WAKU GHIN – A MUST GO FOR ANY FOODIE WHEN YOU ARE IN SINGAPORE
Waku Ghin opened in 2010 at the Marina Bay Sands but closed for renovation for 1 year 8 months before reopening again just in time for husband’s dinner.
This was my second time at Waku Ghin, but my husband’s first, and I could not wait to show him one of the best Japanese restaurants I’ver tasted in my entire life. I was here before with my parents in 2012, and it was delightful, untopped by any restaurant I had back home. And I wanted to see if it was as amazing as it was on my first time.
Reservation was smooth and a breeze. For foreign diners, you had to email them at email@example.com but they were quite responsive and only required a credit card to confirm the reservation.
The indescript minimalist restaurant can be found at the 2nd floor of the Marina Bay Shoppes. To get there, you have to take an elevator to the first floor, and then take a side elevator to the second floor where the restaurants are found.
They gave us the drink menu where drinks averaged SGD 25 each, still okay, and told us of the choice of two omakase choices —- the 7-course and the 10-course, priced at SGD 550 and SGD 700 per person respectively. The difference is one dish and the types of premium ingredients used for each of the courses.
We originally wanted the cheaper set but since it was husband’s 45th birthday, we’re like, “What the hell, might as well.”
The first course is the chawamushi with Tazmanian oyster over bacon and spinach puree.
The oyster tasted fresh, and was different from the smaller talabas we have at home. Good start, good start….
Then, the Japanese chef came out showing the fresh ingredients they will serve for the evening.
The Tazmanian abalone was still moving! Their signature dish was the shrimp and the sea urchin. We took a few photos before the tray was sent back to the back.
The next dish was a small salad, composed of the Sayori Nido fish, a long silver fish, which was served as fresh sashimi and then with strawberry dressing, promeganate, and yellow endive with flowers.
The nido fish was lukewarm, tastes mild fishy but still had a hint with of sweetness.
“This is good fish, not malansa!” husband commented. I tasted the strawberry. Actually, you can taste every flavor of the dish separately!
The third dish was their signature sea urchin with French caviar and Baton shrimp from Canada which is naturally sweet, served on a sea urchin shell beautifully laid atop ice.
The focus of this dish is via its key ingredients: the brineness of the caviar and the sweetness of the shrimp, and the freshness of the uni. Even afterwards, you can taste the uni and it’s really savory, taste buds opening. Ala carte wise, it’s SGD 150, so better order it with an omakase menu. Mas sulit!
The service is impeccable as servers would silently clean your mat, preparing it for the next dish. Each dish was explained with a smile and detail, informing diners how fresh the materials are.
The fourth dish and first sashimi was the Otoro, the belly part of the Bluefin tuna sashimi from Nagasaki with daikon and freshly grated wasabi.
Wasabi is not easy to grow as it requires constant springwater and a specific temperature but the chef prepares real wasabi in front of you, giving the experience a special touch.
The fifth dish was cold green soba, mix it up with freshly shaved French truffles and rich caviar, giving the dish an earthy feel.
“I normally don’t like cold noodle but this is good,” husband said. We finished every single bit of it. It’s noodles elevated.
The sixth dish was the red skinned Scarlet shrimp, or carabinero shrimp, cooked in front of you.
It’s just freshly grilled Carabinero shrimp with some salt, pepper and oil but the smell wafts deliciously.
The shrimp is soft and succulent, and the sauce definitely is not your regular butter garlic sauce! The essence of the shrimp is best eaten at its head, where most of their brains are, where you can taste the saltiness of the ocean.
The seventh dish is the Amadai fish, grilled in front of you like a steak. The final product is served with a light soup and mushrooms, dusted with grated orange skin for a touch of sweetness.
The skin is super crunchy and the fish is soft. When you cut through the Amadai, you can definitely hear the CRUNCH!
The eighth is the fresh abalone, seasoned and lightly grilled in front of you and served with sweet onions, home made dashi brown butter sauce and a full serving of Oscietra caviar.
The abalone was as soft as scallops, and you can’t help but finish the sauce, given its richness. Not leathery or rubbery at all.
The ninth dish was a Thorny head fish or Kinki, a fish from Hokkaido, with sushi rice, lightly seasoned with freshly grated wasabi.
It’s a savory finish to the fulfilling meal. Kinki is one of the fattiest fishes around, and is considered the Wagyu of fishes.
The tenth dish is the Japanese A5 Wagyu beef. Serve it with wasabi and Ponzu Saice.
“Don’t open it up so it will melt in your mouth,” the chef advised. He was right… It actually does.
“I want some more beef,” the husband whispered.
To finish, I had the Japanese thin noodle with cold dashi broth served with myoga and junsai while husband had the Chicken consomme with slice of snapper fish and Japanese steam rice.
We then drank a small glass of Japanese tea to cleanse the palate.
After our meal, we had our dessert at a different area, overlooking the Marina Bay Shoppes.
There were three desserts given:
The first was an Italian granita with Japanese musk melon, cheese sorbet and orange liquor decor.
The melon is slightly bitter but icy sweet. Interestingly, musk melons is known to be one of the most expensive fruits in Japan. Good to know what all the fuss is all about.
The second dessert is a vanilla chantilly with chestnut cream on top, served with pear mouse, chestnut ice cream and black currant sauce.
The next “singit” dessert is chocolate mouse with vanilla and macadamia. Happy birthday, my love!
Lastly, petit four small bites to end the meal —- yuzu jelly, hazelnut meringue and orange nama chocolate.
I wish this was a sponsored post but it was not. We paid for the entire meal in full, and the only reason why we went is because I wanted my husband to experience what I remember to be an amazing Omakase dining experience almost 10 years ago.
Surprisingly, Waku Ghin did not disappoint. To make everything more complete, here was the menu for tonight.
A good meal should definitely be an experience and Waku Ghin takes you to a delicate smorgasboard of fresh seafood of various tastes, leaving you always wanting for more. The tastes of each dish is perfect but laging kulang kasi after a few bites, you wished you had a bigger serving!
The service is notable. Kimi is a Japanese Filipino who explained to us every dish. They also had servers of different nationalities to explain the dish in other languages. Everyone was polite, professional and was quietly present.
Overall, you can’t help but privileged to have a very nice experience such as an omakase at Waku Ghin. At those price points, a meal at the 2-Michelin starred Waku Ghin is not something done often, but it is still something worthwhile to be done on very special occasions, with very special people.
P.S. The bathroom features Japanese toilets and warms your butt. Even visiting the bathroom is a treat.
If you can afford it, a trip to Waku Ghin is a must do for any authentic fine dining foodie. It’s a very rare treat but worthwhile to do at least once in a lifetime.
Location: Marina Bay Sands, L2-03 The Shoppes
Bar/Bar Dining: Daily from 5pm
Chef’s Table: Daily from 5.30pm