October 26, 2016

Waku Ghin By Tetsuya Wakuda @ Marina Bay Sands, MBS ~ An Awesome Dining Experience At The 1-Michelin Star Modern Japanese Restaurant

My first glimpse into the culinary world of Waku Ghin by celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda wasn't at the restaurant itself, but at its dessert outpost, Patisserie Platine.

Even then, I have been thinking about visiting the award-winning, 1-Michelin Star modern Japanese establishment for the longest time. It is reputed to be one of the very best top fine-dining restaurants in Singapore.

What held me back initially? The hefty $400++ tag for a 10-course degustation dinner. Ouch!

And also, not many friends are willing to part with that kind of money for a meal. But when I have someone who is just as keen and we finally decided to go together, the price had already increased to $450++! Ouch! Ouch!

Morale of the story: Why wait? Should just go when the heart and tummy desires.

The meal turned out to be one of the most awesome I ever had.

Per what is stated on their website: The name 'Waku Ghin' is derived from two Japanese words: 'Waku' meaning to 'arise' (like water pouring forth from a hot spring) and 'Ghin' meaning 'silver',

Silver is Chef Tetsuya's signature color, and can be seen throughout the 8,000 square foot space which features an intimate bar, three private cocoon rooms and a main dining room.

Two seatings for dinner are offered at 5.30pm and 8pm. We opted for the earlier session.

We were in high anticipation awaiting for the magic to unfold as we were ushered to one of the private cocoon room (which we shared with three other diners). It's where the main show takes place, each helm by assigned chefs.

The setup is not unlike a teppanyaki bar where an iron griddle takes centrestage, albeit with a rather sombre ambience. There was a no-nonsense aura surrounding our main chef as he went about showing us the season's best produce.

It kind of set the tone for the rest of the evening as we "obediently" sat in our seats while the food is prepared and served to us course by course. Okay, I admit, I'm not that obedient. I got up when my camera got excited for some clicking actions lol :p

There is no fixed menu per se, as dishes will vary depending on ingredient's availability and if patrons have any dietary restriction.

Our meal commenced delightfully with Tataki of Tuna with Orange & Soy Caramel.

Before I could even get over the joy of how much I enjoyed the lightly-seared fish with bright, citrusy notes, Waku Ghin's signature dish, Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin & Oscietra Caviar, was brought out.

It was served in the sea urchin shell, and with a mother-of-pearl spoon, no less, which is traditionally essential to preserve the delicate form and flavor of caviar.

Oh my goodness! That burst of fresh juiciness from the shrimp! That sweet, creamy uni! Those little pearls of sturgeon roe!

The way each component interacts perfectly to give that sensation in the mouth was indescribable. Can I say it was spoonfuls of edible happiness? Certainly hit the G(astronomic) spot!

And that was only the second course. Every dish that followed, including the Pan-Fried Fillet of Ayu with Daikon & Fennel, as well as Warm Salad of Abalone with Asparagus & Chinese Olive, were just as arresting.

The Purée of Potato with Soft Poached Egg, Manjimup Winter Truffle & Oscietra Caviar was easily one of our favorites. It was many loves gathered in one bowl. We named it "The unforgettable taste of decadent deliciousness".

Some of the dishes were already prepared in the kitchen and brought out, while most were cooked or at least plated before our eyes. The meal was engaging in this sense, with every moment filled with gustatory and visual treats.

By the time the Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon was placed in front of us, we were more ready than ready to tuck into that utterly aromatic broth made of lobster bisque, tarragon and butter. Every sip was an umami bomb! Those huge chunks of lobster meat were wondrously fresh and succulent.

I wanted to lick the bowl clean. What sorcery is this?

It must be a more blessed night than usual as there was not one, but two beef dishes (I love beef!)! One Australian. One Japanese.

While the Charcoal Grilled Cape Grim Ribeye Beef with Tetsuya's Wasabi Mustard was enjoyable with a generous shower of freshly-shaved truffles, it was the superbly-marbled Japanese Ohmi Wagyu from Shiga Prefecture with Wasabi & Citrus Soy that captured our wholly affection with each luscious, moreish chew.

Totally sublime!

By this time, we were thoroughly impressed with each dish that was served.

Even the Steamed Rice with Snapper, Consommé which was deceptively simple in appearance, proved to be intriguing in taste the moment it hit our tongues.

Though the broth looked clear and light, it was highly flavorsome. The combination with rice and fish was familiar and comforting, but this dish certainly showcased a notable difference in quality that is much superior when compared to what we had in other restaurants before.

We also had a taste of Gyokuro, which is considered to be one of the rare and highest grade of green tea.

What makes Gyokuro special is that the plant is grown under shade cover. With less exposure to sunlight, it results in leaves that are mild and sweet in flavor, with less astringency. Only the young leaves are harvested. The tea has to be brewed with a lower than usual temperature in order to bring out the best of its delicate taste.

I must say it was indeed a tea like no other. There was only the slightest bitterness, with a very unique savory sweetness aftertaste to it.

We were then escorted to the main dining hall which overlooks the gorgeous Marina Bay.

This is where our desserts were served. First up was the Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey Ice Cream with Lemon Granita & Gin Jelly, followed by Wild Strawberry with Lavendar Honey Cream.

Both desserts were light and invigorating, just what we need to refresh our palate after the scrumptious meal.

Not forgetting the assortment of Petit Four too.

It was also at this point when we were each presented with a personalized menu indicating the exact dishes which we had earlier.

After the entire dining experience, I can understand why a meal at Waku Ghin is priced as such.

True, it doesn't come cheap but considering the quality of food, its attention to details and impeccable level of service, it is worth every cent. Worth the splurge. Worth every calories.

The focus here is not on gimmicky or theatrical fare, just straightforward goodness which focus on premium produce and precision of execution. What we had were flawless!

Just take my money!

Waku Ghin

Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, #02-01, Level 2 Dining, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
Contact: +65 6888 8507
Website: http://www.marinabaysands.com/restaurants/celebrity-chefs/waku-ghin.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wakughin/
Opening Hours: Daily Dinner, Two Seatings at 5.30pm & 8pm

Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST (3) Correct at point of published date.

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