May the next generation of hawkers please stand up, and there you have it - The Burning Oak. Opened by a young chap and his family, it is one of the latest additions to Bedok Market Place. The stall boasts the use of Japanese charcoal, Binchotan, to grill their yakitori. They also serve bento sets in the afternoon.
One of my favourite yakitori to order is Tsukune, also known as chicken balls made up of minced chicken and other condiments. The Tsukune at The Burning Oak however, was a total disappointment. It was a tad too mushy for my liking, to the extent i had doubts if it was actually cooked through properly. The sauce was also extremely salty (happened to be the same for all their other yakitori sticks).
We also had a try at one of the chef's original recipe, the Pork Belly with Apple, which i also found hard to swallow. The apple sauce was an overkill and tasted just like cream from an apple strudel, which didn't match up with the saltiness of the pork.
There was also the 72 hours Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs which cost a whooping 6 bucks per stick. I don't normally highlight prices in exact but while some thought this was worth it, i thought it was just ridiculous for hawker pricing. I had no doubts about the texture of the beef ribs as it was tender and juicy but it wasn't well marinated enough to the extent the beefiness was so distinct it felt like i had a live cow in my mouth while i was chewing on it. You might have to brush your teeth for half an hour to get the taste out.
The saving grace i would say was the Curry Risotto Balls which were quite enjoyable to pop - crispy golden on the outside. The Burning Oak however, highlights that they are an innovative yakitori place, so i am not sure why this was the best dish we tasted from the menu.
I'm definitely sitting on the fence about The Burning Oak after trying out what they have to offer. Honestly, their dishes are difficult to stomach and for a yakitori place, it felt more like "yucky-tori". While it is a good thing that young people are coming out to do what they like, The Burning Oak definitely needs a lot more fine tuning, in my opinion. For now, i think i'll stick to the traditional satay instead of the yakitori sticks from The Burning Oak were pretty much unappetising and rancid.
The Burning Oak
348 Bedok Road
Bedok Market Place, #02-16
+65 9873 6093
This was an invited media tasting.