Saturday, May 14, 2011

Waku Ghin

Hi there. It's been a while since my last post. Yes, I have been busy, having just entered the kitchen full-time since my one year hiatus of studying then doing management in the office. (As much as I like sitting in front of the computer, and smiling and talking to customers, I prefer the kitchen. Anytime. Even though it can be really tiring.) Therefore YAY! to me. I have finally worked my way into the kitchen.

Before I get carried away on how wonderful my kitchen life is, I must share this particular dinner with you. It's Waku Ghin.

In case if you don't know, Waku Ghin is a Japanese-Australian-French, weighing more on Japanese, fusion restaurant, opened by celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda. "This first-class restaurant features a sake bar and caviar lounge, as well as an impressive, arcing display of the 3,000-bottle wine collection. A choice of intimate, private dining rooms, afford small parties the privilege of watching skilled chefs prepare food in front of them on steel cooking plates." It is located in Marina Bay Sands, on the second level of the casino building. (best to go a little earlier before your reserved time; it takes a bit of a trick to find your way up)

I am no stranger to Chef Tetsuya's style of cuisine, having eaten the degustation course at Tetsuya in Sydney and have liked it tremendously. Therefore, I was really looking forward to Waku Ghin.

The occasion was my dear mother's birthday.

There. That is my mum. She refuses to let me disclose her real age. Not even here. Well, definitely not here. Can you guess her age?

At the waiting lounge.

Ja and Kimmy (first and second from the right), my Le Cordon Bleu classmates (also two of my closest friends) who were visiting me, came to join us for this joyous occasion. Ja, of Beansprout Cafe, was one of my dining companions at Tetsuya. Kimmy, my bench mate in class, actually works in Tetsuya.
You can totally tell this is going to be fun.

And so, we were ushered into a long teppanyaki room where our grand degustation dinner was served.

In chronological order:

Flan of Oyster with Bacon and Spinach

My Favourite! To me, this soft chawanmushi coupled with a single cooked oyster and flavourful spinach and bacon pesto is perfect. The oyster is so skillfully cooked that even when warm to touch, still retains the texture that of a raw oyster.

Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar

My second favourite! A sea-urchin bowl of ocean richness swimming in the delicate flavours of umami. However, it got too rich for me towards the end. Alas! If only I had a bit of Japanese rice to go with, it would have been a perfect dish!

Grilled Anago with Foie Gras and Confit of Zucchini

Mains (prepared in front of us)

Tasmanian Abalone with Polenta, Tomato and Garlic Cream
These abalones (a type of marine snail) were very much alive and moving when presented to us. Then Chef Cory (our main chef for the night) went ahead to pan-fry them.

Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon

Like a reduced lobster bisque with an obscene amount of lobster meat, this dish was a wee bit overwhelming for me; there was too much salt in it. But man, the lobsters were succulent.

Charcoal Grilled Duck with Potato

Crisp duck skin with tender meat. Potato that has such fine texture that it gave way into mash the moment you chew on it.

Australian Blackmore Wagyu Roll with Wasabi, Citrus Soy Sauce and Grated Radish

Due to the radiation fears caused by the March 11 Japan earthquake, Waku Ghin switched their Japanese wagyu to an Australian variety, which was a little disappointing. I was so looking forward that awesome melt-in-your-mouth sensation! Nevertheless, the Blackmore was equally good though lacking that silky finish that you get from Japanese wagyu.

Condiments of sliced spring onion, crispy garlic slices and freshly grated wasabi.

By the way, you are free to ask the chef as many questions as you wish; like what kind of olive oil they use; why do you have to melt the butter first.. etc.

For example, I was intrigued by the wasabi grater that Chef Cory was using to grate our wasabi for the wagyu beef. The grater was very fine spikes and looked almost smooth. And most interestingly, the grated wasabi could come off the grater easily without leaving much stain on the grater. So I asked: what sort of grater is that? Turned out that it is a traditional sharkskin wasabi grater.

Consomme with Rice and Hirame

Palate cleanser

Gyokuro 玉露

A type of fine and very expensive tea from Japan that is grown under the shade rather than in full sun. Chef Cory explained that this tea requires a low brewing temperature of about 40℃, any higher it would release too much catechins and would result in a bitter taste.

The Gyokuro tastes like a salty seaweed broth with a sweet aftertaste. I like.

With Ja and Kimmy in the toilet. ha-ha.

Before dessert, we were given a VIP treatment- a kitchen tour (both inner and stage kitchens), courtesy of Kimmy since she is the pastry chef at Tetsuya.


Granita of Grapefruit with Chartreuse Jelly

Dark Chocolate Mousse with raspberry compote.

Petit Fours

With Chef Cory

The bill which is 2.5 times of my salary.

Farewell shot of the staff of Waku Ghin.



kim-chong said...

How wonderful time!

heartbreakkid said...

wow. almost 4k on the bill. may I ask how does sea urchin taste like?