The New Zealand beef at Wakanui isn’t called Ocean beef for nothing. Raised on grass and switched over in the last few months to grains while enjoying the ocean views, the cows are relaxed, which makes for a more tender beef. So the manager said.
(Well, I don’t know if the “ocean views” really play a part. I mean, I know that I enjoy my stays at ocean-view beachfronts, but potentially not being on someone’s dinner plate might have something to do with that).
Anyway, back to the beef. Owned by Japanese, one might expect wagyu as the beef on offer but the backstory is that the owners wanted to give the people of Tokyo a taste of New Zealand beef, so they opened Wakanui in Tokyo and later brought this successful brand to Singapore.
Although most beef aficionados would scream at the thought that I prefer filet mignon/tenderloin over Ribeye, well sorry, but when you have a good piece of tenderloin, I can’t think of anything more satisfying than your steak knife gliding into the moist, flavourful, pink-centred tender meat. I had the 250g Fillet for $42.
Of course, if you are in a group, you might want to try the Bone-In Ribeye ($142) – a 1kg hunk of meat that is sliced expertly, table-side. I think 6 people could share this!
New Zealand is also synonymous with high-grade lamb produce, so lamb is one of the most popular items on the menu at Wakanui as well. The half rack of lamb ($32) sees two blushingly pink, juicy pieces of lamb that, happily for me, offers up more meat than fat.
Meats are grilled over Binchotan charcoal, a Japanese charcoal, which is known to be almost smoke-free, hence not imparting any unwanted odours onto the meat. So what you get is a lovely, grilled meat that isn’t overpowered by smoke and you can enjoy the natural flavours of the meat.
We ordered some sides to go with our mains, supersized asparagus and truffle fries ($12 each), and they were both very worth it as well.
We dined really early (6pm) as we had a play to catch at Victoria Theatre, and we chose to sit outside and during these windier and cooler months, that’s the better option, especially if you start off the night with some aperitif and smaller bites like their beef or salmon tartare, while enjoying the Singapore skyline during sunset.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for good quality and well-priced beef or lamb, Wakanui is certainly worth a visit.
Update: I was informed that the restaurant is halal-friendly, meaning the meats are halal and no pork, no lard. The only reason why they don’t have full halal certification is because they serve alcohol.
Address: 70 Boat Quay
Contact: +65 6438 6321 or Reservations@wakanui.sg
Lunch: Mon-Fri, 12nn-2.30pm (Last Order: 2.30pm)
Dinner: Mon-Sat, 6pm-11pm (Last Order: 10.30pm)