Review: New MBS restaurant Wakuda is Waku Ghin's more approachable sister

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·Lifestyle Editor
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There can never be enough Japanese restaurants in Singapore. Culinary maestro Tetsuya Wakuda and 50 Eggs Hospitality Group are well aware of the appetite of Singaporeans for Japanese fare, and have jointly created Wakuda, a modern Japanese restaurant in Marina Bay Sands Tower 2.

WAKUDA is located at Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Tower 2 (Photo: WAKUDA)
WAKUDA is located at Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Tower 2 (Photo: WAKUDA)

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A spin-off from wildly popular sister restaurant Waku-Ghin (months-long reservation may be required), Wakuda is the playful sister. The newly minted restaurant aims to provide a multi-faceted gastronomic experience, from à la carte and bar dining in its Main Dining Room and Bar, to a more private sushi room in an exclusive enclave.

WAKUDA's Main Dining Hall with a view of an evergreen (read: model) Maple Tree (Photo: WAKUDA)
WAKUDA's Main Dining Hall with a view of an evergreen (read: model) Maple Tree (Photo: WAKUDA)

Diners can look forward to savouring Chef Tetsuya's interpretations of Japanese classics in a diverse menu of appetisers, sashimi, sushi, tempura, as well as high-quality small plates of grilled items, rice bowls and cold soba – using seasonal harvest from Australia, Europe, Japan and New Zealand.

8 chefs hard at work behind the counters at WAKUDA (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
8 chefs hard at work behind the counters at WAKUDA (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

The restaurant prides itself on accessibility, despite its modern Japanese cuisine take. Tetsuya's mission for this restaurant is simple: "We want something for everybody.”

And, did the space and food seek to impress. Leaving it up to the chef, we were treated to some of the different items available on the extensive menu. Here's a preview.

Big Eye Tuna (S$32 for 4 pieces)

Editor's thoughts: How can a tuna, caviar and sea grapes combination ever let anyone down? Spoiler: It almost did. The toast was a tad more rubbery than crunchy, a little detail that warrants going back to the drawing board just for the delivery platform of the holy trinity of tuna, caviar and sea grapes.

Zuke-marinated loin of tuna served on a crisp, buttered wasabi mayonnaise toast, with pickled wasabi stem and smoky avruga caviar (smoked herring)
Zuke-marinated loin of tuna served on a crisp, buttered wasabi mayonnaise toast, with pickled wasabi stem and smoky avruga caviar (smoked herring)

Yuba (S$38)

Editor's thoughts: My dining partners' – a couple of Japanese journalists – echoing exclamations of "oishi!" aptly sum up the general feeling all of us had towards this particular dish. If there's a must-get dish, this is it.

Cradled in an elegant martini glass, the creamy artisanal yuba (fresh beancurd skin) from Kyoto is served with Hokkaido sea urchin, mountain caviar (tonburi), dashi gelee and myoga
Cradled in an elegant martini glass, the creamy artisanal yuba (fresh beancurd skin) from Kyoto is served with Hokkaido sea urchin, mountain caviar (tonburi), dashi gelee and myoga

Canadian Lobster (S$68)

Editor's thoughts: A tad more tart than I would have liked the dish to be. We got the tasting portions, but the actual portion is way larger.

Tender, lightly poached Canadian lobster is served with small dices of fresh lemon, shellfish vinaigrette and sea asparagus
Tender, lightly poached Canadian lobster is served with small dices of fresh lemon, shellfish vinaigrette and sea asparagus

Cold Soba (S$68)

Editor's thoughts: Definitely a crowd-pleaser. This too, was a tasting portion but I would have imagined the full portion to be good for sharing with a couple of girlfriends.

Perfectly al dente cold soba from Nagoya is tossed with tender botan shrimp in an aromatic truffle sauce, topped with a luxurious serving of Oscietra caviar, shaved brown mushrooms and juliennes of fresh white negi.
Perfectly al dente cold soba from Nagoya is tossed with tender botan shrimp in an aromatic truffle sauce, topped with a luxurious serving of Oscietra caviar, shaved brown mushrooms and juliennes of fresh white negi.

