Saturday, 31 July 2010

Binge - Tetsuya's New Restaurant Waku Ghin Opens at Marina Bay Sands

When I met Tetsuya a few months back to do an interview for a magazine, I was very pleasantly surprised by how unpretentious he is, yet his PR is super slick. Easy going and mild mannered, he gives you his full attention when you talk to him, and makes you feel you’re the most interesting conversationalist ever. And despite his fine dining credentials, one of his favourite eateries in Singapore, he tells me, is Turtle House at Geylang where he has been frequenting with his other equally illustrious chef friends for years. He’s been visiting Singapore so often that he says he feels pretty much at home here, and he can rattle off the places he likes for bak kut and other hawker food. That’s real cute for a guy who’s one of the most famous chefs in the world, and when I called him a ‘celeb chef’ to his face, he gets bashful and says, “But I am just a cook.”

Well, Waku Ghin, his new fine dining restaurant in Singapore, is finally open, taking up a huge 8000 square feet in Marina Bay Sands. But most of this space is taken up by his kitchen, which he’s real chuffed about cos it’s the biggest kitchen he has. There’s still room for guests, of course, and he serves up dining with a difference – you move from room to room according to your courses….a little like gastronomic musical chairs. Starting from the lounge for pre-dinner drinks, diners move from room to room to “experience the art of skilled chefs preparing food for each group personally”. You then move on to the main dining room or drawing room to relax over desserts, coffee and digestifs, with a floor-to-ceiling view of the Singapore skyline to boot.

Be warned there’s only 25 seats here…though he did clarify that the 25 seats refer to each room or course. The group of 25 guests moves from room to room, so once that group moves on to the next room, the next group of 25 will occupy the first room just vacated…..

Open for dinner only, there’s no a la carte menu – just a 10-course degustation serving up Tetsuya’s Euro-Japanese cuisine including signatures like Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Caviar and Australian Wagyu with Wasabi and Citrus Soy.

We aim to present a layered series of delicate tastes, textures, smells and appearances that build upon one another,” said Chef Tetsuya. “We have created a dining experience that is intimate yet lively, one that allows diners to linger and leaves them with the desire to return for more.”

The restaurant is at Casino Level 2, but non-gamblers can access it by The Shoppes, and its closed on Mondays.  
- Ee Waun


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