Wakanui Grill Dining Singapore

The hype: To set the record straight, Wakanui Grill Dining Singapore, now located at the spanking new Marina One integrated complex, is the same one formerly at Boat Quay. Other than the change in address, it’s still the first overseas franchise of the famed Wakanui Grill Dining Tokyo, and is still firmly grounded as a New Zealand meat specialist.

The vibe: Wow. The move to Marina One is a solid choice. Wakanui is now located on the fourth floor of the development’s West Tower, in a large glass capsule that offers panoramic views of Marina One’s splendiferous inner courtyard. Dining from this vantage is impressive in all the right ways.

The food: There is certainly no lack of steak restaurants in Singapore, but the unique thing that diners can expect at Wakanui is quality New Zealand beef from cattle raised on natural green pastures and fed locally grown organic grain feed. The meats also go through an ageing process in the restaurant’s on-site aging room and grilled using traditional Japanese Binchotan charcoal.

Start your meal not with beef nor salad, but with lamb, as it is in Wakanui in Tokyo. The signature Wakanui Spring Lamb Chop ($8) is a starter-sized piece of meat seasoned with Christmas Island salt, Australia pink pepper, local white and black pepper, and fine coriander powder, before being seared then grilled over charcoal. Do try it even if lamb isn’t your thing. There are other starters of course, such as the Seasonal Hassun ($24-32) and Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad ($14-22).

But you’re really here for the grilled New Zealand Ocean Beef (featuring an intense beef flavour), the restaurant’s main signature. The beef cuts on the menu are the Bone-in Ribeye ($199 for 1kg), the Ribeye ($79-$109; 350g-500g) and Sirloin ($72-$99; 350g-500g). Go for the Bone-in Ribeye, a well marbled steak (expect less marbling than wagyu) that’s been dry-aged for 21 days. A lot of attention is paid to the seasoning, and cooking timings and temperature used to fire the steaks are really precise, allowing for a consistently satisfying experience every time.

If unsure of what to get or if you wish to try more of their offerings, go for the Wakanui Selection Board ($268)—a selection of Bone-in Ribeye, Canterbury Grass-fed Fillet and Wakanui Spring Lamb.

The drinks: Naturally, you’ll find a good range of New Zealand wines to go with the meats, but do look out for a selection of wines directly imported from boutique wineries hand-picked to accompany Wakanui’s dishes.

Why you’ll be back: It’s perfect for business lunches aimed to impress, or slow dinners for indulging in some of the finest steaks New Zealand has to offer.