Something sexy and bronzed happened in the lobby of the Marina Bay Sands hotel — wakudaa new Japanese restaurant that officially opened yesterday (April 17).
This is a partnership between chef Tetsuya Wakuda of a two Michelin star Japanese fine dining restaurant Waku Ghin and John Kunkel of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, owner of the Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. Both restaurants are also located at MBS in its mall. A second Wakuda is set to open later this year in Las Vegas at the Venetian Resort.
Wakuda takes over the restaurant from late celebrity chef Adrift by David Myers. Like Waku Ghin, the concept here is also Japanese, although chef Tetsuya describes the food here as “accessible yet utterly unique”, with an emphasis on “natural ingredients”.
The view from the dining room
The cavernous space features a bar, omakase room, and main dining room with artwork by Tokyo street artist Jun Inoue, and a ceiling-to-floor window offering spectacular views of a lonely Japanese maple tree , which deepens in color as the day progresses. this evening.
The main dining room
The omakase room
Besides the typical counter seating, the restaurant’s wood-clad omakase room also features banquette seating darkened by metal privacy screens.
The chic bar serves “Japanese-style craft cocktails” (from $23 a glass) concocted by 50 Eggs Hospitality Group’s beverage team, with drinks such as the gin-based Roku Stone, Water, Plants and strawberry sake Lady of Shizuoka. There are also over 100 sake labels here, some of which were brewed exclusively for Chef Tetsuya, such as Masuizami. junmai daiginjo (the highest quality sake) from Toyama.
The restaurant — which has already been sold out for a month — offers a la carte options as well as private omakase dining (dinner only for now). Prices start from $18 for entrees and $38 for small plates.
Japanese-born Australian chef Tetsuya offered a “varied menu of Wakuda-style appetizers, sashimi, sushi, tempura, as well as high-quality small plates of grilled meats, rice bowls and cold soba” with ingredients like AA-grade uni Hokkaido, A5 wagyu beef, Kagoshima black pork and Tasmanian sea trout. The wasabi used for dishes like sushi and sashimi comes from chef Tetsuya’s hometown of Shizuoka.
At the helm of the kitchen are the proteges of chef Tetsuya and former Waku Ghin, executive chef Sufian Zain and chef de cuisine Suzuki Masaya.
Dishes include ethereal silken yuba (fresh tofu skin) served here by air from Kyoto, served with Hokkaido uni in a cocktail glass.
There’s also chilled botanical shrimp soba, topped with grated truffles and caviar.
As a nod to the Yardbird, there’s also organic fried chicken on the menu.
For dessert, you get a “pebble” filled with hazelnut mousse and chocolate.
Wakuda, Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby Tower 2, 10 Bayfront Ave, S018956. Open Tue-Sun, 4pm-11pm (bar), 5pm-11pm (dining room). Reservations strongly encouraged. www.marinabaysands.com/restaurants/wakuda-singapore
Pictures: Wakuda Singapore/ Yip Jieying