Mon - Sun: 18:00 - 20:30
Waku Ghin, recently ranked 39th on the coveted 'World's 50 Best Restaurants' list.
The name 'Waku Ghin' is derived from two Japanese words: ‘Waku’ means to 'arise' (like water pouring forth from a hot spring) and 'Ghin' means 'silver', which is Chef Tetsuya's favorite color found throughout this stunning restaurant.
That same personal imprint and attention to detail is also on exhibit in the main dining room which seats 25 guests per seating, for an exclusive view of the Singapore skyline.
Chef Tetsuya is the first person appointed Sake Ambassador outside of Japan, making his selection the best in the world.
It is not an everyday occasion that I get to eat at a top notch celebrity restaurant so I decided to give myself a treat recently and check out Waku Ghin, largely because I did not have the chance to eat at Tetsuya's when I was in Sydney.
Located at the second floor of Marina Bay Sands, Waku Ghin is part of an exclusive list of restaurants that are specially catered at a section known as the "celebrity restaurants" despite there being many celebrity restaurants at Marina Bay Sands, thus being elevated to a special status,
Expect high service standards. The moment I walked near the door, staff opened it in anticipation and were able to guess my name correctly.
Once seated, each person is assigned a personal chef for the teppan portion of the meal. I had a nice young 31 year old Japanese cook who was in training for the last 12 years - quite a jovial guy even though I could not understand about two thirds of what he said.
Down to the food, we started with the Bonito with Japanese Naohana and Orange. A nice way to shockingly open the palette and prepare one for a sumptuous meal ahead.
The star of the night however, had to be the Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea urchin and Oscietre Caviar. The ingredients blended amazingly in the mouth, with all of the ingredients being really fresh. Never had such a tasty sea urchin before.
Then came the Slow Cooked Tasmanian Ocean Trout. This is done confit style, probably in olive oil, and has a soft bite to it.
The Abalone was next on the menu, and it marinated live and was cooked well - a little on the rubbery side but without any seafood after taste.
The Braised Lobster with Tarragon was next and then followed by an interesting Japanese Roasted Bamboo Shoot with Kinome Sauce. This is a young bamboo shoot that is harvested while it is still underground.
We then had the Australian wagyu Blackmore Steak which was amazingly tender. Could do with more of that anytime.
The main courses ended with the Consomme with Rice and Hirame, which were really soulful and tasty. Think of it as a nice soup to wash down the meal.
Prior to desserts, we had the Gyokuro, which is green tea made up of young leaves - and can be very potent. I actually felt a little high after just one shot.
Finally, to desserts - we had the Strawberry Shortcake which was served in a glass. I found it a little too thick for my liking.
The Ghin Cheesecake is a nicer light finish made with a soufle like sponge.
Just when you think its over, it is time for a nice coffee with petit fours looking over the Marina Bay - a beautiful sight to compliment the tasty meal.
【click here for the entire review】
The dining experience was awesome, all the dishes were beautiful, using the best ingredients and pretty culinary skills. Quite pricey $400++ exclude drinks for 10 courses, but definitely worth!
Originally I was put off by the price to dine at Waku Ghin. I mean, I could have gone to a very nice authentic Japanese restaurant and ended spending lesser. Well, in the end, I still opt for Waku Ghin because it was something that I have not tried and I should, at least try it once in my life.
I did not make the reservation, my friend did. He told me the reservation process was not exactly pleasant. Accordingly to him, he was not allowed to make a reservation on the phone. He had to write in to them, and then they confirmed availability to him via email. Ok, that’s weird to us.
Interior – One word, posh. Although most of the food was prepared in front of us, we left the restaurant without smelling like the food we ate, I guess they spent a lot of money on the ventilation (or whatever you call that). We were seated on high chairs, and to be frank, it wasn’t really comfortable for ladies who wore stiletto heels – could not find a relaxed position to rest my heels. I have an issue with high chairs – really. There was a dining place and also a place for desserts. This was quite a smart arrangement because normally, people would loiter in the restaurant longer for the dessert so at least the seats over there was more comfortable and with a nicer view.
Food – Dining in Waku Ghin was full of surprised. There was no standard menu; you would be served based on what’s available for the day and what’s fresh. It was a 10-course meal and most of the food were prepared and cooked right in front of us. My personal favorite would be the most photographed food on Instagram – Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin. The Oscietra Caviar, Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon, and the Char Grilled Beef were very nice too. Why did I know the food name so well? That was because I was given my personal menu after the dinner. I saw the chef cooked some of the dishes, and seriously, I thought the cooking was simple, but I did not understand why the dishes could turn out to be so nice? I felt that the quality and passion of the chef tells it all.
Desserts were great too, generous servings, macaroons, chocolates and more.
Service – Like typical fine dining, the staff and chef introduced the food to us after serving us. Service staff was very attentive because we were the only two diners in that “room”, I had fun guessing the ingredients in the Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin. The Japanese chef was friendly and we had small talks – talked about our trip to Japan and where to find nice good in Japan.
The talking and casual chats, believe it or not, enhanced our dining experience greatly. Sometimes dining was not only about the food we put into our mouth, it was also about who you dined with, the ambience, the interior design, the service staff, and the chef. They, in one or another way, represent the restaurant and contributed to our wonderful dining experience.