Three types of sushi (from S$15/piece)

Editor's thoughts: 10/10. This left me wanting more at the end of the plate.

Aburi Ora King salmon sushi – S$15++ per piece
Chutoro sushi– S$23++ per piece
Otoro sushi – S$38++ per piece
Aburi Ora King salmon sushi – S$15++ per piece Chutoro sushi– S$23++ per piece Otoro sushi – S$38++ per piece

Carabineros Prawns (S$43)

Editor's thoughts: Give me 10 more portions of the miso tarragon risotto please!

Served on a bed of bright-hued aka nori and ogo nori, the dish features sweet roasted carabineros served with miso tarragon risotto
Served on a bed of bright-hued aka nori and ogo nori, the dish features sweet roasted carabineros served with miso tarragon risotto

Charcoal Grilled Kagoshima Wagyu (S$108)

Editor's thoughts: Well-executed dish. The seasonal vegetables are comparatively light on the palate to not outshine the obvious star of the show. The soft garlic? More please!

Melt in your mouth, premium Kagoshima wagyu is carefully grilled over charcoal fire, served with smoked eggplant and grilled seasonal vegetables, such as Maitake mushrooms, Okinawa spinach, shishito, nagaimo (Chinese yam), and accompaniments of roasted garlic and freshly grated wasabi
Melt in your mouth, premium Kagoshima wagyu is carefully grilled over charcoal fire, served with smoked eggplant and grilled seasonal vegetables, such as Maitake mushrooms, Okinawa spinach, shishito, nagaimo (Chinese yam), and accompaniments of roasted garlic and freshly grated wasabi

Oh man, all these Japanese restaurants in Singapore are truly making me miss Japan. Flying to Japan? Check out these links for price comparison!

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Also, check out dining deals on Klook and Kkday!

Japanese Musk Melon from Shizuoka (S$28)

Editor's thoughts: Perfect end to the meal. Soft, light and easy on the palate.

World-renowned Japanese musk melon from Shizuoka Prefecture, Chef Tetsuya’s hometown, is served with refreshing Cointreau granita and a quenelle of fromage blanc sorbet, finished with a delicate candy tuile.
World-renowned Japanese musk melon from Shizuoka Prefecture, Chef Tetsuya’s hometown, is served with refreshing Cointreau granita and a quenelle of fromage blanc sorbet, finished with a delicate candy tuile.

Green Tea and Azuki Bean Terrine (S$25)

Editor's thoughts: What, there's more? A little heavy but matcha lovers will drown in happiness.

Quality matcha is naturally sweetened with white chocolate to form a custard-like terrine, studded with Japanese azuki beans and topped with house-made vanilla ice cream and a lace waffle
(Photo: WAKUDA)
Quality matcha is naturally sweetened with white chocolate to form a custard-like terrine, studded with Japanese azuki beans and topped with house-made vanilla ice cream and a lace waffle (Photo: WAKUDA)

Wakuda's House Special Miso Ice Cream (S$13)

Editor's thoughts: Not my first Miso ice cream, but the first miso paired with coconut ice cream. It's more umami than expected which puts my brain into overdrive, quite a feat for a dessert.

A dessert representative of WAKUDA’s culinary excellence with its simplicity and elegance, the Wakuda's House Special
A dessert representative of WAKUDA’s culinary excellence with its simplicity and elegance, the Wakuda's House Special "Soft Serve Miso Ice Cream" is a well-balanced creamy delight with notes of coconut and savoury white miso (Photo: WAKUDA)

Prices range from S$18++ for appetisers to S$38++ for small plates, while cocktails start from S$23++ per glass. Given the location and the restaurant's lineage, it’s not a high bar to enter the world of Tetsuya.

Wakuda is located at Marina Bay Sand Lobby, Tower 2, Bayfront Ave, 018972. Open six days a week from 5:00pm to 12:00am from Tuesdays to Sundays. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Call (65) 6688 9992, email wakuda.reservations@marinabaysands.com or book here.

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