Tetsuya, of course, needs no introduction. He is a legend in Australia. Tetsuya’s (in Sydney) has won too many awards and was long regarded the best restaurant in Australia. What fascinates me about Tets is that he is a very humble man that has been able to pass on his gift to other trained great chefs who have worked under him and have then gone on to open highly successful restaurants (e.g. Martin Benn at Sepia).
Waku Ghin is Tetsuya’s first venture outside of Australia. It opened in late 2010 and is a part of the Marina Bay Sands complex. The gaming floor is below Waku Ghin, quite the contrast to the beautiful dining rooms through the Waku Ghin doors. The restaurant is huge at 929 square metres, has long hallways, several dining rooms and kitchens. However Waku Ghin caters for just twenty-five people per seating and with two seatings per night. I have heard that there are more staff here than customers. As people who know me can attest, I plan my holidays around food. So I made the reservation way before I booked any flights.
Of course Waku Ghin has had much success since it has opened and is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) restaurants in Singapore. It has been ranked as the second best restaurant in Asia in the 2012 Miele Guide and ranked number 39 in the world in the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants in its debut year in 2011. Although there may be debate as to what is the best restaurant in Singapore (the other contender being Iggy’s), Waku Ghin certainly holds the title of most expensive menu, weighing in at SGD$400 per person for the degustation only menu.
As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted warmly by staff and taken to our private Teppanyaki room, complete with our own personal chef. One thing that I still remember vividly is how good the service was and how friendly the staff were. I had never encountered anything like this back in Sydney. I suppose they should treat their customers like royalty at these prices!
|Private teppenyaki room|
|Tools of the trade|
As our dining experience was about to commence, our chef presents us with this tray, which contained the seafood that I was about to eat. I could tell the seafood was going to be fresh as the lobsters and the abalone were still moving! One of the advantages Tetsuya has with Waku Ghin being in Singapore is the generous quarantine laws. This means that Tetsuya can pretty much import any ingredient he wants from all corners of the world! So the restaurant serves only the finest ingredients. I do realise though the number of carbon miles these ingredients have travelled to get to the restaurant, but I of course ignored this fact as I was eating all this yummy food...
|Flan of Oyster with Puree of Bacon and Spinach|
|Braised Japanese Pumpkin|
This was my wife's first course. She loved it! It was beautifully cooked and wonderfully sweet.
|Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar|
This is the signature dish at Waku Ghin and it is simply sensational! I would say it is better than the other (much more famous) Tetsuya signature dish at his Sydney restaurant, the confit of ocean trout. The presentation is just beautiful. Loved the way it was served in the hollowed out sea urchin shell. The flavours and textures in this dish are just so refreshing and amazing. Everything just worked so well together. The saltiness of the caviar is a perfect compliement for the rich, creamy sea urchin and the beautiful prawns. This was my favourite course in a meal of many highlights!
|Soup of Avocado with Potato Ice Cream and Tonburi|
My wife's second course. Unfortunately for her, she is a vegetarian so she does not realise what she is missing out on with all the beautiful seafood that I am having hehe. However this was an awesome soup indeed! So refreshing and tasty.
|Charcoal Grilled Tasmanian Petuna Ocean Trout with Marinated Witlof|
Waku Ghin provides a much different offering with the Petuna ocean trout compared to the confit of ocean trout in the Sydney restaurant. Whilst this was a very capable dish in its own right and was delicious, this does not compare to the confit of ocean trout. This version is probably geared more towards the Asian palate.
|Grilled Maitake Mushroom with Yuzu Salt|
The maitake mushrooms were from Japan. The mushrooms were expertly cooked right in front of our eyes on the teppanyaki grill and finished off with yuzu salt, which gave a nice citrus hit to the dish. This was the first of a few courses that were cooked on the teppanyaki grill. Watching the chef do his thing was one of the highlights of the experience! It certainly made for a theatrical (and entertaining in my view being a foodie) outing.
|Cold Soup of White Asparagus with White Miso Cream and Oscietre Caviar|
|Tempura of Zucchini Flower and Endive with Charcoal Grilled Mixed Vegetables|
Awesome tempura! Great produce, and wonderfully light, crisp tempura batter.
|Tasmanian Abalone with Polenta, Tomato and Garlic Cream|
The abalone was another dish that was cooked at the teppanyaki grill. The chef makes it look so easy. The abalone was grilled to perfection, allowing the meat to become tender whilst maintaining a slight chewiness. The abalone was served with polenta, cherry tomatoes and a delicious garlic cream.
|Puree of Potato with Soft Poached Egg, Summer Truffle|
This was my wife's favourite course and I can see why! This dish contains all three of wife's favourite things to eat: potato, egg and truffle. The potato puree was so smooth and creamy. The egg had a beautiful warm, gooey yolk. The slices of truffle were shaved right in front of us and there was so much truffle! Simply exquisite!
|Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon|
This was an amazing course! The broth was a lobster bisque with tarragon and butter, which was cooked in front of me on teppanyaki grill. The lobster is slowly braised within, which makes the lobster really moist and juicy and gives it great flavour.
|Slow Cook Steak of Daikon with Aonori and Yuzu|
We don't remember much about the daikon. This was the least memorable course in the vegetarian menu.
|Wagyu beef rolls|
|Grilling beef on teppenyaki|
|Grating fresh wasabi|
|Australian Blackmore Wagyu Roll with Wasabi and Citrus Soy|
The rolls of wagyu beef were grilled on the teppanyaki grill only for a few minutes and served with garlic chips, shaved spring onion, fresh wasabi, and a side of sweet citrus soy. The beef was sooooo very good! It was almost perfect and melted in my mouth. Only problem was I got two rolls. And I love fresh wasabi, something that I rarely get the opportunity to have. It has much more complex layers of flavour when comapred to typical packet wasabi.
|Sauteed Asparagus with Girolle Mushroom|
|Consomme with Rice and Hirame|
For desserts, we went to another room with views of the water and it was just amazing!
|Granita of Grapefruit with Charteuse Jelly|
|Chocolate mousse cake|
|Inside the chocolate mousse cake|
What a wonderful meal! We were too full to have the petite fours so the waiter packed it away for us in a nice little box and they also gave us a copy of the menu to take home. Dinner at Waku Ghin was truly a once in a lifetime experience that we will treasure for the rest of our lives!
Highlight: The signature dish, Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar, is to die for!
Lowlight: There were really no lowlights. Eating at Waku Ghin was easily the most expensive meal I have ever had so it is not cheap. But it was very special indeed!
Overall: A special meal at a special venue. Top notch service, amazing food using only the finest ingredients in the world. One of the best meals I have ever had! 9.5/10 (Outstanding)