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Burnt Ends | Singapore | Aug ’13 | “850 degrees Celsius”

24 Aug
Address: 20 Teck Lim Road Singapore 088391

Number: 6224 3933

Cooking with fats is not the only way to maximize flavor. The Japanese intensify flavor by aging, cooking over a wood-burning fire, or using a pure umami-rich dashi broth. Adam Goldberg, A Life Worth Eating

Building on Pynt’s pop-up BBQ concept – Burnt Enz – at East London in the summer of 2012, the Singapore incarnation  (aptly named Burnt Ends) puts the spotlight on what Pynt described as a “4 tonne double cavity wood-burning machine” – a custom-built brick kiln with 2 cavities (each capable of a different temperature setting) where apple and almond wood fuels the fire that tips 700+ degree Celsius in temperature. – Bibikgourmand.

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Burnt Ends is a one-of-a-kind barbecue place in Singapore, offering the most sophisticated barbecuing facilities on this island. With great ventilation (I sat less than 5m from a 850 centigrade oven and barely felt any warmth), this small establishment is always packed. There are only 17 seats at the bar, 6-8 seats at a banquet table, and another 6 seats at a countertop stool. It is run by a Perth native, David Pynt, who was a former sous-chef at Asador Extebarri, ranked by San Pellegrino as one of the World’s 50 Best restaurants.

Chinatown (and more specifically the Bukit Pasoh) now plays host to a range of high-concept eateries. This is in large part due to Loh Lik Peng, the New Majestic Hotel owner, who has invested and partnered with leading chefs such as Andre Chiang, Jason Atherton, and now David Pynt – to set up places such as Restaurant Andre, Esquina and Keong Saik snacks, among others. To think that 5 years ago, Chinatown had none of these places! No wonder they say a restaurant is the quickest way to gentrify an area.

Burnt Ends also now does lunch from 1130 to 2, and they have a banquet table (minimum 100/person spend). Reservations can be made for the first seatings at 6-630pm.

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Whopping fish (for the banquet table)

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Warmed Oysters (4.5/5)

Oysters, served on a bed of salt, in a citrusy marinade. Slightly warmed for a minute, great “amuse-bouche”.

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Smoked Quail Eggs (4.25/5)

Strong taste of smoke in the whites of these quail eggs. These are perceived as Burnt Ends “signature dish”, so they prepare many of these at a time. They came a bit cold, with runny yolk, and salt sprinkled on them. Decent but not amazing.

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Squid, Sweetcorn and Paprika (4.75/5)

Nice fresh semi-translucent squid. A paprika I wanted to finish off the plate, with slightly roasted kernels of corn that were still juicy. The charred spring onion had a delicious sweet interior. (Restaurant Andre works with similar ingredients in similar ways, a roasted corn kernel in Artisan #1 (figure A), and charred leek (figure B))

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Figure A

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Figure B

Now, back to Burnt Ends!

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St Marcellin and Toast (4.75/5)

St Marcellin has been one of my favorite cheeses ever since I tried it in a Lyon bouchon. My ideal St Marcellin is runny, mild but funky in taste, and only a little spicy from the mold. This St Marcellin (sourced from the Culina distributor) had the right amount of spiciness, and it was roasted and finished in the oven. The smokiness on the cheese rind went well with the toast.

If you go to Lyon, you’ll find Saint Marcellin pretty much everywhere. It’s the best-known cheese from that region, and the user friendly-sized disks are inevitably piled high at each and every cheese shop you step in to. Locals bake them at home and slide the warm disks onto salads, and I’ve not been to a restaurant in that city that didn’t have Saint Marcellin on the menu doing double-duty as the cheese or the dessert course. Or both. At the outdoor market stands, you can see how popular they are withles Lyonnais. And if you don’t believe me, their presence is so pervasive that I once bought a ticket on the bus in Lyon and instead of change, the driver handed me a ripe Saint Marcellin instead. – David Lebovitz.

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Veal Tongue, Mustard and Beer Pickles (5/5)

I wanted to get the most skill-ful barbecue dishes that was in that restaurant, so I asked the front of house: “what’s your most complex dish?” I was directed to the veal tongue. Roasted and soaked for 6 hours to tenderise, and then roasted, this veal tongue had the texture of soft sponge. It was accompanied by a delectable salad of pickles and veggies with mustard sauce.

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Banana and Caramel (4/5)

Very sweet caramel ice cream with a well-roasted banana.


Burnt Ends is an unique addition to the Singapore dining scene. Judging by the packed house, it’ll be here for some time yet! The barbecue was skillful, and I enjoyed it very much.

Verdict: 16/20

Memory: Veal Tongue, St Marcellin and Toast.