Restaurant Review: Take A Whack At Wakanui Grill Dining’s Unapologetic Meat Platter

It will make all your carnivorous dreams come true

Photos: Weekender

Nibbling on something light, like an amuse-bouche or salad, makes for a proper kick-starter to a grand feast, especially if it’s one ladened with various cuts of juicy and succulent meats.

But not if Wakanui Grill Dining can help it. Here at the recently-opened restaurant, diners are straight up presented with its signature starter Spring Lamb Chop ($8), grilled over Japanese binchotan charcoal, that does a swell job of awakening one’s taste buds and leaves you yearning for more. Plus, the lamb is devoid of the familiar pungent odour.

Spring Lamb Chop ($8)

While the first guess is that of a Japanese word, Wakanui Grill Dining is in fact named after a place in New Zealand’s South Canterbury, which makes sense seeing that its meats are from the Oceanic country. However, it is still branded as a Japanese steakhouse, with the only other branch located in Tokyo, Japan. Confused yet? It’s okay, just as long the food is worth the calories. Spoiler: It is.

Located at the utopia cityscape of Marina One, the restaurant is swanky enough to warrant covered shoes and your pair of ‘good’ jeans. You can watch chefs whip up a storm in the kitchen, separated by a single glass panel from the dining area. Or perhaps gaze out through the floor-to-ceiling windows to the adjacent residential building, where you can see quite clearly the domestic affairs of its inhabitants.

But enough of poking our noses into other people’s business.

Hot Smoked Salmon ($39 for three pieces, lunch menu)

We turned our attention to Hot Smoked Salmon ($39 for three pieces, lunch menu) that is smoked over cherrywood chips before oven baked till tender, to the point of melty like soft butter in the mouth. For a refreshing crunch of greens, we looked to Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad ($14, lunch menu), where the cheese dressing is its saving grace from becoming another excuse for a forgettable salad.

With our appetite thoroughly whetted, we geared up the main star of the meal – Wakanui Selection Board ($268, dinner menu). This is the part where vegetarians should take a leave of absence as the platter will come bearing spoils of Ocean Beef Bone-in Ribeye ($79, 350 grams; $109 – 500 grams), Canterbury Grass-fed Fillet ($78, 250 grams; $138, 500 grams) and Wakanui Spring Lamb ($42, half rack. $82, full rack).

Wakanui Selection Board ($268, dinner menu)

Toss aside all notions of fatty beef cuts like something a Wagyu variant would offer when you chow down on the Ocean beef.  With marbling content close to dismal, the meat is banging on the beef flavours and juices – a testament to its prized grass-fed Angus cows. But alas – perhaps we’re so used to the fatty Wagyu that the Ocean beef was a little too bland for our liking. For a leaner cut, the Canterbury fillet will sort you out. Champing the selection board goes to the Spring Lamb, where a full rack is binchotan charcoal-grilled before finished off in the oven. Also a citizen of New Zealand, the lamb boasts a bit of gaminess that isn’t off-putting to people who are apprehensive towards its meat.

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream ($14)

With all that robust meats, how does one possibly sneak in some sweets into the tummy? Well, we did so by the spoonfuls of the restaurant’s Hokey Pokey Ice Cream ($14) –  a caramel brittle-speckled vanilla ice cream that serves as a perfect inbetweener of light and decadent. The Pavlova ($14) is also worth a shot, if you’re hankering for more.

Address: 5 Straits View; #04-02; Marina One The Heart; Singapore 018935
Tel: 6384 2665
Opening Hours:  11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to11pm (Monday to Friday); 5.30pm to11pm (Saturday); Closed on Sunday