May 8 2014

Waku Ghin


Waku Ghin is one of the best restaurants in the world. Located in Singapore, it is a Japanese restaurant, and currently ranked the 50th best restaurant in the world by the St Pellegrino awards. It is owned by Tetsuya Wakuda (Japanese born Australian chef) who owns another restaurant in Sydney which no longer features in the top 100 list. The name Waku Ghin is derived from two Japanese words: waku meaning to arise, and ghin meaning silver, in honour of Wakuda’s favourite colour. Waku Ghin is located just above the impressively large Marina Bay Sands casino, but in a quiet area so you don’t notice that there is a casino nearby. The restaurant is located on the first floor and is an oasis of calm once you step in. It is divided into small rooms where you and 2 other couples share your own table and a chef who cooks delicious dishes in front of you on a teppanyaki type of surface. The restaurant is small and only seats 25 people. Each dining room varies slightly in its style. There is one tasting menu from which you chose from, no a la carte.

The chef that was cooking for us during our visit was absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately I have forgotten his name, but he was from Malaysia and so sweet and extremely skilled. The first course we were given out of the 12 course menu was “kobujime of sayori with nanohana and Japanese strawberry”. Kobujime is a preparation technique for sashimi that was developed during the Edo period (1603-1867) and it uses uses kombu (edible kelp) to naturally extend the life of raw fish. Sayori is a very popular fish in Japan and it was served with nanohana (vegetable) and strawberries. Initially I was sceptical about the combination of fish with strawberries as that sort of sounds very wrong, but it was very delicious. When I was eating it and tasting the taste together, I thought it worked perfectly, and it is a skill of a great restaurant to make these sort of combinations work.

The second dish was “marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and oscietra caviar”, visually a very impressive dish as you were eating it out of a sea urchin shell on a plate of ice. Also they did give you a lot of caviar. Very much enjoyed it. The third course was “grilled anago with foi gras, confit of zucchini and sanshou” and anago is the Japanese word for a salt water eel and we got a small sushi like piece to eat and the eel was amazing. The next, fourth course, was one of their signature dishes “Tasmanian abalone with fregola and tomato” and I very much enjoyed the chef cook the abalone in front of us, this was the first dish where they started using the cooking surface in front of us. Our chef with extreme skill grilled and cooked the abalone and I am not a big fan of abalone, but when cooked like this it was delicious and definitely my preferred way of eating it. It was a great combination to eat the abalone with fregola pasta and tomatoes in a sort of stew.

The fifth course was “braised Canadian lobster with tarragon” and the couple next to us who were Australian asked the chef why they used Canadian not Australian lobster which was surely more easy to get to Singapore. The Canadian lobster, which looked amazingly fresh, was served in a French style of way in a sort of stew which you could dip the baguette type of bread into, once again a delicious dish. The next, sixth course, was another one of their signature dishes “charcoal grilled fillet of Tasmanian grass fed beef with Tetsuya’s wasabi mustard”, beautiful piece of beef, tender and which I thought melted in your mouth. But that is before I had tasted an even more amazing piece of meat from the next course “Japanese ohmi Wagyu from Shiga prefecture with wasabi and citrus soy” a beef which is the most tender I have ever tasted in my life. I could have eaten much more of it. Also I loved how it was served with wasabi and citrus soy and crispy garlic, these things went so well with the beef I am wondering why we don’t use them more often.

After our bigger main courses we had smaller soup based dishes to ease us from the main courses into desserts. It started with “somen with myoga and junsai” and somen are thin white Japanese wheat based noodles which were served with myoga 0r Japanese ginger and junsai, a sort of water vegetable. Not as impressive as the previous courses but a nice end to the meal. After this the chef asked us if we wanted a cold or a hot dish and most of us wanted a hot one but all of us did want to try the cold one too, so we were given both, “consomee with rice and snapper” and “gyokura”. The consommé which was the hot dish was much nicer than the cold one, so poor person that just chose the cold one. I liked the floating rice and snapper in there. The Gyokuro was just a green tea served cold.

After we had finished our main courses we were moved to a slightly bigger room with small tables, so sort of like a restaurant should be, with large windows overlooking the Marina Bay, where we had our desert. We managed to be there in the evening when it was dark and so got to see the beautiful light show whilst eating our dessert. The first course was “fresh strawberry with lychee granite and coconut sorbet” good and very tasty but a slight let down for me after the amazing food I had just had. I liked the other dessert much more “grin cheese cake” which looked like a beautiful fat candle, so perfect you don’t want to eat it. We also got petit fours and coffee and tea as part of our meal.

I had my best meal in Singapore in Waku Ghin. I loved the concept of chefs cooking in front of you, loved the food, and even though I have been to Japan and eaten in the best restaurants there, Waku Ghin was as good even though located in Singapore. The dishes were creative, ingredients fresh and everything delicious.

Date: 08/ 05/ 14
Location: Singapore
Price for 2 people with alcohol and 10% service charge: SGD 1224.08 (around £580)

Maija rated: 




Waku Ghin
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands 10 Bayfront Avenue, 018956
Waku Ghin Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 5