Since it first opened in 2010, Waku Ghin by celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda has continued to impress with skilfully executed cuisine made from the freshest ingredients. The 25-seater restaurant features four private dining rooms, each with its own teppan counter where a dedicated chef prepares food on the hotplate in front of the diners.
Items in the 10-course modern European-Japanese repertoire change daily, with the exception of a few signature items such as the marinated raw botan shrimp with creamy sea urchin, topped with Oscietra caviar. Other dishes for the evening include the delicately sweet belt fish from Shizuoka, pan-seared until the skin is golden brown. This is teamed with spinach from Okinawa and foie gras, which lends a touch of fattiness to the dish. Next, a wobbly poached egg is served with silky potato puree and a pearl spoonful of Oscietra caviar, then topped with liberal shavings of black Perigord truffles. Sublime.
The indulgence continues with plump grilled Hokkaido scallops served with fregola in a stock of bonito and tomatoes. Marbled slices of ohmi wagyu from Japan’s Shiga prefecture are lightly seared and brightened with citrus soya and grated wasabi, whose slight tartness and gentle heat respectively complement the buttery beef nicely. The last savoury course is a choice of cold somen or warm ochazuke. We pick the former and relish every bite of the delicate noodles. Finally, a cup of gyokuro, a highly prized green tea, is served. We take a moment to appreciate the savoury, almost umami, flavours.
Service is polished, unobtrusive and thoughtful – upon noticing after the first course is served that my dining companion is left-handed, the table settings are corrected accordingly.
For dessert, we are ushered to the main dining hall to enjoy a refreshing peach and lychee granita. This is followed by a jasmine mousse with fragrant kumquat and dark chocolate sorbet, bringing the lovely evening to a close.