One of Singapore’s favourite restaurants is all set to fire up Dempsey Hill and the only person who needs convincing that it’s going to be a huge success is the chef-restaurateur Dave Pynt himself

When we met at a bar and played “fantasy dinner guests”—that is, the three people in the world, living or dead, with whom you would like to share a meal—Dave Pynt came up with Michael Jordan, Sir David Attenborough and...his wife—not Attenborough’s, but Dave’s.

It’s really sweet. Sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce sweet, but despite this, I believe him. Dave and Katrina live and work together, beef cheek by jowl, almost every day of their lives as they whip the next incarnation of Burnt Ends into shape and yet, Dave would still like her to be there with him to break bread with Jordan and Sir David.

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Perhaps this comes as an even greater surprise when Mrs Pynt is asked to describe her husband in three words. Dave and I are sat at a table at the construction site that will be Burnt Ends II—the sequel (bigger and better, with a cast of thousands and even higher production values—assuming that’s possible). Katrina just happens to be in the vicinity and when Dave hollers to his wife, “how would you describe me in three words?”, she responds with nary a pause, “Difficult, difficult and difficult.”

You can see why the two get on so well and how the mutual appreciation has created such a sound working (as well as personal) relationship. They’ve been together for 10 years and have two adorable (I’m told) mini chefs. Mrs P—a fabulous baker—has been with Burnt Ends since its inception and her berry tart is legendary, apparently, or at least berry berry good. She’s also in charge of social media for the new venture and one suspects that she will be instrumental in facilitating the transition from a small, bijou eatery on Teck Lim Road to an establishment that could well be an absolute gem in the Dempsey foodiverse (new word) crown.

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The plans are ambitious and the new space is enormous. Burnt Ends II can accommodate almost three times the number of guests as the Teck Lim establishment, in a variety of different settings and culinary ethe (that’s the plural of “ethos”, apparently. Who knew?). Dave suggests, however, that he doesn’t know whether it’s going to work or not, and in this case, I really don’t believe him. Quite apart from the fact that Burnt Ends has established an exceptional reputation among diners who like their meat wood-fired and delicious, and has picked up a Michelin star in the process, this next stage in the restaurant’s evolution and in Dave’s career development is, arguably, overdue.

Dave drops the F bomb in conversation as though it were going out of fashion. He appears to enjoy the versatility of a word that can be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective and even a moderated adverb. For Dave, it’s punctuation, and it infuses and informs the enthusiasm with which he speaks. He has managed (not effortlessly, I suspect) to extract the bone marrow from his experiences, having worked with and learned from some of the best in the business.

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This is what good chefs do. They imbibe from the cup proffered by those who are better than them in certain areas; take in everything; use that which benefits them the most, whether it be the importance attached to ingredients and provenance, or techniques in the kitchen that can make all the difference. And let’s not forget the ability to actually taste effectively. 

It all adds up to the new and improved Burnt Ends being a saliva-inducing prospect for those who appreciate good food and want to experience the creations of a chef at the top of his game. Dave maintains that his success and that of the restaurant will be down to luck. I don’t f*&%ing believe him and neither should you.

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