Waku Ghin emphasises the Japanese heritage of Japan-born Australian celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda, with four private dining rooms centred on the teppanyaki (Japanese hotplate) and serving modern Japanese cuisine. The dishes in the 10-course experience change every day, with the exception of a couple of signature items. Part of the ritual is for the chef to present the fresh ingredients that will be used for your dinner; our Canadian lobster is alive but not for long!
One signature dish that is instantly recognisable as a Tetsuya Wakuda masterpiece is the marinated sweet, raw botan ebi served in a sea urchin with its creamy roe and oscietra caviar. It’s a luxurious play of freshness and richness on the palate. The hata (a highly prized grouper) is cooked in shabu-shabu broth until just firm. The Hokkaido king crab legs are steamed on a bed of salt under a cloche, which really brings out the sea-sweetness of the crustacean.
The meal then moves up another gear with the braised Canadian lobster in tarragon jus – the firmness of the lobster meat and the potent sauce that we mop up with a bread roll are sublime. Consuming the two beef dishes that follow makes us feel like we are in heaven. The famed Cape Grim Tasmanian beef is charcoal-grilled and finished off with soya and mirin, while the Japanese Ohmi wagyu from Shiga prefecture is simply seared and seasoned with salt and pepper; wasabi and citrus soya are served on the side.
We adjourn to the main dining room, which offers views of Marina Bay and the Fullerton Heritage Precinct. We pick the cold somen with myoga (Japanese ginger) and junsai (water shield plant) to end the savoury journey. We are served gyokuro, a highly regarded green tea, which is grown in shade for two weeks before harvest.
The two desserts – Japanese musk melon with Cointreau granite and fromage blanc sorbet, and the glossy ganache-coated chocolate mousse with vanilla and macadamia – bring the experience to a very sweet and complete ending.
L2-01, Level 2 Dining, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, S(018956)