On the 4th level of the rather futuristic looking (like off a Hollywood set) of Marina One lies two glass capsules.
One of them contains Wakanui Grill Dining, an 86-seater restaurant which features steak and lamb from New Zealand.
Wakanui, a New Zealand term meaning “to canoe over the land of plenty”’ is a grill restaurant concept that showcases the best available meats from the country.
Its first outlet opened in Tokyo in 2011, and its success soon meant the opening of its second outlet there, focusing on lamb chops. Therefore, you could also find some Japanese influences in the menu over in Singapore’s outlet.
The stars and the essence of the restaurant are therefore the New Zealand Ocean Beef and Wakanui Spring Lamb, which are grilled over Japan-sourced Binchotan charcoal in the centrally-placed, open kitchen.
Starters included Neck Clam Soup ($12), Steamed Green Lip New Zealand Mussels ($22), Hot Smoked Salmon ($24), Seasonal Hassun ($32), Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar ($22) and Green Salad ($16)
I was recommended by the service manager the Wakanui Spring Lamb Chop ($8) as the starter, and it turned out to be quite exceptional.
The lamb had intense flavour and retained its natural juiciness, without the usual gaminess lamb would have. In fact, this would count as one of the most tender lamb chops I ever had.
The Wakanui Spring Lamb are raised for approximately six months on the lush and highly nutritious spring pastures, with meat then aged for around four weeks until reaching its peak flavour.
This process would ensure that the optimum flavour and texture of the lamb can be enjoyed year-round.
In terms of the Ocean Beef, there were choices of 21 Days Dry-aged Bone-in-Ribeye ($199 for 1000g), Ribeye Cut ($79 for 350g, $109 for 500g), or Sirloin ($72 for 350g, $99 for 500g).
If you come in a group, then a possibility could be the Wakanui Selection Board ($268) with the Bone-in-Ribeye, Canterbury Grass-fed Fillet, and Spring Lamb.
I went ahead with Sirloin, supposed prepared medium rare.
However, and unfortunately despite the positive reviews I had been reading, the beef turned out to be slightly overcooked, bland and almost too tough and dry.
I usually like to savour my beef san sauces, but had to resort to sprinkling more of the Christmas Island Salt over to flavour the tough meat. Perhaps just not my day.
The service staff noticed my struggle with finishing the meat, and he did apologize for it.
Also available on the menu was the Ito Wagyu Chef Creation ($69), beef cooked and presented Japanese style.
5 Straits View #04-02 Marina One The Heart Singapore, 018935
Tel: +65 6384 2665
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm (Mon – Fri), 5:30pm – 11:00pm (Mon– Sat), Closed Sat Lunch, Sun