Ever since the Michelin Guide debuted in Singapore, it's been impossible to secure reservations at Burnt Ends. A galfriend of mine, transiting through Singapore, tried booking for 2 persons, lunch or dinner, a month in advance, but still sorely missed out. They're now booked out for two months solid, and she had to resort to taking away their amazing sanger, just for a taste.
Enter Burnt Ends' little cousin, Meat Smith, a smokehouse restaurant that's designed like a cross between an industrial factory and cowboy ranch, along the Telok Ayer/Amoy Street F&B enclave du jour.
The food is hearty, big, and robust. If you love your beef and barbecues, Meat Smith's the perfect spot. Ceilings hang low, and the cramped enclosure is decked out in dark woods, which lends to Meat Smith's ambience as a caveman's den. Perhaps that's why the restaurant was teeming with boys' night-out types of bunches, and not so much girls' night-out groupies.
The Meat Smith BBQ Platter ($180) comprised, from left to right: a hulking black pepper and mustard-crusted American Black Angus beef rib, Californian 365 day grain-fed Angus brisket, Memphis-style dry-rubbed pork ribs, and a smoked chicken thigh marinated in a Jamaican jerk sauce. This was absolutely sumptuous, but if I had to be brutal, the chicken and pork ribs wouldn't be missed, even if they were pretty good. BUT really, the MVPs of this massive tray were the beef ribs and brisket. Wowza, were they unforgettably delicious. These were meltingly tender, like geriatrics with dentures could appreciate kind of luscious; and incredible in flavour, having been steeped fully in marinade. The charred crust on the beef ribs may look dangerously unhealthy, but don't scrape it off, it served to flesh out the full-bodied flavour of the meat.
If there ever was any doubt that Meat Smith's a relation of Burnt Ends, the fluffy sesame-crusted Brioche breakaway bread, dusted with paprika and burnished with melty cheese would be quite the compelling evidence. This was a most terrific setup to the wonderful meats.
Also part of the Platter, the Bone Marrow, an oozy decadently fatty jam, was brilliant when schmeared all over crusty bread, and balanced against the refreshing crisp of red onion ringlets and sharp bite of garlic bulbs. I'm not even a fan of marrow (or tulang, as the locals call it), but even I was quite taken with Meat Smith's rendition.
The Platter was also accompanied by your choice of 2 sides, a simple but bright and piquant balsamic dressed Farmer's Salad of kale, arugula, lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard, which helped cut through the monotony of a meat-centric dinner;
and a lovely but rather run-of-the-mill Mac & Pimento Cheese.
It isn't a (good) weekend unless we've imbibed, and the Hemingway Daiquiri ($18), a concoction of Bacardi Superior rum, grapefruit and Luxurdo maraschino and Lavender Sour ($18) Titos Vodka, lavender, lemon and sugar were quite yummy, with the lavender a somewhat surprising but evident winner amongst the two cocktails. That was well-balanced, even if it smelled like my bedroom.
167 - 169 Telok Ayer Street
Open daily from 8.30am to 12midnight
Tel: 6221 2262