Thursday, May 09, 2013

Blown Away at Waku Ghin @ Marina Bay Sands Singapore

One of the restaurants that topped my chart of places to dine in Singapore is Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands. My first experience at Waku Ghin, the only establishment by Chef Tetsuya Wakuda outside his world-famous Sydney restaurant on Kent St. was so impressive that I subsequently tried to make a reservation at this restaurant several times and eventually the day has come for me to finally experience a complete dinner there last week.

Beware of a long post ahead with many many pictures....

The reception area is also a bar where guests can have pre dinner drinks here before being ushered into the several dining rooms in the restaurant.

These photos are taken during the media invitation at MBS a year ago. Clockwise from top left: 1. A simple yet cosy dining room with a Teppanyaki grill. 2. An asymmetrical hallway leading to the dining rooms and the drawing room. 3. An-inch-thick wines and sake list to satisfy any connoisseurs. 4. The drawing room where the guests would be having their desserts and coffee or even a one-for-the-road before leaving the restaurant.

Hold on to your seats as you'll be blown away with the dining experience at Waku Ghin from the moment you sauntered into the dining room and till the last step you take out of those glass doors. The impeccable service from the serving staff right to the cooking showcase by the chefs are just amazing! Firstly, one of the staff will bring out a tray of fresh seafood which would be served on that evening and they will ask you if you are allergic to any of these ingredients. I eat everything!!!

There will be another staff pouring your choice of water and then you can order your choice of bottle. A sommelier then will serve you the wine/bottle of your choice in a very professional manner. Obviously for me, pictures are obligatory and I took all these photos with my humble iPhone 5. Thus please forgive the quality of the pictures on this post.

It's a celebration of my retirement from employment and also Thomas' first trip to Asia. Of course it has to be nothing less than a Salon 1997 (S$700+) for such a special occasion. My partner and I shared so many of our fond memories with Salon and thus it's our official celebratory champagne. Such a champagne is suitable to be served in wine glasses as the fine bubbles would soften and it could be sipped like a burgundy. The reason why I love this Salon is that the acidity and minerality is very refined, the bubbles are so delicate, it's zesty with hints of grapefruit but it's not too complex and it has a lingering finish.

Kobujime of Sayori with Nanohana and Japanese Strawberry
Made with diced strawberries and pomegranate which gives it an extra crunch texture and the slices of sayori (garfish) was delicate and mild in taste. A fresh and zesty combination that went really well with the champagne.

Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar
Absolutely delicious and I love the crawling seaweed that is crunchy and chewy which decorated the dish. Try not to break the mother of pearl spoon.

Slow-cooked Tasmanian Petuna Ocean Trout with witlof and yuzu
This is something my partner and Thomas would be familiar with. The witlof are also known as Belgian endive and I have had lots of it during my last trip to Antwerpen last month. The Petuna Ocean trout tasted better than salmon due to the firmess of the fless, luscious marbling of the fats and a nice flavour.

The next dish is a very interesting dish which looked to me like a giant mussel. These are actually fresh abalones from Australia. You can still see them alive and breathing as the Chef Kok Hong placed them onto the hot teppanyaki grill. It's seared with grapeseed oil and served with a very nice refreshing soup base made from tomatoes, basil and rocket leaves and fregola which is a type of pasta from Sardinia almost similar to the Israeli's couscous.

Australian Abalone with Fregola and Tomato
I love the chewy yet tender texture of the fresh abalone as compared to the numerous dried abalones I've had at the chinese restaurants. If you would have tried this fresh abalone prepared in such a refreshing way, you would have looked at abalone in a different light. It almost had a texture like squids.

Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon
The secret lies in the art of cooking where it is cooked at a low temperature of 60°C in a copper pot to seal the juice in the lobster and then slowly bringing up the temperature again and showered with paprika, garlic mayonnaise, butter and tarragon sauce. It was indeed tasty, succulent and the sauce was not too rich.

From the recommendation of the sommelier, we ordered a bottle of the Waku Ghin exclusive label sake -Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo M byIsojiman Shuzo Corporation (S$500+) was indeed an impressive fine sake with underlying fine notes of rice and subtle sweet notes. What a great sake!

