This was my 2nd attempt to visit the eatery, exactly 1 week ago I was at the doorstep and the eatery was full. So all I did was to take a snapshot of the entrance and stared longingly at the guests inside… as I can’t endure my hunger pangs (it was 10pm already) I opted to visit other places nearby. Thankfully on my 2nd visit, Burnt Ends was reasonably crowded but still had seats for us when we arrived at 9.20pm.
Most of the seating were along the long bar counter facing the open-kitchen with only 1 large table at the far end of the eatery for big group. We were seated right in front of their famous grills and the oven. The chefs control the amount of heat to cook the food placed on the grill by adjusting the height of the grills away from the orangey glowing charcoal below. The raising or lowering of the grills were made by rotating an industrial-looking winch linked to a pulley system that makes “cranking” sounds when the gears were in motion. Through opening of the oven, I could see blazing red fire in it as chefs were kept busy putting in plates of food to be “flamed” inside. For a moment I thought it seemed like I’m having food served by blacksmiths?! Even the chef’s apron had leather shoulder strap which resembles those aprons worn by blacksmiths.
Tried 2 snacks: Smoked Quail Egg and Caviar and Sea Urchin and Cauliflower. It cost $10-15 for each of the spoon-sized pre-dinner bites. The quail egg had a semi-solidified egg yolk (akin to onsen tamago) while the tastiness of the caviar was well brought out alongside the smokiness of the egg. The ultra-smooth light and creamy cauliflower puree similarly brought out the freshness and umami of the Sea Urchin.
The Scallop and XO Sauce was already strikethrough on the menu when we arrived, otherwise it would definitely be on my order. So we ended up with Smoked Beef and Horseradish and the Burnt Ends’ Sanger (Pulled Pork Shoulder, Cole Slaw, Chipotle Aioli, Brioche Bun). The horseradish was finely chopped to snow-powder liked and sprinkled over the minced smoked beef. The burger was the most filling dish for the meal, with thick chunks of pork covered with generously drizzled chipotle aioli sauce. The meat was well cooked – not too dry and had a nice chewy texture. I enjoyed the slightly spicy chipotle aioli sauce but can’t finish all the meat.
For dessert we had the Pineapple, Rum and Vanilla and 2 Marshmallows. The pineapple was slightly grilled, topped with nuts, ice cream, a slice of dried pineapple and a dash of rum sauce. The Marshmallows were flamed using portable gas canister torch until they turned dark brown (almost charred) outside. A nice sweet ending to our meal.
While we were there we heard some customers asking Chef when do they serve the grilled squid. One guest even said that it was the best squid he ever eaten~ Psst…the Chef said its usually available on Thursdays…
[Updates in 2015]
Burnt Ends made its debut on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015, coming in at #30.
[Updates in 2016]
Burnt Ends made its debut on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 on the extended 51-100 list, coming in at #70.
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