Waku Ghin – Dinner – Singapore

Tetsuyas, many, many years ago, was my first fine dining experience and I absolutely loved it. I know Waku Ghin has been open for a while (and currently ranked 39th best restaurant in the world according to Restaurant Magazine) but I balked at have to pay >50% more in Singapore than his Australian degustation.

However, I was feeling a bit of a splurge coming on so I thought, why not?

Plus I did want to go check out Marina Bay Sands complex (I’m on a boat, yeah!)

If you’ve a foreign passport, you can get into the casino free, but if you’re Singaporean, it’ll cost you S$100 which is no laughing matter. It’s like getting into an airport, with separate customs lines for foreigners & locals.

We walk towards the entrance from the casino floor and it looks quiet. The doors opaque and are shut so there’s nothing to indicate the place is open. As we approach the door, it opens for us – but it’s not done automatically, there are 2 staff members who manually open the door when guests approach. When I leave afterwards, I notice the doors are like a one-way mirror, you can see out, but you can’t see in.

We spent a bit of time in the casino before dinner so got to dinner just on time at 6pm. Hence we didn’t get a chance to hang out at the bar pre-dinner.

We’re assisted into our seats in front of the teppan with several other diners. Our “table” sits 6 and coincidentally, all our dining companions tonight are from Australia.

Tray of goodies – Abalone is so fresh, it was still moving

We’re given a rundown of the going ons for the night. 4 dishes cooked in the kitchen, the other mains in front of us on the teppan, then we are moved to a separate room for dessert. We’re asked if we have any allergies or foods we don’t eat – I eat most everything so I’m good to go. We’re then shown the above tray of seafood which is on the menu today.

China Blue – $18

Service, is as expected, impeccable, it was attentive without being hovering or intrusive. We settle in with a few drinks, I’ve gone for a cocktail of lychee liquor, grapefruit juice, tonic water & blue curacao which is delicious and the price is very reasonable considering where we are.

Tataki of Bonito with ginger, orange & soy caramel

Tataki is kind of like lightly seared sashimi/carpaccio. Bonito is soft and not chewy and the sauce is wonderful. Great way to start and makes my mouth water about the things to come.

Marinated Botan Shrimp with Hokkaido Sea Urchin & Oscietra Caviar

Waku Ghin’s signature dish and my absolute favourite dish of the night, lovely presentation, textures and of course, flavours.

The sea urchin was so soft, the texture was like…pannacotta or mousse (texture, not taste). This was a show stopper, it was unbelievably lovely.

Definitely one of the best things I have ever tasted.

Pan-fried Ayu with daikon & fennel and green tartar sauce

Ayu is a Japanese fish. I’m not a fan of cooked fish but this one wasn’t too bad. It was crisp and the tartar was not too tangy.

Kitchen-time is over for now, it’s time for some teppan cooking starting with Tasmanian abalone.

Don’t break anything – you’re sitting at $100,000 iron teppan plate

There aren’t any theatrics, but I’m not here for theatrics, just for food.

Tasmanian Abalone with Fregola pasta & cherry tomatoes

I forgot to ask what EVOO they use as it’s absolutely pine drizzled over this, and several other dishes. I emailed them about it and got a prompt reply. Now I have to try to find Azienda Olearia Del Chianti extra virgin olive oil.

The chefs are a wealth of knowledge, and not just about food, we ask a variety of questions about Tetsuya, his restaurant & his food. Does Mr T regularly come back to Singapore? He’s here at least once a month. At present, he’s doing a lot of exploring in India and bringing back spices to try out. Plus he’s got weekly(!!) regulars in Singapore so has to constantly update the menu for them. Mr T doesn’t cook at the teppans, but still occasionally cooks in the kitchen for guests.

The kitchen itself cost a cool $2mil and includes marble walls that can’t be seen by anyone but the chefs.The chef offers us a tour of the kitchen afterwards and we all eagerly accept – except, after dinner, we’re all so full/sleepy/boozed up THAT WE FORGET to ask about the tour before we go 😥

The entire restaurant is designed to Tetsuya’s tastes, the carpet pattern is designed as an homage to the custom blades he so loves.

Tetsuya is also very fond of curves, so you’ll see a few round sculptures and sculptures of voluptuous women around.

But I digress, back to the food.

Any guess what the next course will consist of?

Braised Canadian lobster in a rich lobster bisque with tarragon

I think this is a close 2nd for fave dish of the night. I’m not a massive lobster fan, but a more avid lobster bisque fan as the flavours are more intensified and this lobster bisque did not disappoint. It was so rich and tasty.

Charcoal-grilled duck with seasonal veggies

Very crispy duck skin, tender flesh – what more could you want? This was cooked in the kitchen, not teppan.

