Healthy food can and should go beyond pedestrian salad offerings, being able to offer as much flavour as they do nutritional content for satisfying and wholly-balanced meals. Wafuken, headed by founders Mr Edmund Goh, Mr Desmond Sim, Mr Jake Pang and Mr Deon Tee, has been delivering customisable, quality Japanese sous-vide both for dine-in and delivery to Singapore’s city-centre since 2015.
Coming from previous fields such as IT, finance and hospitality, the directors united in their passion for cooking while recognising the potential in providing more varied options for nutritious meals. Opportunity waits for no one, as the directors started Wafuken despite not having much prior experience in F&B.
The name Wafuken is a portmanteau of “wafu”, Japanese-style western cuisine, and “ken”, short for “kenko”, meaning wellness. Sous-vide became the cooking method of choice for Wafuken as the gentle cooking method doesn’t mask original protein flavours, nor require excessive seasoning, unhealthy fats or sugar to produce delicious dishes.
Passion is what brought the founders together, with the support of family, friends and staff giving Wafuken its head start. In fuelling Wafuken’s lasting success however, it is the founders’ dedication and hard work that endures. The founders recall “hell week”, Wafuken’s first opening, when a mishap in the kitchen landed Mr Jake in the A&E during a time when they still needed to prepare ingredients until five in the morning.
Today’s Wafuken continues to serve delicious meals based on restaurant-grade meat from premium suppliers, as it is their belief to only use quality ingredients for quality meals. The highly customisable online a-la-carte menu and ordering portal features a large selection of proteins including chicken, salmon, dory, Oyster Blade steak, Wagyu Rump and more.
These can be ordered and paired with varied add-ons such as vegetables and carbohydrates, including Japanese brown rice, for an affordable, nutritious and delicious bowl. With two locations in Singapore’s city-centre, patrons can also choose to dine-in at Wafuken’s new OUE Downtown location as delivery is currently limited to Singapore’s CBD area.
As these affordable sous-vide meals became the daily routine of its regulars while also being featured on radio shows and in newspapers, Wafuken continues to engage patrons and garner feedback for menu updates through social media and regular campaigns. In staying true to its fitness and health roots, the restaurant is also active in sponsoring health and fitness campaigns.
Wafuken would not be where it is today without the consistent support of its staff, and the founders promote working as a family within the team of 22. As Mr Goh notes, “hospitality is key in any business transaction”, which rings equally true for both customers and staff. “If our staff is happy, chances are our customers will be satisfied too.” With benefits such as meal allowances and ample rest time, Wafuken’s staff now quite literally “works as a family” as team members have now also brought their own family members on board to become part of the Wafuken staff.
Wafuken continues to focus on strengthening its brand within Singapore, envisioning more outlets island-side while also rolling out island-wide delivery. The brand is also exploring franchising options for entering current patrons’ home markets regionally and internationally.
Without compromise to dedication in consistent food quality, Wafuken will continue to provide healthier, scrumptious sous-vide options for the CBD and the whole of Singapore in years to come!