Dinner @ Waku Ghin

November 28, 2014 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Waku Ghin has been on my list of restaurants-to-try ever since celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda chose to open his second in Singapore in 2010. Taken from their website, Waku Ghin was derived from two Japanese words. Waku means to arise like water pouring forth from a hot spring, and Ghin to mean silver. Also chef Tetsuya’s favourite colour.

For this dinner, my newly made friend (waves to @felhuang) assisted to make reservation. =) And we were lucky to be slotted for the following week. Others had to wait 2 to 3 weeks.

Credit card was required to confirm the booking. After the phone call, the staff proceeded to send an email where we needed to return the confirmation form via email or fax. Not taking beef, it was also at this stage where we highlighted our dietary restriction. Do be careful of the cancellation fee though. $400 (which is also the full cost of the 10-courses degustation meal) is charged for no show or for cancellation after 6pm one day prior to booking. So I say, even if sick also must turn up!

There’re 2 seatings. One at 5.30pm, and the second at 8pm. We went for the earlier one.

Overlooking the casino, Waku Ghin was located right at the end of the long corridor. And the staff was smart to have used that to their advantage. They must have figured we were heading to Waku Ghin after we walked past a certain point of the corridor. So it was magical as they pulled the door open for us when we were 5 steps away from the entrance.

We waited at the bar for a short while before we were led to 1 of the 4 private dining rooms. Also know as the chef’s kitchen.

We knew we were in very good hands of the staff as they pulled the chairs for us, provided hooks to hang our bags, etc. And we kick started our seafood omakase with the chef showing us a tray of ingredients which was to be used for dinner.

And with that, we started our dinner:-

1) Carpaccio of tuna with bitter salad (above) – Served with ponzu dressing, this was refreshing. (Although I noticed the other couple in the same room as us were served fresh oysters)

2) Marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and oscietra caviar (above) – Using kita murasaki uni, this is the dish which most, if not everyone, come for. So beautiful visually. And to tuck in, we were told to use the mother of pearl spoon. Of which I was not surprised that Waku Ghin paid attention to details such as using pearl spoon, which was to avoid oxidation so as not to alter the taste of these delicate, high quality caviars! But eating this dish sure was a challenge. I was struggling not to let any of the precious balls drop out as I tried to get a bit of the 3 ingredients onto my spoon. Ha!

3) Grilled kinme from Shizuoka prefecture with puree of capscium (above) – This was good, although if I had to choose, this was my least favourite of the entire meal.

4) Puree of potato with soft poached egg, white truffle and oscietra caviar (above) – This would be a seasonal item. It being the white truffle season, I am so glad the chef decided to pair it with egg and a spoonful of caviar that’s hidden under the shaved truffles. So good!

5) Tasmanian abalone with aonori (above)

6) Braised Canadian lobster with tarragon (above) – And a lot of effort was put into this dish. Our chef started works on this after our 3rd dish, only for it to be ready as the 6th dish. Not that we are complaining. I enjoyed watching the chef in action. It was not just a dining experience where we tucked into the food. It was also watching a performance as the chef made every (elaborated) move with an intention. We were also given bread to soak the broth. My friend thought there was a little too much garlic, but the broth worked out well for me.

7) Charcoal-grilled Tasmanian petuna ocean trout with marinated witlof (above) – Our 7th dish was supposed to be a beef dish. But because we don’t take beef, our dish was replaced with ocean trout. Our chef did mention (at the start of the dinner) that the ocean trout could be served raw (carpaccio) or grilled. But we left it to his good hands to decide which was better, and the seared ocean trout certainly did not disappoint.

8) Somen with myoga and junsai (above, top most) – For this course, we were given the option to choose between noodle, rice or have a small portion of both. And of course we went with small portion of both. Ha!

9) Consomme with rice and snapper (above) – I liked how light the clear soup was. Really good. And I felt it was brilliant that they fed us with the warm porridge after the cold noodle.

10) Gyokuro (above) – And to end the savoury portion of our dinner, the chef did a tea ceremony where gyokuro tea leaves were brewed before us. Don’t underestimate this small cup. Gyokuro is a rare and expensive tea from Kyoto!

We were then led to the lounge area where we enjoyed our desserts. Service was so good that they even carried our bags for us. I felt guilty cause my bag was really heavy with my laptop in it. Oops. And I really felt it was a good idea to house us at a separate area where we could sink into the sofa as we had our cakes and petits fours! We were given the window seats where we were even in time to catch the 15 minutes long Wonderfull (a light and laser show) at 8pm. Although the show was nothing much, but it was still a value-added to the entire dining experience. Ha.

11) Musk melon (above) – Fruits would be 1 of the 2 types of dessert served.

12) Montblanc (above) – Cake being the second type of dessert, we were given mont blanc. Actually this was a request we made during reservation. And it was really good. I seriously loved this. Even the chestnut was infused with alcohol. Other signature cakes of Waku Ghin’s include ghin cheesecake (a light lemon curd cheesecake).

13) Petits fours (above) – Raspberry macaron, orange chocolate gateau (not too sure if this is the right word), meringue with hazelnut, yuzu jelly and raspberry bon bon. If one is too full, these petits fours can also be packed in a box. But the variety of these would differ if one have the petits four at the restaurant and bringing them home.

14) Coffee or tea (above) – I opted for latte.

15) White truffle floating island, $60 (above) – Having read about this dish and knowing that it’s only available during the truffle season, we just had to order 1 portion as a-la carte to share. And yes, it’s a truffle-everything dish where even the ice cream was truffle!

I won’t lie. $400 (before GST and service charge) per person for the omakase is a big amount to splurge for a meal. It took me 4 years of pondering before I came. Ha. Food was definitely good. But what set Waku Ghin apart from other fine dining restaurants was the experience. It was not just a dinner of great food, top notch service, with attention paid to the smallest details like giving us wet chopsticks so that the rice won’t stick to our chopsticks (although we did not have any rice dishes). Rather, we were also watching a performance where the chef carried intention in every moves he made. The way he stirred the sauce in the pot, etc. Although it’s to note that the chef was not always at the counter since some of the dishes were prepared in the kitchen.

And for fans of fine dining, it’s almost like “What’s fine dining if you have not tried Waku Ghin?” (^^lll)

But good news is that Waku Ghin has a bar menu (pages 1, 2) where one can enjoy drinks with food that’s more affordable. Easier on the wallet in the sense where one can order food by dishes rather than having to order an entire set (as with our dinner). There’s a ‘sea urchin set on vinegared rice with caviar’ ($90) that sounds interesting.

So yes, Waku Ghin certainly delivered. It’s definitely a place worth coming if one wishes to splurge. Like seriously splurge. And since I am no high roller, I am satisfied with this one visit. =)

10 Bayfront Ave, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Atrium 2, #02-01, Singapore
6688 8507, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 17:00 & 20:00 (Dinner Seating)
Ambience: 9
Mon – Sun : 17:30 – 02:00 (Bar)
Value: 8
Service: 9

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.

UPDATE 3: Restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.