This is another guest blog by chef Alex, a good friend of the Two Bears – enjoy! 🙂
I was told I had to come here. By more than a few people. They all said ‘If you’re going to Singapore on a food trip (Which, let’s be honest, thats exactly what this is) Burnt Ends is a no brainer. So I dutifully booked my seat for April 13 (A Friday) then showed up when I was supposed to. I don’t know what I was expecting, an Australian barbeque themed restaurant in Singapore wasn’t the most appealing concept to me, but I must admit, all of those people can’t be wrong, can they?
I sat down, had a quick look at the menu and I saw ‘Chef’s Select’ and I knew that was my only way to go. Chef Dave came over, asked the obligatory questions (‘Any dislikes, any allergies etc.) but with his fears put to rest (‘Chef, feed me anything you like’) we began.
A small smoked quail egg with caviar began, a wonderful little amuse bouche.
A small piece of grissini and taramasalata (Served on a well used pizza tray) came at me, beautifully crisp and filled with flavour, a mixed herb topping (With a strong dill component) made me want more.
A tiny ‘steak frites’ appeared, and disappeared just as quickly! A skewer of squid, with furikake and a yuzu emulsion replaced it, and it too, was devoured.
A tiny piece of Jamaican chicken with a lime crema appeared, which was fantastic. Beautifully spiced, and wonderfully balanced with the lime.
Lastly for my snack portion, the beef marmalade with house pickles. I love caramelised beef (Or any meat really) and the picked cucumbers provided a wonderful contrast.
Whew! And that was just the beginning!
We move on to some more sunstantial fishes now. Firstly, the asparagus and burnt cream. I’ve mentioned my love of aparagus and burnt cream has been something I’ve been fascinated with since tasting it for the first time last year at Fäviken. This iteration wadn’t as sweet and was thicker, but it worked really well with the charred asparagus. An unknown crumble provided some saltiness and texture. A surefire winner for me!
Now here is where it gets really interesting. A half W.A. marron appeared in front of me (People both sides of me at the counter were staring, wondering what I was going to do). I did the only thing I could, started into it! The marron was cooked perfectly, the kombu beurre blanc the perfect foil for such a sweet succulent meat. My neighbours seemed suitably impressed when there was nothing but a shell left in front of me.
Next, a meat dish, some Blackmore’s wagyu flat iron. This was served very simply, with some burnt onion puree and a herb salad 100g of this wasn’t enough, I should have ordered another it was so good! I’m so glad on reflection I didn’t order more.
Chef Dave came over to check on me, see how I was doing. I explained I was still hungry, and if he had any more tricks up his sleeve, I’d like to see them. A cheeky smile exchanged, i knew he had something special in store.
A small puece of tempura eggplant appeared, resting atop a miso sauce with crispy chilli. A tasty snack, but surely this wasn’t my finale?
It almost seems like a dream, mostly because I was so excited I forgot the photo (I’m still new to this whole ‘photography thing’) but I could swear a king crab leg appeared. Covered in butter, a little smokey, and filled with glorious meat, my neighbours again looked to see how I would tackle this new challenge. Once again, it was the only way I know how. With vigour and determination, I got through the crab leg when a waiter appeared over my shoulder with two glorious pieces of sourdough bread to mop up all of the delicious herby, lemony butter. Was it a dream? I sure hope not!
Again, the question was asked. Did I want more? I didn’t come all the way here to wuss out on my dinner now! Though, I did have to stop drinking, I went with a wine pairing and such is the generosity, there were no half pours to be found anywhere.
A small piece of raw beef and uni (sea urchin) appeared, a wonderfully rich morsel designed to tide me over until another course his my table.
Now, I truly cannot describe this sandwich. I don’t know what it was. It’s not on the menu, and I didn’t really catch the description as it was given to me. I will just say, I was a better man having eaten it. The beef was incredible, the sauce inside rich and the bread toasty.
And so ends my adventure through Burnt Ends, a restaurant run by Aussies in a foreign land. I’m very happy to report they are not only doing themselves, but their country and adopted country proud as well. And so I will add my name to the list. If you come to Singapore, you simply have to try Burnt Ends.
Address: 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391
Tip! Book. This is a small restaurant, known on a world stage. Don’t chance walking in to get a table.