It’s cool to have a chef on your speed dial. Even cooler when they have you on theirs.
Tetsuya Wakuda is a chef you’ll want to give your number to.
What you want, though, is an invite to the most exclusive supper club in town. On the menu: anything that Wakuda desires.
It could be anything from fried chicken to prime beef.
“I used to be very skinny. Around 50 kilos,” chuckles Wakuda.
The Japan-born Australian chef remembers the time he had a craving for yakiniku. A quick call to the biggest Japanese beef supplier in town, and different cuts of Ohmi wagyu — short rib, sirloin and tenderloin — were delivered to Waku Ghin by noon.
“A good host has to be with the guest, not running up and down sweating and serving food.”
– Tetsuya Wakuda, chef-owner of Waku Ghin
“We don’t use cuts like short rib in Waku Ghin,” says Wakuda. The beef was prepared in the afternoon. The party began after service ended around midnight. Only a few of Wakuda’s closest friends were invited to join the Waku Ghin team for supper.
“That was fun. Only problem — it was so much smoke! Smoky as hell,” says Wakuda, who is especially particular about clean kitchens and cooking smells.
“It smelled like yakiniku on our whole bodies after that. But it was fun.”
Even pastas turn into a luxurious treat at Wakuda’s private parties. The chef himself prefers aglio olio, with plenty of garlic and chilli, but he is more than generous with the ingredients in his well-stocked pantry.
This means communal platters of al dente noodles, tossed with jumbo scampi and perhaps a dollop of caviar.
If he roasts a chicken to go with the pasta, the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone when you hold up the bird.
“I like cooking food that everyone shares. Or use their fingers. Chicken, bowl of pasta, happy days,” says Wakuda.
But beyond the food, what makes Wakuda an excellent host is his commitment to being present. “You know, often the host gets up and down, guests don’t enjoy it,” he shares.
“A good host has to be with the guest, not running up and down sweating and serving food. I don’t like that.”