Charcoal-grilled Fillet of Tasmanian Grass Fed Beef with Tetsuya's Wasabi Mustard
The tenderloin from Cape Grim is charcoal-grilled at 600-700°C and thus sealing the meat and keeping it's moisture in the meat with a nice char-grilled outer layer. The meat was not cold at all and remained almost rare in the middle.

Japanese Ohmi Wagyu
The "Japan top three Wagyu" are Matsusaka Ushi, Kobe Beef, and Ohmi Beef cattle raised in the Kansai region of Japan. It's a full blood wagyu raised in the Shiga Perfecture with extreme care in environment and water. It's also one of the meat with such a nice fat viscosity and you can just admire its beautiful marbling. The best way to taste them is to have them lightly seared and it goes really well with the freshy made wasabi. I would have thought the meat would taste fatty but it doesn't at all. Such a tender slice that melts in the mouth.

Consomme with Rice and Snapper
How could one made such a nice combination with such simple ingredients?!! I almost wanted a second helping as it is so much like a comfort food for me! Aromatic and flavourful chicken stock soup.

Somen with Myoga and Junsai
This is a Japanese version of hand-pulled noodles made of wheat. It's cold and soup has hints of shiso and ginger.

Then Chef Kok Hong brewed us some fine green tea from Kyoto called Gyokuro. These variety of tea leaves are harvested in 2-3 weeks and they are still very young. There's no roasting and fermentation  and are picked by hands. The way to brew them is to keep the water temperature at about 40-50°C resulting is a very nice fragrant green tea drank in a room temperature.

After that, we adjourned to the drawing room where desserts are served and we can also have a coffee before we break the bank and pay the bill.

1.Salad of Raspberry with Wasabi and Granita of Honey and Vinegar

2.Chocolate Mousse Cake with Vanilla and Macadamia

Thomas, Chef Sia Kok Hong, Me and Luc

This is one of the best if not the finest restaurant that I have been too judging from the stellar experience I had here. Chef Kok Hong, the chef de partie under the guidance of Tetsuya is one of the shining stars of the restaurant as he made our dinner so enjoyable. The dinner is never boring as the chef is always interacting with his guests and we are also able to ask them questions about the food. Chef Kok Hong hailed from Malacca and he is certainly a man of extreme tidiness and cleanliness which is evident from his constant cleaning of the stainless steel teppanyaki grill eliminating even a speck of dust as he cooks.

At around S$400 a person for a 10 course degustation menu, it's certainly a very expensive affair. However, if you really want to impress and have the best dining experience, you can certainly consider Waku Ghin, listed as the 39th of the World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2012.

Waku Ghin
10 Bayfront Avenue
#02-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65-66888507


suituapui said...

Wow! Impressive.

eiling lim said...

STP: It is!!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written article of a stunning restaurant !!!

Anonymous said...

i've tried tetsuya's and i have to say - by far the best top restaurant i've experienced to date! cant imagine waku ghin to be any different - shuyi

eiling lim said...

Anon: Thanks!

Shuyi: Hey Babe.. I'm so jealous that you have tried Tetsuya. But I heard that the concept is very different between the one in Sydney and the one in MBS.

Huai Bin said...

I love your photos Eiling! :D

Everything looks so grand, and that abalone almost too good to eat.

...almost. ;)

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Must be an amazing dining experience! Speechless!

Sean said...

happy retirement! i wanna retire too laah! heheh :D ooh, i eat everything too, so i'd definitely love this meal at waku ghin. am very intrigued by the abalone =)

eiling lim said...

Huai Bin: Thanks HB. Yeah the abalone is really niceeee..

Wong Chin Wah: It's really a new experience for me and it's really impressive.

Sean: I also thought that the abalone is really impressive and was one of the best dishes that night.

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Chef and Sommelier said...

Great food, great wine, great company! What more can one ask for?

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missyblurkit said...

Awesome company and food! Missed this place during our last visit to MBS. Only managed to check out the dim sum @ Imperial Treasure smack before we left.

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