Tag Archives: MBS

Waku Ghin’s signature sea urchin with botan shrimp and Oscietre caviar

Tetsuya Wakuda is one of my favourite chefs from my visits to Tetsuya’s in Sydney – back in Rozelle and also when it moved to Kent Street. I have always admired his ability to pair pure and distinct flavours so beautifully. I finally got to go to Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands this week, and what a treat it was.

Your meal is served primarily in small 8-seater rooms in front of a teppanyaki grill and with your personal chef for the evening. Counter seating is always my preference – it gives you an opportunity to talk to the chef, see the produce, watch him cook, and also sneakily take a peek at what others are ordering to inspire you to try new things.

With a set 10-course degustation menu, you don’t get the chance to do the latter, but we did get a preview of the first course from the other couple who were seated in our room and who had arrived before us. By the third course, the team at Tetsuya had deftly managed to catch the four of us up so we were all served the remaining savoury courses at the same time.

Chilled white asparagus soup with white miso and Oscietre caviar

We started with a chilled cream of white asparagus soup with white miso cream and Oscietre caviar. What a way to start a meal. The soup was so silky and so full of flavour of the delicate white asparagus you really wished there was more (that was the common theme for all the dishes during the evening, actually).

Second was Waku Ghin’s signature dish – marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and Oscietre caviar, stunningly presented in a half shell of sea urchin. To be eaten with a mother-of-pearl spoon, you are recommended to eat every mouthful with a bit of all three, and with each you get the sweetness of the prawn and sea urchin and the explosion of saltiness from the caviar. This has got to be up there as one of my favourite dishes ever.

Slow-cooked John Dory with roasted eggplant

Third course was slow-cooked John Dory with roasted eggplant and a chicken stock reduction. Our chef explained to us how they made the chicken stock and the laborious and complex processes to ensure only the clean flavour of the chicken was extracted and reduced. An odd pairing with fish and eggplant, and I think the chicken stock reduction tied the dish together well.

Australian abalone with fregola, rocket, seaweed and tomato

Next up was fresh Australian abalone, simply seared on the teppan and served with fregola, tomato, rocket and seaweed. This was about as rare as I have ever had abalone, miles away from the more chewy abalone you usually get at Chinese banquets. This was fresh and succulent and sweet and presented in this way almost was like eating it straight from the sea.

Braised Canadian lobster with tarragon

Braised Canadian lobster came next, quintessentially French-style, in a stock made from the lobster shells, finished with butter and tarragon. Again, the lobster was cooked so that it was just to the point past being raw, allowing the sweetness and the tenderness of the lobster to shine.

The beautifully marbled Japanese Ohmi wagyu roll

Two beef dishes followed. The first was charcoal grilled fillet of Tasmanian grass-fed  beef with Tetsuya’s own-brand wasabi mustard. The chef seared these in front of us on the teppan before slicing them into bite-sized pieces of beef so tender you felt that you could cut it with a butter knife. Nothing fancy here, just a fillet of beef on your plate and tasted great with or without the wasabi mustard.

Japanese Ohmi wagyu roll with wasabi and citrus soy

Japanese Ohmi wagyu roll from Shiga Prefecture came next. Just looking at the gorgeous marbling on the raw beef filled the room with oohs and aahs. I think it was because we knew that that marbling would be melt-in-the-mouth flavour once cooked. It was served with freshly-grated wasabi, fried garlic slices, thinly sliced Japanese negi and a citrus soy dipping sauce. Similar to the fillet, I tried the beef on its own and then with a little bit of all the condiments and in this instance, the inclusion of everything made the marvelous wagyu sing in your mouth.

Consommé with rice and snapper

Final savoury dish was a consommé with rice and snapper followed with a palate-cleansing cup of gyokuro, tea made from green tea that has been grown in the shade. A touch of yuzu zest to the consommé lifted the dish making it a clean and refreshing end to the meal. And the tea, which was brewed with water at just 40C had a distinct savoury, seaweed flavour. Absolutely perfect example of umami.

