Burnt Ends: Can I have a little bit of smoke with everything?

To say that this was a long awaited experience is certainly an understatement. After a futile visit the first time around during the hectic lunch hour (before reservations were accepted); we were glad to find out that Burnt Ends had started to accept lunch reservations. We jumped the gun quickly and made the call just in time for our monthly celebrations.

Entering the domains of the restaurant, you are greeted by a bustle of action, deliberate movements all around the tight space of the open kitchen that spans the length of the establishment. A circus act of agile chefs dancing around the heightened flames of the four-ton, double-cavity wood burning brick kiln. The elephant in the room. One who's ominous presence dictates the flavors of the entire menu.

The restaurant's color palette is kept light and natural. Shades of greys and cream are complemented by occasional pops of colors from the bespoke varnished burnt rain-tree wood counter. Loh Lik Peng evidently blowing a breathe of magic into the place, stylising it with a touch of industrial-chic.

We kick off the much anticipated meal with Smoked Quail Eggs ($6) , bouncy balls reminiscent of tea-smoked eggs with a thick veil of smokiness. Flecked with large crystals of sea salt with an irresistible burst of fatty sunshine yolks within. These were an absolute showstopper of a starter.

The Smoked beef and horseradish ($18) was a refined dish comprising of beef tartare once again imprinted with the slightess hint of smoke topped with a magical shower of fresh horseradish done at the pass by Chef David Pynt himself . 

The next dish takes the seasonal humble leek and turns it into something novel and delicious with the inclusion of some other unsuspecting ingredients. Leeks, hazelnut and browned butter ($16), turned out to be my favourite dish of the evening. Unassuming in terms of looks, the smoked leeks peeled out from its charred outer leaves were elevated by the generous dose of buerre noisette, parsley, capers and toasted hazelnuts.

One of Mr. Pynt's favourite dishes on the menu is the Kingfish, apple and seaweed ($21); a slab of kingfish collar with sweet flesh perfumed with umami flavors of its soy and mirin marinade under its carbon treated exterior. Not too flattering to look at to be honest but it does speak volumes for the type of cuisine Burnt Ends is proud to produce.

To top our experience off, we dived in straight for the kill. The Burnt Ends Sanger ($20); pulled pork shoulder, cole slaw, chipotle aioli, brioche bun. What more can I say? The fork tender pork, subjected to a gruelling 10-hour of cooking ritual before being smothered in an angry sluice of tangy chipotle aioli in a airy sesame seed bun. The mixture of textures, freshness of the coleslaw and punchy flavors created a sweet dance of sensations on the palate. It was at most good, but didn't provide the 'smack-down' I was hoping for with its terribly good looks.

Burnt Ends have received unprecedented media attention since its opening and I'm sure its novel concept has a part to play, especially amongst a constant gang-bang of restaurants with a contemporary fusion themed menu. With dishes highlighting David Pynt's Australian 'laid-back' nature, each of them simple but given a little snap, crackle and pop; most of them end up being more satisfying than its meek description on the menu. A place for special occasions and special occasions ONLY. (Unless you've got loads of moolahs to spare; then in that case, knock yourselves out!)

Burnt Ends
20 Teck Lim Road

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