Review: Waku Ghin

Sayori with Nanohana and Japanese Strawberry
So much have been said about Waku Ghin and Chef Tetsuya Wakuda that I am not sure what else I can add, except to say that Waku Ghin was a great dining revelation. It was indeed every foodies' dream come true. I like that the chef stayed true to the ingredients and kept the cooking techniques, seasoning simple and almost minimalistic. It takes a fair amount confidence and humility to let the ingredients speak for themselves. Every dish was thoughtfully executed and delicately plated (well, the staff was on their best behaviour given that Chef Tetsuya was in the house). An enlightening and delicious experience! 

The first course (out of 10!) was a refreshing surprise. The show stealer was the strawberry and pepper vinaigrette which brings out the sweetness of the bland sayori. Who would have thought strawberry, vinegar and pepper would have gone so well together.

Marinated Botan shrimp with sea urchin and Oscietre caviar
It is impossible not to like this dish when the umami savoriness of the sea urchin and caviar complements the plump sweet botan ebi ever so beautifully.

Gilled Anago with Foie Gras and Confit of Zucchini
Another unexpected pairing - Delicate sea eel with rich fatty foie gras and crunchy zucchini

Alaskan king crab legs 

Steamed over a bed of sea salt

Steamed Alaskan crab with Lemon scented olive oil

We really enjoyed having the chef prepare the crabs teppanyaki-style in front of us. Adds to the drama of the evening. The crab was so ever so lightly salted and drizzled over with a lemon oil which let the clean briny flavour of the meat to shine through

Canadian Lobster

Braised Canadian lobster with Tarragon

I really enjoyed the rich, aromatic, and robust bisque that the lobster was gently braised in. Usually I would avoid tarragon with seafood given its rather overpowering aniseed (or licorice) flavour, but once again, Tetsuya made it work. 

Japanese charcoal grilled fillet of Tasmanian grass-fed beef with Tetsuya's Wasabi mustard

What a treat to have Chef Tetsuya himself join us at the table during the meat (beef) courses! In his words, "with the Tasmanian grass-fed beef, you have the taste of meat....and with wagyu, you have the taste of fat" and he executed both meats to perfection. For the grass-fed beef, he finished off the grilled fillet with soya sauce on the teppan grill and that aroma of the caramelized soya sauce was just amazing. The beef was served as it is, no fancy garnishes or heavy sauces, but when you bite into the tender meat smeared with just a tad of the sweet wasabi Dijon mustard (served on the side), it all makes sense. Ahhh!

Ohmi Wagyu from Shiga Prefacture - look at the marbling

Ohmi Wagyu roll with Wasabi and Citrus Soy

The wagyu was top-notch. Ohmi is one of Japan's top 3 wagyu (following Kobe and Matsusaka) reared from cattle in the Shiga prefecture. Having said that, served with ponzu sauce, garlic chips, wasabi and spring onions, the dish was less inspired than the others but still stellar.

Consomme with rice and Snapper

Always a great way to round off a heavy Japanese meal - earthy broth with a succulent slice of snapper and rice. 

Granita of grapefruit with Chartreuse jelly

Not sure what to make of our first dessert except that it was citrusy. Didn't get any hint of the 130 herbs which went into distilling the Chartreuse liqueur but it was overall a good palate cleanser

Salted sable with Tasmanian leatherwood honey cream
I am told that leatherwood honey is a delicacy as the nectar is collected solely from the Tasmania leatherwood plant. Well, it is certainly very different from the floral honey I am used to. Leatherwood honey has a distinctive deep smokey scent that is an acquired taste. So despite liking the crumbly, melt-in-your mouth sable, I am not a fan of this one. Much prefer the petit fours

~ Sharon

Waku Ghin
Marina Bay Sands
Casino Level 2
Tel: 6688 8507

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