Tetsuya Makuda to open first U.S. restaurant on the Strip

The main dining room at Wakuda, the restaurant from famed Japanese chef Tetsuya Wakuda that is ...

We are in your hands, Chef.

Tetsuya Wakuda, one of the world’s leading Japanese chefs, is opening Wakuda, his first restaurant in the U.S., on June 25 in The Venetian. Omakase dining, in which multiple courses are created according to the chef’s preference, artistry, available ingredients and seasonality, will be a signature offering at Wakuda.

Omakase dishes, often a single bite of resplendent flavor, are prepared on the spot by the chef. Typically, there is no written menu. Part of the pleasure of omakase is surrending to surprise. At Wakuda, only 10 seats will be devoted to omakase dining.

The restaurant also will serve an à la carte menu that blends traditional and modern Japanese cooking, in dishes like Canadian lobster jabbed with citrus and ginger; marinated botan shrimp, known for its sweet clean flavor, and sea urchin crowned by a topknot of caviar; and thinly sliced Omi beef, from the oldest wagyu brand in Japan.

Condiments like wasabi, soy sauce and miso made in house will complement the menu.

“This concept provides me the ability to offer guests a distinct dining experience while transporting them to Japan through many of the flavors that define the culinary cultural experience,” Wakuda said.

Sakes and contemporary art

Nearly 100 sakes will be poured at Wakuda, including rare options from lesser-known breweries, and the restaurant’s mixology program will showcase cocktails made with Japanese ingredients.

The chef will open his Las Vegas restaurant with leading restaurateur John Kunkel of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, which already has in its portfolio the Yardbird, Spritz and Chica restaurants in The Venetian.

Tetsuya, the chef’s eponymous restaurant in Sydney, has been named one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Waku Ghin, his restaurant at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, received two Michelin stars.

The main dining room at Wakuda incorporates a wood ceiling inspired by traditional Japanese wood joinery techniques. The ceiling is punctuated with stacked pendant lights reminiscent of paper lanterns.

Wakuda will showcase numerous works by contemporary Japanese artists, including large-scale sculptures of sumo wrestlers by Shohei Otomo and images from neo-street artist Jun Inoue.

Wakuda is now accepting reservations at venetianlasvegas.com/restaurants/wakuda.html.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com or follow him @ItsJLW on Twitter.