Burp Kitchen & Bar (Burp), a cafe that opened its doors in November 2015, is pleased to announce its expansion to a second, larger outlet. This new outlet is a full-fledged restaurant in Bishan Park where customers can enjoy hearty modern cuisine within a rustic interior design and aesthetic ambience.
Burp serves western grill, Asian-inspired comfort food. Both its outlets feature exposed brick and concrete walls to reflect an industrial setting. The interiors are designed close to nature that establishes a cosy environment for diners to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of city living. The lush-green view and friendly service makes Burp a perfect place to hang out with your friends for lunch, dinner, snacks, or after-work drinks. Food and drinks are priced reasonably to give the restaurant an affordable, welcoming and friendly appeal, as deemed by the vision of its 3 founders. Among their most popular dishes is the Tacos Pork Carnitas (Pork Carnitas Tacos) in which they serve warm and soft flour tortillas, packed with a generous heap of juicy, savoury, tender strips of slow-cooked pulled pork that has a bold barbeque flavour and a light tangy sweetness.
With the expansion to Bishan Park, Burp had to rethink their business vision and model. “With the new outlet, we will have 118 seats, compared to the Bedok branch which only has 52. We toyed with the idea of implementing self-ordering systems and other robots in the outlet, but decided that it was against our ethos of having a personal touch with each diner. Ultimately, we decided to stick with the conventional approach to allow us the interaction with every patron. Regular customers at Bedok have grown so comfortable with us that with a nod of their head, their order is served, and we know each of them by name. I am certain that we will be able to replicate this personal-touch experience in Burp. Our aim is to continue to stay true to such an approach to fully cater the personal Burp Experience,” says Sarah, one of the co-founders. “It will be tiring and a lot of hard work! But I believe Burp has the energy, the youth and the dynamism to carry this through!”
The 3 friends, Chris, Ronald and Sarah (not married then), met in Temasek Polytechnic doing Engineering and Marketing respectively. After graduation, Chris commenced his career in the construction sector while Ronald signed to Regular Service as an Officer with the Air Force. Sarah went on to do advertising, branding and communications. Inspired and driven by the aspiration of operating a Food & Beverage (F&B) concept, the 3 schoolmates then decided to band together and work out a business plan to venture in the F&B industry).
The initial plan was to proceed with a 6-month timeline to source for an ideal location to commence business operations. With no culinary knowledge background but only prior part-time experience in service and bartending, they had to learn the fundamentals from online videos and continuously trial with various recipes learned. Mentally prepared to face the harsh conditions and the high attrition rate of the F&B industry, the 3 friends then selected and invested in a corner Housing & Development Board (HDB) commercial unit with a direct view of Bedok Reservoir. They were thrilled with the scenic views surrounding the spot as well as the business potential for the residential catchment from the neighbouring HDBs and condominiums.
Within its first year of operations, Burp was able to surpass the business target remarkably and expand to another corner shophouse unit along Tanjong Katong Road. After almost 3 years, Burp decided to shut operations of the expansion outlet in 2019 as the results fell short of business goals. It also took a step back to relook at the options available regarding its concept and branding.
Following the closure of the Tanjong Katong outlet, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and immense uncertainties poured through all sectors of the economy including the F&B industry. Burp had to reconsider and execute business opportunities fast such as hopping on all the available food delivery platforms. In addition to that, Burp continued to keep in contact with all the regular customers and offered them in-house delivery services at discounted prices. Chris and Ronald personally completed these deliveries during the lockdown periods of Circuit Breaker and Heighten Alert phases.
Learning from their Tanjong Katong experience, the 3 then decided they would focus on a casual diner with a natural ambience concept, as that seemed to resonate with their regulars. When the opportunity for an F&B outlet in Bishan Park became available, Burp jumped at the chance to bid for the spot as it fulfilled all the criteria on its checklist.
The new outlet at Bishan Park has been renovated to be fully enclosed and air-conditioned. Burp plans to expand its menu particularly in its bar grubs that is perfect for sharing to continue what the brand has always aimed to do, that is, to make one full from a hearty meal and “Burp”!
Burp Kitchen & Bar (Bedok Reservoir)
740 Bedok Reservoir Road
Tel: +65 8428 4722
Burp Kitchen & Bar (Bishan Park)
510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
Tel: +65 8511 4541
Images: Burp Kitchen & Bar