Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue, Level 2
Dining date: 3/6/16
Waku Ghin, in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, is regarded as one of the top restaurants in the city. Tetsuya Wakuda is the chef, a Japanese-born chef who established himself working in kitchens in Australia. His restaurant in Sydney, Tetsuya’s, is one of the most highly-acclaimed in Australia for its Japanese cuisine with French accents. He opened this sister restaurant in 2010. It was ranked #70 in the 2015 world’s best restaurants list and one of the top in Asia. When Singapore’s first Michelin guide comes out later this year, Waku Ghin is expected to garner a star, perhaps multiple.
Waku Ghin features multiple ‘private dining rooms,’ each seating 4-6 people. The seating surrounds a griddle very much like a teppanyaki restaurant, offering a front-row view into the food being prepared. The menu here is tasting menu-only, 10-12 courses. My dad dined here in November and enjoyed it so much that a return was in order.
A beautiful display of seafood showcased some of what we’d be dining on. Much of the shellfish was very much alive – the lobster waved at us.
Carpaccio of Toro Tuna with Bitter Salad
Very thinly sliced toro was as rich and succulent as expected, contrasted by the bitter greens and a soy vinaigrette.
Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscetra Caviar
A signature dish at the restaurant, this sea urchin shell paired sweet shrimp with sweet urchin – a delicious mix. Bright salinity from the caviar brought it up another notch.
Slow-Cooked New Zealand John Dory with Charcoal-Grilled Eggplant
The John Dory was cooked well, paired with flavorful eggplant.
Puree of Potato with Soft Poached Egg, French Winter Truffle and Oscetra Caviar
The ingredients of this dish came together as expected – delicious and luscious. The caviar helped to cut through the richness of the puree and egg yolk.
The next dish was prepared right in front of us.
Tasmanian Abalone with Fregola and Tomato
Maybe the most Western-influenced dish of the evening, the abalone was tender, sweet with a very savory broth.
The chef brought out the lobster for the next course which was also prepared in front of us.
Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon
Lobster was cooked perfectly, excellent in a rich lobster broth with tarragon.
Amadai with French Winter Truffle and Assorted Mushrooms
Since my dad had been here recently, they substituted out his lobster dish for this tilefish with mushrooms and more truffles.
Some richly marbled beef was next to hit the griddle.
Japanese Ohmi Wagyu from Shiga Prefecture with Wasabi and Citrus Soy
The beef was rich, fatty and delicious. Fresh wasabi was my favorite on the condiments.
At this point we were offered a couple of ochazuke in case we were still hungry. I wasn’t exactly hungry, but I wasn’t going to decline any food given the success of the previous dishes.
Consommé with Rice and Snapper
Somen with Myoga and Junsai
Both of these were simple and comforting – I’m glad I got them.
A few sips of gyokuro, a Japanese green tea grown in the shade, ended this savory portion of the meal.
At this point, we moved out of the “private dining room” and into the “main dining room,” which I guess is pretty much a dessert dining room. The Singapore Jazz Festival was in town this weekend, so a large stage blocked our view of the bay. Oh well.
Granita of White Grapefruit with Chartreuse Jelly
A refreshing, bright granita prepared our palates for the main dessert.
The signature dessert cheesecake was light – slightly tart and subtly sweet.
Coffee/tea and petit fours completed the meal.
The food and service were both excellent at Waku Ghin, and the intimate experience was truly unique. The food blended Japanese and French flavors very well, and the service reminded me of some of Japan’s top restaurants. The only thing that really prevented me from fully appreciating this meal was my severe jetlag (this was day 2 in Asia). However, I fully expect the restaurant to receive multiple Michelin stars later this year.