Ask anyone, anywhere in the world, and somewhere in their favourite food memories would be a gathering around a fire with friends or family—cooking, eating and laughing. In Singapore, barbecues are popular, but it wasn’t until modern barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends came onto the dining scene in 2013 and smoked the likes of leek with brown butter, marron, quail eggs and marshmallows in its four‑tonne, double‑cavity kiln did we truly grasp the true beauty of slow cooking with wood.
This foodie nation hasn’t looked back since. Fuelled by diners who have come to appreciate the rich flavours teased out by fire and the novelty of watching their food licked by flames, several restaurants with wood‑fired dishes and open hearths have popped up in the past two years, with more new openings on the horizon. In the words of Burnt Ends’ chef-owner Dave Pynt, “it’s really simple why wood‑fire cooking is all the rage: it makes delicious food that has that bit of magic”.
Italian Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco, who helms three Michelin‑starred French restaurant and 2019 World’s Best Restaurant Mirazur in Menton, France, is the latest to add his take on this form of cooking. He will be opening Fiamma (which means flame in Italian) at Capella Singapore in the second quarter of the year, recreating his Italian nonna’s kitchen with fresh ingredients seasoned with herbs from the hotel’s garden and cooked over wood, in a space bathed in warm, inviting vibes.
Another new entrant is the Filipino‑inspired wood‑fire kitchen Kubo (the name refers to a small hut in Tagalog), slated to open later this year. Chef‑owner Kurt Sombero, the former head chef of Meatsmith (Little India), Burnt Ends’ casual sibling, succinctly sums up the current love affair with fire cooking: “Wood‑fire cooking is a slow process. Its simplicity draws people closer, allowing them to slow down in this fast‑paced city. It is the antithesis between these two ideas that draws people to the essence of wood‑fire cooking.”
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