Maximizing Miles in the Maldives: Cathay First, Eating in Singapore, and a Park Hyatt Water Villa – Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands

  1. Introduction
  2. Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
  3. Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
  4. Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
  5. The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
  6. A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
  7. Eating in Singapore
  8. Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
  9. Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
  10. Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
  11. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
  12. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
  13. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
  14. Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
  15. Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
  16. Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
  17. Conrad Hong Kong
  18. Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
  19. American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home

I ate at Waku Ghin on my last visit to Singapore, last year, and enjoyed it enough that it was a must for a re-do.

This is not an inexpensive meal. Quite the opposite. All-in, it’s nearly SGD$1000 for two without alcohol. And wines are rather extravagantly priced, though I do find the varied flavors and textures throughout the meal somewhat mitigate against a tendency to do expensive solo bottles (though of course they’ll be happy to do a pairing for you).

The meal was very, very similar to last year’s affair– I suppose some would prefer variety if they’ll be returning but I enjoyed it so much that I really did want the same things again. If I didn’t get my wagyu beef with fresh shaved wasabi I’d have been truly disappointed, for instance.

It was a quick cab ride from the Grand Hyatt to the Marina Bay Sands. Last year I made the mistake of walking in through the casino, not having brought my passport with me, in Singapore you need to show your passport on entry to a casino because there’s a substantial charge for a local to gamble, it’s Singapore’s way of discouraging the practice. To avoid the fee you have to demonstrate that you’re a foreigner. I actually wound up turning around and going back to get my passport and then showing back up at the Sands (the Intercontinental where I stayed last time is really close), not realizing that it was possible to access Waku Ghin via the Shops.

This time at least I knew better, I had the cab drop off by the shops, but it was on the opposite end of the complex and required a long walk.

It’s an impressive mall and they even offer indoor boat rides a la the Venetian.

After a walk through the complex I was lost, even having been to the restaurant before. I followed the signage to ‘Celebrity Restaurants’ but as I got close to those the other restaurants were noted specifically, not this one, I asked at a casino entrance and was pointed to a back elevator which took me upstairs. Indeed I could have followed the way to other celebrity restaurants like Guy Savoy as they’er clustered together, not sure why the signage drops off Waku Ghin.

We were greeted and offered a seat in the bar area, and about 2 minutes later escorted into our kitchen. The concept is that there are multiple kitchens with six stools each. Last time we had our own, this time we would share with a group of three and each group had their own chef preparing most of the food in front of you.

The menu for the evening was as follows:

Flan with Hokkaido Salmon Roe

Marinated Botan Shrimp
With Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar

Grilled Anago with Foie Gras and Zuccchini

Soup of Topinambour
With Sauteed Hokkaido Scallop and Black Truffle

Australian Abalone
With Fregola and Tomato

Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon

Australian Blackmore Tenderloin Wagyu Steak
With Wasabi and Citrus Soy

Somen with Myoga and Junsai


Blueberry Cheesecake

Salted Sable
With Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey Cream

Coffee or Tea and Petit Fours

First was the Flan with Hokkaido Salmon Roe

Then the shrimp with sea urchin and caviar

The Anago, or salt-water eel

The artichoke soup with scallop and truffle

The two chefs

Preparing our next course

The abalone

Braised lobster

My absolute favorite dish here, and one of my favorites anywhere, is now being prepared:

They shave fresh wasabi onto the plate, cook a piece of wagyu beef perfectly, and serve it with a citrus dipping sauce and garlic chips on the side.

Somen noodles

A specialty tea which was good but for which I lack the refined palette

After concluding our tea we were taken into the main dining room which is where they serve dessert. It looks over the Marina, and we got to watch the evening’s laser light show.

Blueberry Cheesecake

The sable … which also introduced me to really outstanding honey, I later realized flying home on Cathay Pacific that they serve Tasmanian honey with breakfasts and I took advantage of it for the first time, I don’t know how many times I’ve given that a pass. Sigh.

They brought out petit fours to share

And when we finished those, asked whether there was anything at all we had had that we’d like more of, and I simply said “Oh, the macarons, please…”

Well worth the price, I miss the beef already, and I’m glad they don’t seem to change up the menu all that often or else I’d be tempted to go back more than once a year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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