Wednesday, 2 September 2020

7 of Singapore’s stellar barbecue restaurants

Whether it’s comforting temple cuisine or fantastical dessert creations, you can count on Netflix’s Chef’s Table to give you serious food envy, whet your appetite and inspire your next meal.

For its seventh season, which premiers on 2 September, the show travels across the globe to meet some of the world’s most acclaimed pitmasters working in the world of barbecue. From Texas and South Carolina to Sydney and Mexico, it offers viewers an intimate (and mouth-watering) look into the craft of cooking with fire.

If binge-watching the series has you seriously craving some barbecue fare, head down to one of the city-state’s many barbecue joints – where you can indulge in everything from Texas-style brisket and Brazilian churrascaria to hearty vegetables that have been flame-grilled to perfection.

The feast platter for two at Decker Barbecue

1. Decker Barbecue

Situated at Robertson Quay, the casual, no-frills Decker Barbecue is a crowd favourite for their low- and slow-smoked Texas-style barbecue. High-quality meats are slathered in a secret rub and cooked in a custom-built, wood-fired smoker imported from Texas for up to 16 hours. The result? Tender and succulent offerings – including the likes of pulled pork, spicy lamb sausage, smoked chicken and chopped Wagyu brisket – that’ll make barbecue lovers go weak at the knees. Vegetarians aren’t left out either: options include crispy cauliflower florets dressed in buffalo sauce and sides such as mac and cheese; potato salad; and the must-order cornbread. Finish off your meal with some banana pudding or apple cobbler for the full Southern experience.

2. Chang BBQ

The Tanjong Pagar area may be most people’s go-to when they’re craving for some Korean barbecue, but this Dempsey Hill restaurant is a more-than-worthy fine-dining alternative. The spacious, high-ceilinged joint specialises in premium cuts of meat, including Wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork, which you can choose to have marinated in a delicious Korean sauce. Vegetarians can opt for the grilled vegetable platter (which includes asparagus, mushroom, onion, zucchini and potatoes). Another highlight? As with most Korean restaurants, you’ll also be served an assortment of banchan (appetisers) at the start of your meal.

Burnt Ends’ lobster with tobiko and kombu beurre blanc

3. Burnt Ends

Serious barbecue lovers in Singapore should definitely have Burnt Ends on their radar. The modern barbecue restaurant, which placed fifth on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 list, offers a range of meats and sides fired up in their custom-made wood-burning oven or on one of their four elevation grills. While the menu changes daily, you can expect a hearty range of dishes: such as dry-aged steak; Jamaican chicken wings; bone marrow bun; and artichoke with Taleggio cheese. Reservations are essential, and we recommend trying to snag a counter seat so that you can watch the chefs in action.

4. Carnivore

For authentic Brazilian-style barbecue, head over to Carnivore at CHIJMES, which has been operating since 2012. Take a seat at the picturesque al fresco dining area and sit back and watch as waiters bearing hefty skewers loaded with grilled items carve succulent slivers directly onto your plate. Besides meaty standards such as chicken wrapped in bacon, beef rump, brisket and spicy house-made pork sausage, the restaurant also does a tangy grilled caramelised pineapple and offers a range of side dishes and options for vegetarians. Carnivore operates on an all-you-can-eat basis, so be sure to come hungry and in the mood to feast.

Dine on Japanese barbecue at Magosaburo

5. Magosaburo

For an upmarket Japanese barbecue feast, make your way to Magosaburo at Ngee Ann City. The restaurant specialises in all things Japanese Wagyu beef, including those of the Kobe and Ohmi varieties. While you can select from a range of cooking methods (including sukiyaki and shabu shabu styles), we recommend going for the barbecue option, where diners can cook their meats on a hot grill in the centre of the table. Not a huge beef fan? The extensive menu also features the likes of Hokkaido scallops and Kurobuta pork jowl for grilling, plus raw options such as assorted sashimi and the intriguing truffle-flavoured yellowtail carpaccio.

Butcher’s Block’s new menu includes this dry-aged turbot

6. Butcher’s Block

Butcher’s Block, located at Raffles Arcade, is a showcase of chef Rémy Lefebvre’s expertise at cooking with fire. Sustainably sourced meats are roasted, stewed or grilled, with the flames imparting delicious flavours and distinct aromas to the food. The restaurant has just launched two new menus: an à la carte dinner menu and a weekend lunch menu. The former features barbecued standards such as grilled octopus, Iberico pork and dry-aged beef, alongside innovative vegetable options including roasted Armenian pepper with walnut paste and smoked leek oil; as well as sweet baby corn with chilli mayonnaise.

Meat Smith’s Kerala beef short rib, available at its Little India location

7. Meat Smith

Meat Smith serves up wood-fired barbecue nosh from two outposts: Telok Ayer and Little India. While the former specialises in Southern American-style fare – think spiced pork ribs with an apple cider glaze, beef brisket and corn bread with smoked butter – the former is the city-state’s first restaurant focusing on modern Indian barbecue. Expect offerings along the lines of stuffed tandoori chicken wings, smoked cauliflower with tomato relish and lamb ribs with barberry and mint. If you’re here with friends, we recommend the meat platter, which offers a sampling of their barbecue specialties and is served with green mango slaw, biryani and naan.

SEE ALSO: 3 new options for vegetarians dining out in Asia

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