I also really liked the seasonal veggies, so simple but so tasty. Using the finest ingredients, you get the most wonderful tastes out of the simplest of things.

Wagyu beef waiting for teppan.

Japanese Ohmi Wagyu roll from Shiga prefecture with fresh wasabi and citrus soy

Melt in your mouth wagyu, citrus soy also had finely grated radish in it. My dining companion had never seen wasabi in its raw root form so we were delighted to see it grated in front of us. Let me tell you, the taste of wasabi from the root rather than processed from powder/paste is so phenomenally superior. It also doesn’t give you that painful, nose-clearing feeling of powder/paste.

The wagyu was extraordinary – rich, juicy beef flavour, topped with wasabi, fried garlic, spring onions & citrus soy – a match made in heaven.

Consomme with snapper & rice

When I first saw this dish, it looked like someone had plonked a nigiri sushi in some consomme. Consomme had beautiful, delicate flavours, not sure what the rice added to the dish though – except to put a bit of lining on your belly.

The chef tells us he’s going to give us a treat – somen that was 3 years in the making.Somen with Myoga (ginger flower) & Junsai (water flower) in dashi

I think this is also one of my fave dishes of the night. Somen is thin wheat flour noodles and the chef told us this type has to mature for 3 years before use. And it was well worth the wait. Served cold in a delicious dashi (seaweed & bonito flake) stock, this was one of the highlights of my night.

Gyokuro

A Japanese (inspired) dish would not be complete without tea and here we have some very fine, very expensive green tea. The water kettle is heated on teppan and the chef judged the water temperature by pouring some water on his hand.

Don’t be alarmed, this is because this tea needed to be served at 40°C. I’m not a massive tea fan, but this was drinkable and yet tasted like no other green tea I’ve ever experienced as it had a natural sweetness. My dining companion fell in love with this tea – I hope he doesn’t develop an expensive habit.

With our mains completed, we are then moved into the dining room for dessert.

The view is not too shabby and we’re seated right at the window. There’s a nightly light show going on outside as we await dessert as well as a swirling fountain underneath us. Even people watching gave us great pleasure as we sipped on our coffees.

Granita of pineapple with lemon tea sorbet

The tea flavour of the sorbet was not very pronounced, I actually thought it was just lemon sorbet, or it could be that the strong pineapple flavour of the granita drowned out the tea flavour. The granita tasted like frozen pineapple and was delicious & refreshing.

Coconut mousse with passion fruit ice cream, fresh mango & white chocolate sticks

Now this was something I could really dig my teeth into. I don’t know where they got their mango but I want that tree. They were the most fantastic mangoes I have every tasted – ripe, sweet, juicy, delicious, etc. The mousse was so soft, it was more like a foam and the flavours of everything matched so well.

Petit fours

Our meal wouldn’t be completed without petit fours with our tea & coffee.

From left, we have coffee & pistachio maccarons, choc orange mousses, mini choux pastries filled with creme patissiere, tangerine jellies dusted in sugar & raspberry chocolates.

My fav would have to be in equal rating, choc orang mousse, mini choux & maccarons; followed by raspberry, then tangerine jelly.

The meal, surprisingly, isn’t overfilling – with 10+ course degustations, I’m normally filled up half-way through so this was a reasonable amount of food all up.

The genius of it all is how he can make normal food extraordinary like the seasonal veggies with the duck were extraodinarily tasty. With lobster/caviar/truffle/etc, you expect it to be wonderful, but with veggies, u expect it to be filler until the next meal arrives. But not for Tetsuya, he makes veggies awesome 🙂

The lowdown:

The good – sea urchin!!!!! somen, lobster bique, dessert, petite fours – so much

The bad – NOTHING

The mediocre – $20 for water…

The damage:

2x Omakase Dinner (@400)
2x Mineral water (@20)
1x Califonian Collins (@20)
1x China Blue (@18)
Add 10% Service charge
Add 7% GST

Grand total = S$1033.41 (Plus tip)

So approximately AUD$807 for 2 people (plus tip)

Tipping isn’t compulsory in Singapore but I didn’t realise there was a service charge when I tipped.

Would I go back? Yes, yes, I do believe I would.

Unless I won the lottery, I wouldn’t go to Singapore just for a meal (I’d be one of the weekly regulars in that case), but if I knew I was to be transiting and I had a bit of spare change, then I would stop by. And next time, I’ll make sure to get the kitchen tour!!

I would probably forgo S$20 water – might as well get another cocktail.

Details:

Waku Ghin
Casino Level 2
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Singapore
Tel: +65 6688 8507 (Bookings essential)
Email: wakughinreservation@marinabaysands.com

http://www.marinabaysands.com/

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One Response to “Waku Ghin – Dinner – Singapore”

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts
    and I will be waiting for your next post thank you once again.

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