Burnt Ends is somewhere we'd wanted to go for quite a while. We'd tried before but had not been able to get a table but eventually we got lucky. My husband has written a blog post about our visit. If you like what you read follow him on Twitter, @asksirstamford
With the fairly recent publication of the fifty best restaurants in Asia for 2015, on reviewing the list we realised that we have been to very few of them, although we do eat out a fair bit. What have we been doing with our time and money, going to the same boring places all the time, probably. Anyway, one of the restaurants on the list was Burnt Ends on the edge of Chinatown, a modern Aussie BBQ place that we have tried and failed to go to in the past (after it was recommended by a former colleague). The restaurant operates a no reservations policy, save for the chef’s table and the first half hour of each service and as it is a small place it fills up really quickly. On the first attempt at going here we were quoted a wait time of approximately three hours, sod that, so went elsewhere. However I decided to try again and planned to use the strategy of early dining to see if we could get in. It worked, arriving as the place opened we were shown to the table (we shared with another couple, no worries there) and were told that they needed the table for a booking in 90 minutes. Done, we were in!
The food and drinks menus arrived with the extremely helpful waiter, who proceeded to explain the menu and ordering process. The menu was divided into four main sections covering appetisers, small plates, main courses and, of course, desserts with diners selecting two or three dishes from the first couple of sections and either separate or sharing platters from the mains. We decided to share across the courses, choosing two each from the appetizers and small plates and one from the mains (these are large and designed for two, three or four bodies).
Drinks were also chosen, there being a good selection of beers from around the world and split of wines by the glass or bottle. I choose a beer with a funny obscene name (which I can't repeat here) with the blog owner having a white wine (Sauv Blanc variety).
So what did we eat.
From the appetizers we chose to have the quail eggs and caviar (decadence or what) and the beef marmalade on sourdough. Two eggs arrived on a small spoon with a lump of fish roe decorating daintily on the top, when bitten into the warm soft gooey yolks oozed across the inside of your mouth deliciously. The beef marmalade on sourdough was a meaty tasting soldier of bread, infused with onion and was also superb.
Next to the small plates, where we ordered a dish entitled the Burnt Ends' Sanger (Australian for sandwich) which was a burger bun stuffed with wonderful smoky pulled pork that delivered a bit of a chili punch on the finish. My accompanying German lager was a perfect partner in crime. The second dish was leeks sauteed in oil and hazelnuts, which were fresh, crunchy and very tasty.
|Smoked quail egg and caviar|
|Beef marmalade and pickles|
On to the main event, we decided to share the suckling pig, which for two comes as about a quarter of the little piggy wig. I can assure you that the little chap did not die in vain, he or she tasted wonderful, with juicy succulent meat (oozing with smoky flavour from the barbie) and crispy crackling skin. The dish was served with fresh gem lettuce heads, who’s leaves could be used to make mini-wraps (sort of like in a top-class Chinese restaurant).
Dessert was also shared, with the blog owner selecting the mint and chocolate dish, which was essentially mint ice cream with rich boulders of chocolate biscuit that reminded both of us of the sophisticated Eighties ice cream dessert Viennetta. Again, an excellent choice was made.
All in all, Burnt Ends was great and well worth the wait to get a table. Must go back and so should you!