Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wafu Ghin

I think it was when I turned 40.

That's when you start thinking about how you would like to live the rest of your life. It was the same year I thought about being more healthy (thus doing COHEN). Subsequently, I also did my bucket list.

Some items listed were of course places I wanted to see and some were places I wanted to EAT AT.

Honestly speaking, I am no culinary expert. I have only recently started trying out renowned restaurants. (michelin starred ones). For one, I could afford it now.. hahaha.

So, 40. I think by now I have reached some level of personal accomplishment to accord me the privilege of eating something pricey once in awhile and not feel guilty about doing so. (or am I just trying to justify my eating journey?)

So, WAKU GHIN by Tetsuya. It is said to be the #2 restaurant in Asia. (I have been to #3 and it was really disappointing… see previous post (HERE)

I was pinning my hopes that this time would be different. And wow. was it different. So different that I don't know if one blog post will be enough to tell it all.

I secured a reservation 1 month in advance since I was already forewarned that it was very hard to get reservations  because they only serve dinner and only have 2 seatings. one at 5:30 and one at 8pm. The restaurant only seats 25.


On the day of our dinner. We actually arrived earlier than our dinner reservations. So we walked around the Marina Bay

The room we were taken to was small and had only 6 seats (I saw other similar rooms following ours). In front of the chairs was a teppanyaki table. The waitress then introduced herself (she was actually Filipina) and asked for our drink (we ordered regular water since the meal was pricey already)

After all the guests were seated, a chef came out with a tray of ingredients. He introduced each and said these were what we were going to have for today.

*note that we weren't handed a menu so we had no idea what dishes we were having

First course: Flan of Oyster with puree of Bacon and Spinach

This was presented to us. (the couple beside us ordered wine and sake and at this point, was having a long conversation with the sommelier).

The tofu flan underneath had a nice neutral taste to it that blended with the salty taste of the oyster. That oyster was huge and the first course really was a winner.

2nd course: Marinated Botan Shrimp with sea urchin and Oscietra Caviar.

This one----- blew. me. away.

I was told this is their signature dish. It was decadent to say the least. The hint of saltiness of the caviar with the sweetness of the fresh sea urchin and the "bite" of the marinated shrimp was just amazing.

3rd course: eel with confit of zucchini and foie gras with fresh wasabi

When you see the picture, you would think its just eel but..

viola! helloooo foie gras. yum!

the eel was pillow soft.. the softest eel I have tasted in my life. I don't know how they did it. The fresh wasabi was not too strong like what we get at other japanese restos. It had just the right "oomph" to balance out the richness of the foie gras and eel.

4th course: Australian Abalone with fregola and tomato 

At this point , a youngish looking chef comes out and explains the dish. He will cook it in front of us. He also explains as he cooks that a low fire is needed to cook the abalone so as to keep it tender. The couple beside us interviews him on how he became a chef and he gamely answers us… giving a good banter on techniques of cooking and how he became a chef. It feel like you are eating at someone's home actually.

He mixes aoli paste and some dressing for the base of the dish. It is actually exciting to see him at work. How he plates everything together.

look at those abalone!!! (one for each of us!)

I have tasted abalone only in chinese restaurants. Always laden with heavy sauces… but this was different. It was abalone… italian style. The taste of the tomato and fregola pasta is something you would not expect of an abalone dish. It was fresh and light and very italian with its tomato and aoili

5th course: Braised Canadian lobster with tarragon

This was the lobster we were presented earlier… still moving its tentacles. Now, only the tails remained.

The lobster was braised for 10 minutes in front of us as we engaged with the chef with the chit chat. It was also served with bread that you could mop up the sauce of the lobster. Much like eating mussels. Slurp.. slurp .. slurp.. most notable of all the seafood dishes from the appetizer to the 5th course was the freshness of it without the fishy taste.

6th course: Charcoal Grilled fillet of tasmanian grass fed beef with tetsuya's wasabi mustard

The beef was very well done and tender. You might call it the perfect cooked beef. (I confess that at this point.. we were getting quite full already.)

The wait staff was very attentive although you hardly notice they were there. The water glass was filled as soon as you put down the glass.

wasabi mustard

7th course: Japanese ohmi wagyu from shiga prefecture with wasabi and citrus soy

This course was a interactive one in a way that you had to assemble the ingredients to form a roll. Also, the chef also grated the wasabi with a sharkskin grater. (He explained that this was so the wasabi didn't have a "metal" taste to it.) He even showed us the grater. WOW.
fresh wasabi grated in shark skin

The garlic chips inside the wagyu gave it crunch and the wasabi gave it some spice.

By the end of this course, we were then moved to the main dining room. (It was already 8pm and the next seating would be coming in. It felt like a intermission. we were seated with a view of the bay and the light show outside as a bonus.

We has a choice of a hot and cold dish (me and my husband chose one of each to get a taste of both)

Consomme with rice and snapper (my husband liked this)



Granita of kyoto grapes

This tasted so far from grapes--- I have to say It tasted more like "caimito" - a local fruit we had.

Musk melon with sauternes

Mont Blanc

Ghin cheesecake---This is a very light and airy cheesecake. one of the best I have tried since it tasted more like a mousse than a heavy cheesecake.
birthday cake for hubby

coffee tea and petit fours

One of the things that amazed me was the production. It was not a meal but a SHOW. There was suspense, the production of it all. Not knowing what will come next.

Tetsuya is a genius. The only way I can describe it was like going to see a broadway show. You not only eat food but have some kind of participation, interaction plus the element of surprise.

It was only in the end where you get the full menu of what you ate. Like memorabilia.

If you can splurge on a meal once in your life... I highly recommend eating at this place. hands down.. the best!


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