Friday, March 16, 2012


Bang. Probably the most expensive meal I've ever had. By the time you add in decent booze, service, tax, etc, etc, you're up for around SPD$1k. Per person.

I've been super curious about this place since it opened. There are probably two commonly and mutually inclusive opinions held regarding Tetsuya's in Sydney:
1. There's no denying it was one of the most influential restaurants in terms of Sydney/Australian fine dining.
2. It's probably slipped a bit in recent years as its peers have pushed on from strength to strength.

So I find myself in the bullshit exorbitant casino cum hotel cum tourist-dollar-draining destination that is the Marina Bay Sands "facility" for Tets' omakase cum tepanyaki joint.

We start with two perfect oysters with finger limes, then move on to the above, sea urchin with marinated shrimp and osetra caviar. The signature dish of sorts. It's exactly as incredible as you think.

The restaurant is split into quasi private rooms that seat 4-6 people and have a dedicated chef that presents the food, cooks it, explains it, etc.

Our personal chef is first involved with the Alaskan king crab, steamed on a bed of rice with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. Incredibly good crab, cooked perfectly.

Chef also smashes the Canadian lobster dish out of the park before we're presented with some squab (pigeon) with foie gras and black truffle risotto. Ridiculous combination of flavours, let down slightly by the temperature of the squab, which is starting to cool a little.

Wagyu heralds the return of chef, who cooks up the ridiculously marbled beef very quickly over the grill with a little seasoning. There's no real surprise that it melts in the mouth and freakin' explodes with flavour.

We finish with a chicken consomme with rice and snapper (great) and a glass of gyokuro green tea, which is served luke warm to emphasise the texture and flavour of the tea (also great).

With savoury out of the way we move into the sitting room for desserts of a blueberry cheesecake and a chocolate mousse cake.

Service is very good throughout, finding the balance between chatty and formal, depending on what the guest wanted.

Prices, as I mentioned above, are insane. It's $450 (I think) just for food, excluding tax, service charge and beverages. Without a matching wine offering you also have the opportunity to overorder on the booze, with a decent sake list offering significant temptation (the wine list I found a bit dull and in need of some more obscure/interesting choices).

My only gripe was that the meal felt a bit quick. Despite being in the chef's room for most of the meal, the chef only prepared 4 of the 10 courses in front of us and once it got going, it stopped. I left feeling quite full, but I think that perhaps a bit more time in the chef's room with an additional two or three courses would have been perfect.

Overall though, this dining concept absolutely smashes Tetsuya's Sydney offering. The experience is more visceral and engaging, whereas the Sydney restaurant is just one of many offering a similar thing. I understand that there are barriers to delivering something similar in Sydney, but perhaps there is a middle ground that can be found.

Waku Ghin
L2, Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave

No comments: