Wagatomo | Modern Japanese Cuisine with Binchotan Grills
Steering away from the conventional idea of Japanese cuisine, Chef Tomoyuki Kiga, previously from Akira Back fame, introduces Wagatomo, his new home to a bolder, smokier brand of modern Japanese creations. Wagatomo is centered around a buzzing open kitchen, cooking up premium ingredients using a grill fired only by binchotan charcoal, a high-carbon Japanese white charcoal.
We started our meal with the momotaro tomato ($16), a tomato-based salad with fuji apple vinaigrette, sweet corn puree and amazu. Tart and refreshing to whet your appetite.
One of two dishes from the “cold bites” menu that we had was the A5 Wagyu Pizza ($32) and is my favourite from the entire meal. Featuring A5 Kamichiku Satsuma Gyu, slices of meat are layered on a thin crispy crust with ponzu mayo, pickled yoga, yuzu kosho cream and finished with truffle oil. Unique and delectable. Recommended to have no more than 3 to a pizza otherwise it won’t be enough!
The Tri Tip is slowly cooked for six hours with a sansho spice rub and charred onion puree. Both have different taste profiles so if you are there with a larger group, you can consider ordering both to try.
The other cold bites we had was the hokkaido scallop ($27). Featuring sashimi-grade hotate sliced thinly and served with a citrus nanbanzu sauce, this dish is a yes for the scallop lovers because Chef Tomoyuki also adds mango sambal to this dish to give it a slight spicy edge.
As for the bigger plates, we had the pork chop ($42) and the A5 Tri Tip ($98). As a restaurant known for its grilled food, the meats here certainly do not disappoint. The grilled pork is very tender (although on the fattier side) and served with yuzu miso glaze and apple fennel slaw.
Before dessert was served, we also had a bowl of scampi ochazuke ($35) which sees savoury scampi dashi poured over rice instead of traditional green tea. I love this dish and can see myself craving this on rainy days or when I want food with a lighter profile.
We ended the meal with a monaka ($9) – matcha ice-cream, shiratama mocha, azuki beans. Nothing fancy but very Japanese. Priced on the higher side, Wagatomo is probably not a place you will go to very frequently for lunch or dinner. But it should be on your list if you like cooked Japanese food. To complete the Wagatomo experience, its beverage menu is curated to feature an extensive selection of sakes, umeshu and Japanese craft beers. The restaurant also serves the ultra-premium bottled Yamazaki No Mizu, sparkling natural mineral water from the same water source that is used by the Yamazaki distillery — Japan’s oldest distillery, and a legend in the industry, winning numerous awards year after year. Budget per person: $40 to $60 per person