Singapore – KF Seetoh, founder of Makansutra and a prominent figure in Singapore’s food scene, recently welcomed award-winning Australian chef David Pynt into 8 Raffles Avenue.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay, a 13-year old food market that was recently opened after a $250,000 refurbishment, is now going to be home to one of Michelin starred chef David Pynt’s restaurants. Pynt is the owner of the popular barbeque joint Burnt Ends. He convinced the founder of the hawker centre, KF Seetoh, to put up a stall under his casual eatery brand Meatsmith.
Meatsmith Western BBQ is one of the six new stalls that will be opened at the outdoor food court. What started out as a temporary gig at a pop-up event at Makansutra became so much more when KF Seetoh heard of the chef’s interest with the place and offered him a spot.
After personally trying the menu, he realized he made the right choice. Pynt and his head chef Nicol Wong specially created British and Asian-inspired barbeque dishes for this location.
To spice things up a bit, he also installed an adjustable Australia jarrah hardwood brick oven in the middle of the stall which is definitely a first in a hawker stall scenery. To compensate for a grandiose oven, he kept his menu simple, limiting it to seven items, the cheapest starting at $4.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, Mr. Seetoh gave the chef some advice about operating a hawker stall and included his comment on the grill. “You have 10 seconds to grab customers. Photos are important, they must be bright, clear and to the point. If you charge $6 to $10, you are safe. I’m waiting to see if people respond. His grill is very sexy.”
The menu includes Salted Egg Chicken Chop ($9) that is served with garlic rice and cucumber salad, Fries with Sambal mayonnaise ($4), Pulled Pork Wantons ($5), Smoked Char Siew Pork Ribs ($10), and a premium dish – Smoked Suckling Pig ($16) served with glutinous rice and XO sauce.
The meat is robust and perfectly roasted, soft yet firm to the bite, making it hard to ignore. While the price may be higher than the typical hawker stall range, Pynt will not settle for anything less than the best. He is currently using Spanish pigs for his premium dish. According to Mr. Seetoh, “when the skin comes thin, light and crisp ala lechon, the price suddenly does not matter.”
With a bit more practice to ensure consistency in quality, the Makansutra owner is honoured to have the kitchen magicians as a part of the family and is confident in its success.