We often get asked what we think is the best restaurant in Singapore. It’s a tough call when there’s 29 Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, plus a few extras that deserve a nod from the culinary gods but, for reasons unknown, the accolade still eludes them. Burnt Ends falls into the latter camp, but in our book is up there with the best of ‘em (at least it’s recognised by Asia’s Top 50, ranking 12 overall, second only to Odette in SG). Make no mistake; this casual fine-dining restaurant is a force to be reckoned with. For exceptional Aussie-influenced barbecue, excellent service, and an unforgettable dining experience, Burnt Ends is batting in the league of Singapore’s finest.
Bagging a table at Burnt Ends is no mean feat; it only takes reservations for the early seating at 6pm or the chef’s table (which is regularly booked out months in advance). To secure a spot later in the evening is foodie roulette; turn up at 6pm on the dot to put your name down and if you’re lucky you’ll receive a call a couple of hours later to say grub’s up. Rest assured, once seated the ensuing feast is well worth it.
The menu is concise but still a head-scratcher; when everything piques interest, what on earth to order? The competent waiters helped us navigate our way through and – thanks to the famed open-concept kitchen and laid-back atmosphere – so did the chef and the bloke next to us who both piped up with excellent recommendations. If you’re really stuck, there’s a 10-course tasting menu to lend a hand. Order in, we sat back and sipped an excellent bottle of red while watching the kitchen, led by the genius David Pynt, roll up their sleeves and fire up the grills.
Plate after delicious plate came to the pass, each demolished by our party of four within seconds. From small bites like Jamaican chicken with lime served with a gelatinous layer of fat and crispy skin and beef marmalade (yes, it’s a ‘thing’ and it’s damn good), to larger offerings like king crab doused in a garlicky, buttery sauce (that had us mopping it up with bread until the plate looked fresh from the dishwasher) and one of the best steaks we’d had in ages. Picking a favourite is nigh on impossible. Though the menu switches up frequently, one staple is the pulled pork burger; order it. It lives up to the hype. Even the vegetable ‘side’ dishes hold their own, worthy of centre stage and equal praise. We tried the leeks with hazelnut and burnt butter; had room for dessert not been compromised we would have ordered round two.
Firstly, if you want to catch a later seating than a definite reservation will allow, swing by on a Tuesday or Wednesday when it’s typically a little quieter. We visited on a Tuesday and were seated by 8pm; perfect. Or for a special occasion reserve the chef’s table (which seats six to eight) or the private dining room upstairs (that seats 14). Secondly, once you’ve put your name down for a table, head around the corner to Wine & Chef and sip on thoroughly decent wine for $7 a glass while you wait for that elusive call; they only hold the table for 15 minutes so you need to be within walking distance.
Why we’ll be back:
Two words: The. Food. It’s that good. Oh, and the impeccable service. And the atmosphere. And the open-kitchen bantz with the chefs. And, well…everything. Go there.
Varies, but budget around $250 – $300 per head to really do it justice.
Burnt Ends, 20 Teck Lim Road, 088391, t. 6224 3933. Open 11:45am – 2pm (Fri and Sat), 6pm – 12am (Tues-Sat), closed Sun, Mon.