Burnt Ends, 1 Michelin Star, Singapore
Where do I begin with Burnt Ends? Let me start by saying it’s fucking hard to book a reservation here. As if mere mortals can’t eat in this restaurant. They literally didn’t want to accept reservations on their website, even during a pandemic. And the staff tried to explain to me why it was so, and I mean, sure I can empathize with a restaurant and how meager their margins are.
But really, I think Burnt Ends should find a new home. Uhh oops, they did move to a new home at Dempsey Hill.
I braved the Michelin star restaurant one fine day after I still couldn’t book a damn table.
This well-known Australian restaurant is tiny, built with an open kitchen inside. Patrons are not allowed to take photos of the kitchen. Pre-pandemic, the restaurant would have housed at least 16 people in one dinner. Now, with the social distancing measures, it was slashed to half. I don’t think they’re utilizing the counter seats at all since they didn’t want to seat me inside.
So I decided to eat outside. If they could impress me sitting outside, it wouldn’t be too bad. The service was great. In fact, there were about 4 waitstaff alternating turns serving me and checking how I was doing.
(I wasn’t going to run away without paying; I’m not stupid. LOL. You should have seated me inside, and you don’t have to keep an eye on me.)
I’m not sure if the fact I was seated outside affected the experience of the food. The smoked quail egg and caviar was on point.
Smoked Quail Egg and Caviar – $15
Leek, Brown Butter, Hazelnut – $16
But the Leek was under-roasted. The ends of the stalk were almost raw and was very hard to chew. On the other hand, the brown butter was superb, and I loved the crunch of the hazelnuts.
Onglet, Burnt Onion, Bone Marrow – $35 per 100g
The star of my meal was the Onglet. This hangar steak is sitting on a bed of bone marrow and burnt onion puree. On its top are three dollops of precious bone marrow. There were no words to put in my mouth since it’s overflowing with the richness of the marrow. The Onglet is perfectly cooked, one of the best steaks I’ve tried in a while.
See that medium rare? It’s beautiful.
They also make brioche doughnuts at their bakery. Unfortunately they’re only available on preorder, and I can’t buy them immediately. There’s a minimum of $25 to purchase in their website, and it was a bit sneaky to put all sorts of rules so the customer would buy two boxes of brioche doughnuts. I can imagine all of this would go away if only Burnt Ends would move from this tight space and give customers more options.
On a side note, the neighborhood is super hip, right beside the bustle of Chinatown. Walk around and explore and play photography.
For a 1-Michelin star, it wasn’t that bad, but I might return when I do get a reservation. I’ve been hearing a lot of repeat customers earlier, which meant they really enjoyed the experience. But it’s what makes the Burnt Ends experience rather exclusive, too constrained to a smaller group of customers and never branching out to others who might want to try that’s making me hesitant to return again.
I would love to return to try out their other dishes. Their menu changes everyday. I would love to try out their Bone Marrow buns on another day, or the Crab and Uni slider. For now, the island still has so many stars waiting for me to try, and Burnt Ends is just an accomplished checkbox on my bucket list.