When I first googled Wakanui, the first hit that came out was Tokyo and I couldn’t find any other details. Feeling strange and puzzled, I asked the colleague “Huh? We going to Tokyo to eat?” That’s how new it was. The restaurant was still in its soft launch period and slated for its official opening only in another month’s time. This place used to be occupied by Namu, a Korean restaurant and so, don’t be surprised to find many Korean staffs at Wakanui. Wakanui originated from Japan and Singapore is its first overseas branch. I certainly do hope it’s here to stay for good and after reading this, you’ll understand why.
The dining space is mainly on its second floor though you have the option to choose al fresco dining where it overlooks the river
You’ll be surprised by how the bread is done. Though you can’t smell it, but once you put them in your mouth, the grilled beef taste is evident. I think it’s a very smart way to get started, cos afterall this place specialises in grilled beef & lamb. Though it was a simple bread starter, we were left pretty impressed.
Spring Lamb Chop ($8)
The portion might seem a little small but it’s definitely a house favourite. The lamp chop strangely, tastes like beef and left us confused. There was no lamb taste (for those who are worried) and I can assure you on that. You’ll only taste the perfectly grilled and sweet tenderness of the meat.
Short Loin Lamb Tataki with Shallot Sauce ($18)
This is a cold starter. I have never tried cold lamb dishes before but this was pretty good. You will enjoy the freshness and tenderness of the meat. Sliced thinly for greater appreciation, the faint taste of the lamb leaves you wanting for more.
Marinated Akaroa Harbour King Salmon with Ikura ($22)
This was probably the disappointing one out of all the lot. Though the dish was seasoned and cooked well, somehow it just lacked something.
Truffle Oil Fries ($12)
It could have been better. There was a faint truffle oil on top, yet towards the end the fries got very salty. The fries were enjoyable, but could have been better.
Pan-fried Mixed Mushrooms ($12)
The mushrooms were appetising, probably cos they were infused in butter and cooked well.
Ocean Beef Rib-eye 1000g ($120)
Well if you have 3 or 4 people, go for the 1kg to share though the wait time for this is 50 mins. So my suggestion would be, order the beef first and then slowly look through the menu. Most of their steaks take about 30-40 mins on average but I assure you, it’s worth the wait.
“The restaurant uses Angus cattle, raised on New Zealand’s lush green pastures in a stress-free environment for 18 months and grain fed for better texture and sweet marbling. In addition, they are raised in an environment with sea breezes of the Pacific Ocean (which why the name comes about) and then go through 6 weeks of ageing before grilled to perfection over Binchotan charcoal, a high quality and traditional charcoal of Japan.”
The beef was nothing short of amazing. It was in my opinion, the perfect grilled beef I’ve ever had. Don’t be daunted by the fats and the burnt ends. They are so delectable you’ll never see burnt ends in the same way. And the onions. If you are not a fan of onions, like us, please give it a try. Even the onion surprises in its own way.
Condiments for the beef starting from the top down: Sea Salt, Wholegrain Mustard & Wasabi Garlic. We tasted them but never paired them. We thought the beef works well on its own and so didn’t want to waste it.
Rack of Wakanui Spring Lamb from Canterbury ($54)
Halfway through the meal, we decided to order the lamb as well cos we thought it wouldn’t be enough for us. So we went for the full rack and this takes about 40 minutes as well. I was so glad we ordered this, if not we would have left the place in regret.
“The lamb here is different. They are specially raised for the restaurants and once they reached an age no older than 6 months where the quality and flavour of their meat is at its best, the meat is aged for a period of 4 weeks and frozen so as to enable Wakanui to provide customers with the best quality lamb.”
I don’t think I ever tasted better lamb than this. The quality and flavour of the meat was really indisputable. The 4 of us were just, simply, blown away. We polished and licked off the bones to the very end.
Hokey Pokey Icecream ($12)
Even blogging about this now, I’m still trying to figure the flavour of the ice-cream cos all of us couldn’t tell what it was. It was just, ice-cream in our opinion.
Wakanui Pavlova ($12)
An assortment of meringue, cream & fruits. I have to say, the dessert was pretty ordinary. It felt like taking 3 different components and putting them together as one dish.
The rest of them ended the meal with coffee but I was already in food coma.
I can easily recommend this place to anyone, for its awesome & good quality meat at reasonable prices. I certainly hope they’ll improve on their desserts cos everyone wants to end their meal on a sweet note, don’t they? Do give this place a try, and I hope you’ll leave this place as pleased as I do.
Wakanui Grill Dining
70 Boat Quay S(049860)
Call 6438 6321 for reservations