Dear Tetsuya Wakuda,
I am still in awe from this evenings, most beautiful private dining experience at Waku Ghin.
It is the first time I have had the pleasure of dining here and it certainly won’t be the last. Your 10 course European-Japanese degustation menu was out of this world, I mean lip-smackingly divine. To also witness a chef cook so gently, with finesse and constantly wearing a smile was a delight.
As a newbie to real private dining, this was spellbinding and the air of mystery around what’s coming next? really did captivate me. Each dish was explained right from the beginning, starting with the raw ingredients, then cooked right infront of us, with pride. As someone who is renowned for asking a lot of questions, it was a great opportunity to ask the Chef anything we needed to know, what an opportunity to learn!
We had a reservation for the 8pm sitting which I believe to have been the best time. We were the first in our private room to be seated, we had full Chef attention and no idea what dish was coming next. I believe that if you arrive later you are at a disadvantage as you can see what your fellow diners are eating ahead of you, which in my opinion kind of removes the air of mystery and intrigue.
All of the staff were awesome, they knew their ingredients, cooking processes and drinks extremely well. I believe that it takes a process of approximately five years for a Chef to be able to cook privately for diners in this way following intensive training. That is dedication and it’s impressive knowing that your Chef is an expert! The menu is changed regularly with the exception of a few signature dishes, so they really do ensure they know the minute details to help explain to the diners what they are indulging in.
Executive Chef, Masahiko Inoue looked after us for the evening. He patiently answered all of our questions and he was an absolute delight to watch as he cooked our individual plates with precision. He has been cooking for…wait for it…18 whole years and he loves it! He exudes passion as he cooks, he treats every ingredient with love, care and respect.
Once our dinner plates had been served, we were escorted to the lounge for dessert and tea with city views, which really did finish the evening off in style. Singapore when it is pimped up in lights at night, is just spectacular.
There is another personal touch which I have to applaud you for. The way that you retain all of your guest names and what menu they were served so that on their future visits, they aren’t served the same plates, is what I call service!
I have to say, the Michelin star you received this year is most definitely well deserved.
The most important fact I learned about Masahiko, is that his favourite Singapore restaurant is Gunther’s (I am heading their way!).
Thank you for the most incredible evening.
An awesome friend, a beautiful hot day approaching sunset and a celebrity chef restaurant. This is my Saturday. How gorgeous.
It has been a fantastic week of catch-ups, dinners and drinks. I only have 2 weeks before I fly to London and start the next chapter of my life. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am.
Putting the excitement aside for a second, I cannot allow the next 2 weeks to pass me by. In true Singaporean style, I am thinking of my tummy (Singaporeans just love their food!). I am a foodie, I scour cook books, I am addicted to MasterChef Australia/US/UK and I love following (note not stalking!) some celebrity chefs on social media to see what’s coming next and what inspires them.
My Singapore Bucket List has been growing with the addition of many restaurants however there are also a few places I’m revisiting because I know I will miss them. One of which is Salt tapas & bar, by Luke Mangan.
Salt tapas & bar is located at North Bridge Road, Raffles City. It neatly and proudly sits opposite the iconic Raffles Hotel. It is open aired with the interior boasting a warm, friendly and welcoming feel, encapsulated by authentic spanish tiles and there is something about burnt sienna brick walls in a restaurant which engulf me with comfort.
The menu here is generous, it’s difficult to decide but first things first. I need a cocktail! After researching (I am a terrible, no rephrase, I am an awesome information junkie!), I discovered that Luke has a signature cocktail called The Australian. And you know what, that divine cranberry coloured liquid, is just Christmas in a cocktail. I was immediately transported to festive heaven with log fires and carol singing!
The staff are awesome, they are gracefully present and appropriately attentive. The Head Chef, Jake Kowalewski is from Sydney and has lived in Singapore for just over a year. He was previously Sous Chef at Luke’s other Singapore restaurant Salt grill & Sky bar and moved across to Salt tapas & bar as Head Chef, 2 months ago. He has since changed 19 dishes on the menu and is loving every minute of working there.
We ordered a myriad of dishes and being a total truffle fries addict, they were obviously top choice. I have been on a mission to find the best truffle fries in Singapore…I think I just found them! If you have never tried them, they are French fries tossed with truffle oil, truffle salt and parmesan cheese. You either love them or you hate them.
Accompanying these mouth watering potato goddesses were:
Spiced shrimp tacos with pineapple salsa and aioli
Scallop tartar avocado with lime, tobiko roe and ink crisps
Sitting proudly in the middle, Signature Salmon sashimi with ginger and shallot dressing feta
Chilli salt & pepper squid with lime mayo
2016 Liquorice parfait with lime flavours
PS) Did you know Liquorice is originally dark green?! And when infused with milk it transforms into the gorgeous light green colour below! Thanks Jake for the info!
Churros nutella sauce, orange marmalade
My personal thanks in abundance, to both Luke Mangan and Jake for an awesome experience and for looking after us, we loved it!
Please open a restaurant in London and New York for me….
The countdown is on!
There are just 18 days remaining of my incredible Singapore life before I hop, skip and jump on a plane to the Big Smoke!
I am squeezing as much as I possibly can into this time. I’m soaking up the sunshine donning my Raybans and flip flops. I am devouring heavenly, yummy cuisine and I have to admit…being a bit of a tourist!
I take pictures all the time of erm, everything! I am a tad forgetful (no seriously, I’m like Dory off Finding Nemo!) so I think it’s wise to capture all the awesome things I am lucky enough to see and I want the opportunity to relive some of these happy memories in the future. I just don’t want to forget any of my time here.
So I thought what better way to share my weekend experiences with you, in pictures…
Open since 1973, Mustafa is a bustling retail shopping centre in the heart of Little India and it’s open 24 hours. It literally has everything you need, from electronics to household appliances and jewellery. It’s probably the only place I know where I can get limes at midnight when I run out of Gin and Tonic at a party! What? This kind of information is vital to a newbie!
They also have a rooftop restaurant called Kebabs n Curries which is a must visit. In fact, I may have to go back before I leave, Indian food is my favourite of all cuisines.
PS.Cafe, Ann Siang Hill
If your name has…fancy, lazy yet generous legendary brunches written all over it, with the need for a friendly and relaxed service with a hint of elegance, this place is for you! And psssst…I recommend the truffle shoestring fries!
PS.Cafe is located on Ann Siang Hill, a one way street with various properties built as early as 1903. It’s now a street lined with elegant shophouses hosting hip bars and restaurants.
Out & About
I can’t believe after 5+ years of living in Singapore and frequent visits to The Fullerton Hotel, I haven’t seen this! This awesome piece of art depicts an old typical scene, many children wouldn’t have hesitated to excitedly jump into the river, dodge boats and not care in the least about polluted water!
The next two pictures display The Living World Series at CapitaGreen, designed by Ju Ming. The idea was to capture people going about their every day life through using stone blocks!
Spago by Wolfgang Puck, Marina Bay Sands
As many of you know by now, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is my favourite Singapore location. So much so I am spending my final evening here. My favourite restaurant is also at MBS, steakhouse CUT by Wolfgang Puck. Spago is his flagship restaurant on the SkyPark with awesome views.
FYI…the bowl of fries below was actually the same size as my head!
Louis Vuitton Island, Marina Bay Sands
Okay okay I’m a shopper, a Marina Bay Sands shopper! I love checking out the collections, understanding the trends and one of my favourites is Louis Vuitton. This boutique is the largest outside of the flagship Champs-Élysées store in Paris. It is actually a floating crystal pavilion. How very gorgeous.