Burnt Ends

Elisa:

What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you think about food and burnt ends? I would think about the caramelized charred parts of barbequed meat, the parts that give it a smoky aroma and a crunch factor, the parts that, although is unfortunately cancerous, are addictive because of the added flavours and textures that amazingly lifts a boring piece of meat to another level. Personally, I quite love the chao ta parts of my char siew 🙂
Opened at April 2013, Burnt Ends is the newest addition to the vibrant and hipster eateries along Chinatown’s Teck Lim Road that continuously packs-in crowds every single day of the week. Of course, this includes Jason Atherton’s Esquina and the Library (previously known as Keong Saik Snacks), SCDA’s Bistro Soori, and Restaurant Ember that has amazingly withstood strong competition over the past 10 years with its constantly updated menu and quality offerings.
With Singapore’s first ever handmade dual cavity kiln, or more simply known as a wood burning machine, Australian Chef and Owner David Pynt brings a new and exciting dining experience to Singapore. Both cavities are fueled by apple and almond woods and are capable of different temperature settings. One can reach up to 800 degrees for food that require a quick sear to seal in the flavours, and the other reaches only till 200 degrees for slow roasting. And then there is a trio of elevation grills where most of the preparation is done.
Fashioned as yet another small plates eatery with only counter seats and no reservations, Burnt Ends is minimally embellished and only features an elongated 18-seat burnt rain tree-wood counter and just 1 6-seat banquet table tucked at the rear. While the burning wood may be hard to endure for some, I personally feel that there is nothing more entertaining than being able to watch the chefs skillfully prepare the food and hear the sizzle and smell the smokey flavor of the meat searing off on the oven.
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We started with the Smoked Quail Eggs (5 for $6), which yolk exploded in the mouth and left a strong smoky flavor and slightly sweet aftertaste. While I definitely do think the dish was unique and ingenious, I didn’t think that it was alluring enough to keep me having more than one.
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We wanted to try their Onglet steak but because we were on the verge of over ordering (but whats new), we decided to go with the Jacobs Ladder ($12) that’s served as an appetizer portion. It’s basically short ribs. It was cook perfectly: juicy and tender, and had fats that melts in your mouth like that of a Wagyu IMHO :p
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Leek, Hazelnut and Brown Butter ($16). Just look at that charred burnt ends of the leeks and you’ll know that this restaurant means business. The leeks were incredibly sweet, yet you could still taste the distinctive smoky flavor. The crunchy hazelnuts provided a textural contrast to the tender leeks, and everything was made even better with an addictive brown butter sauce that had a slight caramelised sweetness.
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Fennel, Orange and Burrata ($16). Like the leeks, the sweetness of the fennel shone through despite it being singed at the edges. It still had a slight bite to it, complementing perfectly with the creamy burrata. I preferred this dish to the previous dish simply because of the zesty orange that helped lighten up the entire dish.
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The Burnt Ends’ Sanger ($20) features pork shoulder that has been slow-roasted for 10hours in a conventional oven, shredded and tossed with sweet, creamy and slightly spicy chipotle aioli, and crunchy, tangy coleslaw, sandwiched between homemade sesame seeds-flecked brioche, and finally toasted in the brick oven before serving. The pulled pork was amazingly flavorful and rich in all those barbequed goodness. But it was not at all overpowering as it was nicely balanced the refreshing coleslaw that provided a crunch element as well. And of course, nothing goes wrong with a perfectly toasted brioche that is slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and buttery in the inside. Overall, it made for really addictive and messy bites.
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King Crab and Garlic ($65). There’s no better way to enjoy crab than to dig in with your hands and lick all that sweet and savoury juices trickling down your fingers. There’s no holding back with this dish because the crab was perfectly cooked and quite sweet on its own. But the sauce made it even more over the top because it was slightly sweet, probably due to the crab’s own juices, yet the garlic-ky flavor really came through. Squeeze some lemon to make the dish pop even more.
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Suckling Pig with Cider ($65). This isn’t on the menu. You actually have to order in advance to reserve it, but we were lucky that it was available that day. Or maybe it was partly because we were early that day. Imagine deliciously charred skin, blistered and crackled, and then an incomparably moist, tender, and succulent flesh bursting with sweet, sticky juices. It was soooo good, thanks to the abundant collagen present in the young pig’s flesh that has yet to develop strong, robust muscle fibers. When heated, collagen converts to gelatin, which is responsible for makes all that drippings sticky, as well as lubricating and coating every strand of flesh. And of course, credits to the chefs.
Here at Burnt Ends, the ovens really take centre stage of the restaurant and every night is guaranteed great flavours and smoky theatrics thanks to Chef David Pynt and his team. Other than conjuring up the action and smoke, Chef Pynt presents the dishes to the diners and keeps an eye on how you’re enjoying them. That’s key in the F&B business: you really want your guest to feel at home. They take reservations from 6pm-6.30pm, after which it’s all first come first serve basis. But you definitely want to come early to secure the best front row seat to be upfront and watch the chefs roast, grill and plate.
Burnt Ends
20 Teck Lim Road
Singapore 088391
Tel: +65 6224 3933
http://www.burntends.com.sg
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