start to the trip. This level of Barbeque mastery is truly something else, and the food generally had a lot of bold flavours albeit still highlighting the expertly cooked ingredients. I would happily return here whenever I’m back in Singapore and have a hankering for some proper Barbeque, although with very, very advanced reservations.
Location: 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391. +65 6224 3933. Website.