Tetsuya Wakuda expands to the US with opening of Las Vegas restaurant

The Wakuda dining room in Las Vegas.
The Wakuda dining room in Las Vegas. Photo: Supplied

Tetsuya Wakuda planted a flag in the US last week, with the chef opening Wakuda restaurant in Las Vegas, a city that hasn't always been kind to Australian imports.

Industry pin-up Gelato Messina struggled in Vegas, and as the thousands of Australians who have lost at its blackjack tables can attest, it can be a tough town.

The US media frothed pre-launch about the chef's Japanese-French cooking pedigree, sweeping menu, imported Oceanic seafood and Japanese beef. The sprawling restaurant even has its own eight-seat Omakase Room, where a meal will set you back US$500 ($726) before tax and tip.

Chef Tetsuya Wakuda planted a flag in the US last week.
Chef Tetsuya Wakuda planted a flag in the US last week. Photo: Peter Braig

Wakuda's Vegas opening even captured the attention of celebrity magazine The Hollywood Reporter, which listed Wakuda's Vegas debut alongside the gambling capital's arrival of Charlie Trotter and David Chang.

The chef himself has made the right impression, describing Vegas in a media announcement as "a city I've loved for quite some time".

Wakuda and his partners have big plans for the restaurant, which also opened earlier this year in Singapore. London, Dubai and New York are reportedly already on the drawing board.