Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Tetsuya Wakuda grew up in the Japanese town of Hamamatsu. At the age of 22, with only a very limited grasp of English, his adventurous spirit led him to Australia. In 1982, Chef Tetsuya arrived in Sydney, with nothing more than a small suitcase and a love of food. From his humble beginnings as a kitchen-hand, it did not take Chef Tetsuya long to discover he had a flair for cooking.

In 1989, he opened his first restaurant, Tetsuya’s, in a tiny shop-front in Sydney. The popular restaurant flourished and Chef Tetsuya’s reputation grew. Always fully booked, Tetsuya’s relocated to a larger space in 2000 and has consistently been included on the S.Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, as voted for by the culinary world’s top food critics and chefs. Considered by many as Australia’s finest chef, he ventured into Singapore in 2010 and has won critical acclaim for Waku Ghin since then.

In May 2012, Waku Ghin made its debut on the coveted S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, landing in 39th place. This was hailed as a “rare feat” by the organizers of the prestigious guide, a nod towards its debut on the list in just under two years.

In January 2013, Waku Ghin came in second on The Miele Guide to Asia’s Top 20 Restaurants. One month later, the restaurant debuted at No. 11 on the inaugural S. Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list decided by a panel of international tasters.

Three Questions with Tetsuya

What was your most moving culinary experience?

Dining in a restaurant called Kahala, which is in Osaka. Chef Mori’s skills, flavors, and textures are precise. His cuisine is just amazing!

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?

Charlie Trotter’s 20th anniversary two years ago. I worked with chefs Charlie Trotter, Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal, and Daniel Boulud. The energy and excitement in the kitchen were unforgettable.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?

Of course, enjoy the dishes, but also enjoy the process of cooking. Spend time together in the kitchen with friends or people you love.

  • #7 | S.Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, 2014
  • #2 | The Miele Guide to Asia’s Top 20 Restaurants, 2013
  • Vismark Asian Restaurant of the Year Award, World Gourmet Series Awards of Excellence, 2013
  • Restaurant of the Year, G Awards, 2011
  • Best Celebrity Restaurant (Asian), G Awards, 2011
  • Best New Restaurant, IS Readers’ Choice Award. 2011
  • Listed in Singapore Tatler’s Singapore’s Best Restaurant Guide 2011, 2012


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