Daily: 09:00 - 22:00
Since 2000, Waraku Japanese Casual Dining has been offering authentic Japanese cuisine to a loyal and growing following of Japanese expatriates and locals alike. It is widely known for its wide variety of high-quality imported udon, ramen, soup base and sauces, as well as the kaminabes ( or mini hot-pots).
We headed to dinner at Vivocity's Waraku to mark the 14th anniversary of this chain of casual Japanese restaurants in Singapore. We knew that Waraku had been around for some time but were surprised that it's been 14 years! Doesn't time fly. We were told that the chain has some special events happening in September to mark this milestone, includng a dining app, a dinner a la carte buffet, a kids carnival and a freebie weekend.
The Vivocity branch is in the sky park that overlooks Sentosa, though the restaurant itself doesn't boast a view. Our meal comprised mainly Vivocity specials--a Hokkai sashimi salad ($13.80), miso yuzu pork neck ($16.90), the very interesting Volcano maki ($15.90) and yakiniku udon ($13.80)--and showed that Waraku continues to serve delicious, reliable Japanese food. We added some gyoza ($6.80) and kurobata tonkatsu ($24.80) to the meal and enjoyed those too.
After dinner we headed next door to La Viva Spanish Tapas and Bar, for a round of sangrias. Sit outside to relish the lovely view.
In local parlance, 'laku' means 'excellent' and 'ripe for the picking'. After our visit to Waraku, we concluded it ain't 'laku' at all. We decided to sample this Japanese joint on a week night (there's normally a queue on weekends, so you'd assume it's popular). The wait staff were fresh and inexperienced. The young temp staff poured cold matcha on my son's arm and a good portion of the cement floor. Our orders appeared rather quickly. The skinny piece of tonkatsu was rough and dry. Their signature ramen had a cloyingly rich sauce, that halfway through the bowl, my wife felt so 'jelat', she just stopped eating it. My serving of ramen/udon was uninspiring. As part of the set, it came with a bowl of Chicken Don, which was nothing to rave about. The promotional material says this restaurant has been around for 14 years. Many new establishments have sprouted up in this time, offering higher food quality, ambience and value. Waraku has lots to catch up if it wants to stay 'laku' in consumers' eyes.