Wakanui Grill Dining – Go for their Rack of Lamb!
Wakanui Grill Dining is a mix blood. It originated from Tokyo but doesn’t serve Japanese meat. Instead, it serves New Zealand beef and lamb. We came here for dinner a few weeks back. The entrance of the restaurant is pretty impressive, there’s a huge dry-ageing chiller with different cuts of meat.
On the second storey, is where serious dining happens here. Menu option is very limited and they probably need to include more items and improve on some of them. To start off, we had a basket of complimentary homemade bread to munch on. Unfortunately, that didn’t impress us. I asked the waiter twice if this is homemade because it was pretty tough.
The Cesar Salad ($16) with bacon and New Zealand cheese was quite plain, with big pieces of lettuce leaves and hard bread cubes. Can’t detect much of the dressing. It felt more like I was eating fresh vegetables.
Short Loin Lamb Tataki ($18) with shallot sauce is served as a cold appetizer. We seldom taste lamb raw and cold, so we weren’t quite used to it. Yes it’s tender and thinly sliced, but I still prefer beef tataki.
Wakanui fairs better in the main course. Unlike most grill restaurants here, Wakanui grills their fine cuts on Binchotan Charcoal, a traditional Japanese charcoal that is chemical free, almost smoke free and burnt at a high temperature of 1000 degree celsius. The lack of chemical additives and incredibly high heat preserves the flavorful juice.
Wakanui’s own on-site Dry-aging facility to improve the flavour of the meat and even more succulent. Aging of meat is an old method and process of hanging meat in a controlled, refrigerated environment.
Their Black Angus cattle raised on natural green pastures, finished with grain feed to achieve a firm, lean flavour and sweet marbling and aged to perfect by their on-site glass covered aging room facility. The beef which is at its optimum condition after 4 weeks of wet-aging and 3 weeks of dry-aging and is perfect for grilling. It is free from GMO, hormones and antibiotics. which has a good balance of lean and marbling.
The Ribeye comes in 500g ($68) or 1kg ($128). 500g is more than enough for my partner and I. The waiter pushes a trolley to our table and carefully cuts the beef for us. My medium rare beef was nicely grilled, tender and juicy. But as compared to the beef from the US, this is definitely less flavourful. Then again, it is also much cheaper. Other beef options include sirloin and fillet.
Their Spring lamb are raised on highly nutritious spring pasture in Canterbury, characterised by its mountain range in the background and ideal climatic conditions, has been a world-renowned lamb producing area for over a century. Spring lambs are born during Spring are raised to ages of 6 months, where the lamb reaches its peak in quality and tenderness.
Our favourite for the night was Rack Of Wakanui Spring Lamb From Canterbury ($32 for half, $54 for full). The half order comprises only two pieces of lamb, but they are very good – a little fatty, without too gamey a flavour. Pairing it with a glass of Urlar Pinot Noir, it is a great match for the tender lamb. Christmas Island salt is available which accentuates the taste.
For dessert, we had the Wakanui Pavlova ($12). The meringue comes with a thin, crisp crust and is not overly sweet.
Wakanui Grill Dining
Address: 70 Boat Quay
Tel: 6438 6321
Opening Hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), 6 to 10.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
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