I had heard a few things about Burnt Ends although it wasn’t until I met up with http://www.rocketandsquash.com a great food writer and blogger from London that I decided I really should get around to visiting.
Once I read his post on his visit to Burnt Ends I decided that I needed to visit ASAP and so took advantage of a quieter than normal night at work and made the short journey over to Chinatown.
The small restaurant seats maybe 30 in total if you include the 6-8 person sharing table at the end of the room (which I have already made tentative plans to visit with the lovely ladies http://www.expatadventuresinsingapore.com/ http://www.mylifeinsin.com/ and http://pamexpatlife.blogspot.sg/ and http://lainelee.wordpress.com/ as well as their other halves, assuming we can all find a suitable night!) and has an open plan kitchen giving you full view of their amazing custom built BBQ which can comfortably fit a whole suckling pig inside it.
Chef Dave Pynt is no ordinary BBQ chef, having spent time in the kitchens of Noma, Exterbarri, Tetsuya and Viajante to name just a few and was behind the much lauded Burnt Enz pop up in London last year, paving the way for this more permanent home, thankfully here in Singapore. The menu (which changes frequently) is comprised of small plates such as Fennel with Burrata and Orange ($14) Scallop and XO Sauce ($20) Courgette, Taleggio and Burnt Butter ($18)and Veal Tongue, Watercress and Pickled Onions ($24) to name just a few.
Then they have larger dishes all suitable for sharing like Suckling Pig with Cider ($65 for 2) Whole Baby Snapper and Clams ($65 for 2 people) as well as a Venison Rack with Celeriac and Juniper for 4 people to share ($150) with everything being cooked on the beast of a BBQ on the back wall of the kitchen.
I decided to try the Burnt Ends’ Sanger – Pulled Pork Shoulder with Coleslaw, Chipotle Aioli in a great Brioche Bun which was absolutely delicious, well worth returning for again (and again and again!) as well as some of the fennel and burrata. The fennel was singed at the edges from the high heat of the BBQ but the sweet, aniseedy flavour really shone through and was complemented perfectly by the creamy burrata and zesty orange.
I was extremely tempted to order the Oxtail with Potato and Horseradish as I could see them preparing one in front of me and it just looked so good! In the end, Chef Dave persuaded me I should save for a return visit and instead I tried two of the desserts from the menu, a Caramelised Banana with Vanilla Ice Cream as well as Pineapple and Rum. Both desserts were excellent, the tiny banana BBQ’d in its skin had turned a rich golden brown, the sweet sticky fruit perfectly complimented by the vanilla ice cream and a handful of crunchy unsalted nuts underneath. If there is a more heavenly match than a pineapple, some rum and a BBQ then I’d like to see it! The sweet, slightly blackened pineapple had been soaked in rum before being BBQ’d and came served with a pineapple crisp, little crumbs of meringue, pistachios and some more Vanilla ice cream.
I chose to finish my meal with a glass of “Liberation” Rhum, a dark rum from Guadaloupe which was not just a perfect match for the desserts but a great end to a delicious meal. If I was to be critical, I would say that the cocktail list needs some work, its a bit safe (Ok it’s boring) at the moment and not in keeping with the cooking they have on display but I believe this is something they are already working on. It doesn’t need to be extensive, just 6 or so drinks – I’d look at using the kitchen to help smoke some ingredients (spirit or otherwise) and make some more use of the BBQ too. I know the PDT Bacon old Fashioned is not exactly new but this is exactly the sort of drink I’d like to see on the menu here so it will be interesting to see what they do come up with.
Until then they have a good selection of beers, including some I haven’t seen elsewhere in Singapore as well as a small but interesting wine list to work my way through! Chef Dave and his team are really doing some outstanding cooking at Burnt Ends, simple yet powerful dishes that you would happily eat time and time again.
The front of house team are coping admirably with the demand and were friendly as well as helpful with advice on what best to try (I had been interested in trying the BBQ squid but was advised it might be too large to enjoy other dishes with as I was on my own, and the dish I saw being prepared would certainly have been too much for me)
I had a great meal at Burnt Ends and would really recommend you check it out now while you can still get a seat without the need for booking months in advance, I will definitely be back!