Welcome to the Sushi Room, a 4- to 5-seater private dining space located in a quiet corner of Waku Ghin that overlooks The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. It is the only private dining room in the restaurant that has been specially designed to evoke the charm of a Kyoto ryokan, complete with an open sushi counter, as well as a tranquil atmosphere that one would expect from Japan.
At the Sushi Room, which is helmed by 38-year-old Chef Shinpei Zennami, diners can look forward to top-grade fish and seafood, as well as the finest seasonal delicacies from Japan on the bespoke, seasonal, and sushi-centric Chef’s Menu. What’s more, the ingredients are sourced by chef Wakuda himself, which typically include prized seasonal produce like hotaru ika (firefly squid), ankimo (monkfish liver), and shirako (milt).
Having a private sushi room is very personal to the veteran chef’s heart. “Japanese cuisine is so global now, especially sushi. Everyone eats sushi and you can literally find it in every part of the world these days. But we are not offering any special sushi sprinkled with magic; rather, we are offering something simple and traditional with a little touch of a modern twist, and most importantly, what is in season – be it seafood or vegetables,” shares Chef Wakuda. “But I don’t like the term omakase; it is so overused. I prefer the term Chef’s Menu instead.”
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As with Chef Wakuda’s high standards of excellence, his new dining experience concept doesn’t focus on just the food alone. For him, each part of the experience is just as important and critical as its complementing partner, be it knife skills, cooking techniques, recipes, service, and culinary expertise, in addition to the quality and freshness of the ingredients. “With sushi, there is no place to hide. There is only fish and rice (the restaurant uses Hokkaido Nanatsuboshi rice) with wasabi, so everything must be of top quality. And the balance and ratio have to be just right, otherwise you might as well be eating sashimi,” he says.
Madai (seabream from Kyushu) with preserved lemon; Sumi Ika (baby cuttlefish); Bonito with ginger flower and soy caramel; Nodoguro with yuzu chilli; and of course, Otoro and Chutoro blue fin tuna from Oma prefecture are just some of the beautiful sushi creations that await at the Sushi Room.
He continues, “We have recipes, but sometimes we change things spontaneously as cooking and tasting are very sensory. Our creations will always be simple and traditional, but there are so many more things you can do with the same piece of produce. We cook everyday, but you can always find a better way of executing an ingredient. That’s how we try to craft even better creations, especially when we change or modify dishes to accommodate diner requests,” says the ever-humble celebrity chef. “Just as important as the ingredients are the knife skills, which can make or break the sushi experience.”
In addition to the sushi creations, diners can also expect a sublime array of cooked dishes at the Sushi Room, ending on fine dining desserts (rather than the usual course of cut Japanese fruits). “Eating out should feel like a celebration, especially on special occasions, so we would like to give diners exactly what they would like to have, rather than force feed them a generic menu.”
For this brand-new seasonal menu, some of the cooked dishes include Miso-grilled eggplant; stunning A5 Ohmi Wagyu Beef Tartare brimming with aka uni, botan ebi, marinated ikura, hotate, and Oscietra caviar; Steamed Alaskan King Crab Leg in lemon-scented extra virgin olive oil; and Ohmi Wagyu Sukiyaki with black truffles in egg sauce.
The meal concludes with simple, but beautiful desserts like the Japanese Fresh Pear with Tasmanian pepper berry, cubes of gin jelly, pear and tonic granita, and fresh lime zest; while the main act itself is a classic Mont Blanc with chestnut compote and pear mousse, vanilla chantilly, marrons glacé and chestnut ice cream, and finished with a drizzle of cassis sauce.
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Pair the exquisite meal with an extensive Japanese whisky selection or with exclusive sakes bottled for Chef Wakuda, such as the Masuizumi Platinum Nama for Tetsuya’s, Junmai Daiginjo (Toyama), the unpasteurised sake that is exclusive to Waku Ghin and Tetsuya (Sydney), and the exclusive Isojiman M for Waku Ghin, Junmai Daiginjo (Shizuoka).
Visit Waku Ghin at L2-01, Atrium 2, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The seasonal Chef’s Menu runs every evening from Wednesday to Friday only, at $550++/per pax for a minimum of 4 pax, or a minimum spend of $3,000++. For more information, click here.