20 Teck Lim Road
6224 3933 | burntends.com.sg
A night of great flavours and smoky theatrics, that’s what’s in store for you at Burnt Ends, the latest arrival in the former red light district of Keong Saik Road: the bad-area-turned-good of the moment.
Restaurateur Loh Lik Peng and luminary chef André Chiang are behind this new hot spot. And we don’t use the word hot lightly here. They have Singapore’s first handmade dual-cavity kiln – the temperature of one side read over 840ºC on our visit.
The ovens take centre stage in this small restaurant, which is essentially a kitchen. If you’re lucky or early – they take reservations for the 6.30pm sitting – you get one of the 17 front row seats. Australian chef Dave Pynt of Asador Etxebarri in Spain’s Basque Country is the main man behind the kilns, conjuring up the action and smoke. And thankfully he can stand the heat. As Chef Pynt presents his dishes to you he keeps an eye on how you’re enjoying them and has a little chat; his passion is palpable.
The much-raved-about smoked quail eggs ($6), while good, lost their spot in the limelight once we’d tasted the warmed oyster ($6). Presented on a bed of coarse salt, these beauties were extraordinary mouthfuls of plump, salty-sweet delight – transporting us to the seaside on a sunny day. Salmon and seaweed ($7) followed, crispy salmon skin served with oyster emulsion and salmon roe,. The whole baby snapper ($60, serves 2) was perfectly cooked; the onglet ($18 per 100g) was an explosion of flavour with a charred depth that many restaurants promise but few deliver. For the adventurous, the changing menu always has something mischievously different on offer – from duck hearts ($18) to kid offal ($30).
It’s a small joint, and as you sit shoulder-to-shoulder at the kitchen table (possibly with other chefs coming to have a look-see), you can unabashedly eye up other dishes such as the very sexy pork burger, the Burnt Ends sanger ($20). The dessert list is small, but the pineapple, rum and pistachio ($10) will be all you need.
Must-Try Dish: Warmed oyster