Chef Dave Pynt can often be found manning the wood-fired ovens and grills at his Singapore restaurant Burnt Ends. When he’s not there, he’s flying around the world satisfying his wanderlust. You might find the Perth, Australia, native checking on his new restaurant, The Ledge, at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Or he might be hitting up his favorite restaurants in Southeast Asia and beyond. Here he reveals his favorite travel and dining experiences.
What did you want to bring to The Ledge that was new for the Maldives?
At the high-end resorts, there’s a lot of intensive plating—what I call “tweezer kind of places.” Or there are beach barbecues that are not necessarily done that well. What we’ve tried to do is bring really good technique, amazing produce and really good flavors to guests in the Maldives.
You describe Waldorf Astoria’s atoll as being “in the middle of nowhere, and then a boat ride.” What do you enjoy doing at the resort?
Snorkeling, diving and surfing are my favorite things to do in the Maldives. There’s a couple of waves about a 10-minute boat ride from the island.
What’s the best part about living in Singapore when it comes to eating?
You’ve got everything you could want on tap. And if you don’t have it here, it’s a very easy place to travel out of.
What are some of your Singapore recommendations?
Sin Hoi Sai in Tiong Bahru Road is one of my favorites. It’s famous for its chili crab and pepper crab. You grab a cold beer, sit outside and talk with your mates—it’s the best. Another is Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine for one of the best Peking ducks in Southeast Asia—if not the world.
Which countries do enjoy traveling to?
Japan is always a favorite. I have a lot of friends in Hong Kong, and there are some great restaurants in Thailand. I have some friends in Vietnam and in Bali, which is always a great place to go and eat and check out the surf.
How do you find the best places to eat in each city?
Usually I hit up my friends for recommendations before I get there.
What are your must-have items while traveling?
I always make sure I have good headphones and an iPhone full of music.
What’s on your playlist?
There’s always Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, AC/DC and Guttermouth to help keep the energy high. I play those at a slightly uncomfortable level. Dire Straits and the Beach Boys always chill me out.
What are some restaurants around the world that stand out for you?
Asador Etxebarri in the Basque Country of Spain. It’s the most incredible barbecue in the world. Also, Chez Wong in Lima, Peru, for the best ceviche anywhere. Another one is Shirosaka in Tokyo, for really amazing creative omakase that’s not like a traditional Japanese meal.
Book your stay at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi for an unforgettable dining experience at The Ledge.