Atelier Binchotan, not what I expected?

Atelier Binchotan was a restaurant which I had a really tough time getting reservations. I remember throughout 2022, I couldn’t get any reservations due to its limited seating capacity. Sometime after that, they opened up for lunch as well and I managed to get reservations for two. Unfortunately, my wife had just started her job at the time and couldn’t get off work so I ended going on a date with Micheal instead.

Bincho-tan refers to hardwood charcoal and a lot of people do say that open fire cooking is one of the purest forms of cooking. In the past, during my work travel days to Singapore, I always tried to make a point to stop at Burnt Ends. Using my super secret move of not having any reservations, my expectations of Atelier Binchotan was that of Burnt Ends.

Unfortunately as I am writing this review quite a while after I have visited the place, forgive me as I might not remember all of the names of the dish. The one above was quite memorable as it was known as “kaya toast”, basically kaya toast with shaved foie gras on it. Why was it so good? I love the flavours of both sweet and savoury combined with the soft texture of the shaved foie gras and the crispiness of the toast.

The other starter that we shared was a mini pork burger. I remember how juicy the meat was that I needed to take a photo. Wished that the burger came in a larger size of course.

Being known as a place that uses charcoal to cook, the must order dishes that we wanted were definitely meat dishes. This was where my expectations were completely wrong. I really thought that there would be more of a smokiness flavour to the meats and frankly it taste like any other meats you might get using a cast iron pan. Don’t get me wrong, they were both delicious in their own rights. Just that I had this in mind, especially if you have had steaks cooked in a josper grill, you would know the smokiness flavour that comes with it. I think this was the letdown for me.


Overall, the food there is good. Just that it was a little mismatched against my own expectations of the kind of flavour profile I was expecting. Still, I would encourage everyone to go try it and get your own opinions of it. Would I return there again? I might again next year to see if they have done any changes or improvements as well.

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