Selection of exquisite petit fours to end a perfect meal

We were almost sad to be moved out of our private dining area to a more traditional dining area to eat have our final two courses of dessert – mostly because it was an indication that the meal was coming to its end. I have to be totally honest and say that Tetsuya’s desserts have never wowed me the same way his savoury dishes do, and this was no different. We were served a cold soup of strawberry with lychee and coconut and what turned out to be my birthday cake, a milk chocolate cake with caramel and citrus. Both were delicious – as were the petit fours, but my memory of Waku Ghin is firmly, and happily, within the walls of the private dining room.

Waku Ghin
Casino Level 2
Access lifts located:
B1 & Opposite ArtBox at Level 1
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 8507

Open for lunch on Fridays 11.30am – 1.30pm
Dinner two seatings 6pm and 8.30pm


Cut Singapore

The insanely good bone marrow flan 

Wolfgang Puck’s Cut Singapore is our new favourite restaurant if we’re in the mood for a great steak.

They’ve really managed to get it right. Dark modern interiors, competent and fun staff, incredibly good produce cooked phenomenally well.

Our favourites:

THE BONE MARROW FLAN. My friend C said she would go there just for this dish alone and you know what, I would do it too. I love bone marrow but can understand why some people are a bit terrified of the gelatinousy goodness. This dish would seriously convert anyone. Executive chef Joshua Brown has incorporated the bone marrow into a silky light custard that’s served in the bone, with an intense mushroom marmalade and capers and with a fresh parsley salad. Perfection on a plate.

Blue fin tuna tartare, with avocado, wasabi aioli, ginger, togarashi crisps and tosa soy.  OK so this isn’t exactly steak but I tried it on the firm recommendation of D, who convinced me by ordering it on three occasions. The Blue Fin is farmed, which is great from a sustainability perspective and doesn’t lack in flavour which is doubly great. It’s a piece of artwork when it arrives at your table and is almost so pretty you don’t want to mess up the plate (but inevitably do). Wonderfully simple, clean flavours.

The meat tray with my Japanese wagyu steak

Cut serves true Wagyu beef from the Shiga Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. The marbling in the beef is an absolute marvel – you just  know will give that succulent melt-in-your mouth texture with that explosion of flavour. And you get to select your steak from a meat tray which the waiters will happily walk you through.

For those of you who are not wagyu converts, Cut also serves a variety of beef from Australian Angus to USDA prime to  and even Australian and American wagyu. Try the bone-in cuts – the flavour of the marrow seems to permeate the beef and as you get to the meat near the bone it always seems more tender and tasty.

Cut Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
 Tel: +65 6688 8517
Only open for Dinner:
6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday – Thursday
6 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday & SaturdayBar & Lounge
Opens at 5:30 p.m., nightly

HY California

The very dramatically presented soft shelled crab maki at HY California

Wanting to catch a light bite while at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Conference Centre, I went in search of Hide Yamamoto’s HY California sushi bar.  The mall is absolutely enormous, and very poorly signaged (it didn’t help that the interactive shopping guides were all out of order) so it took us a while to find the sushi bar, which is outside the mall, facing the marina.

Tuna and squid sashimi

HY California really functions as a bar, that happens to serve sushi for you to snack on while you drink.  Kind of cool, reminds me of a rainy day my friends and I spent holed up in a robotayaki in Tokyo, where we basically sat and drank sake all day, with food ordered and served from the grill as and when we wanted.

The very friendly sushi chef behind the counter who took our order had just arrived from Japan, didn’t speak very much English, nor was he familiar with the menu. We ordered with another chef and shortly after, our dishes started arriving.

California roll

The menu is limited, but as I always say, a short menu usually means that what they offer, they do well. Nothing fancy, and we ordered our “standard” sushi – soft shelled crab maki, tuna sashimi, spicy tuna rolls. Everything was fresh and delicious, although the rolls could have had a bit more firmness so the journey from plate to mouth wasn’t as messy (and my chopstick skills are pretty good!).

Tuna and avocado maki

I know this isn’t Yamamoto’s flagship restaurant – it’s casual dining, but it’s not at all what I expected, and the whole American rock feel of the place seemed to clash rather than complement the traditional sushi counter.  Would I go back again ? Not really sure. There are certainly other places I would much rather go to, but around the Marina area, I guess if I wanted a fresh and quick sushi hit.

HY California
Bay Level, L1-86
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: 6688 7426

Open Daily 5.30pm – 11pm (last order 10.30pm)