Savour New Zealand meats at Wakanui Grill Dining

Spring Lamb Chop.
Spring Lamb Chop. PHOTOS: YEOH WEE TECK
 A mix of Ocean Beef cuts and Canterbury Grass-Fed Fillet.
A mix of Ocean Beef cuts and Canterbury Grass-Fed Fillet.PHOTOS: YEOH WEE TECK
Hot Smoked Salmon.
Hot Smoked Salmon.PHOTOS: YEOH WEE TECK
 Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad.
Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad. PHOTOS: YEOH WEE TECK
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream. PHOTOS: YEOH WEE TECK

(THE NEW PAPER) - Marina One has got to be one of the most impressive new developments in Singapore.

Inside, it has lush greenery, quiet corners and beautiful art pieces. Spend a moment there just absorbing the tranquillity. And when you are done feeding your soul, proceed to feeding the stomach.

One place to try is Wakanui Grill Dining. It looks expensive, but it is quite affordable, especially if you head there during lunch.

Also, Wakanui is not a Japanese restaurant. It may have started in Tokyo and is run by Japanese, but it is actually a grill restaurant specialising in New Zealand meats.


Spring Lamb Chop. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

One of them is the Spring Lamb Chop ($8 each). You cannot leave the restaurant without trying it. It is seasoned simply with salt, pepper and coriander powder, then grilled. The result is tender meat with just a hint of the signature, but divisive gaminess. You can order the lamb as a half rack too, from $32.


 A mix of Ocean Beef cuts and Canterbury Grass-Fed Fillet. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

The beef used here is Ocean Beef, which comes from Wakanui, New Zealand. You get a series of cuts - bone-in ($199 a kg) and ribeye ($79 for 350g). It also serves a Canterbury Grass-Fed Fillet (from $45 for 150g).

With such fine meat, the more rare it is, the better - and with as little sauce as possible.

It takes a while to get done, so if you have already decided on steak, alert the restaurant when you make your reservation to cut back on waiting time.


Hot Smoked Salmon. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

I was not expecting much from the Hot Smoked Salmon (from $39), but the house-smoked New Zealand Ora King salmon was tender, with just a touch of delicate saltiness. The cherry wood the fish was smoked on added a layer of aroma too.


 Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

I expected more from the Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad (from $14). The cheese was too subtle - almost absent - and the Italian anchovies in the cheese sauce could not lift it.


Hokey Pokey Ice Cream. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

The Hokey Pokey Ice Cream ($14) looks like an afterthought, but the caramel bits in the housemade vanilla ice cream gave it crunch. It is the perfect way to end a lovely meal.

Wakanui Grill Dining

Where: 04-02 Marina One, The Heart West Tower, 5 Straits View, tel: 6384-2665; open: lunch: 11.30am to 3pm (weekdays); dinner: 5.30 to 11pm (Mondays to Saturdays)