January 14, 2022

Tetsuya Wakuda opens its first Japanese restaurant in the United States at the Palazzo in 2022

50 Eggs Hospitality restaurateur John Kunkel has a lockdown on restaurants at the Venetian and Palazzo. Her Yardbird Southern Table & Bar offers her deliciously crispy fried chicken and Southern fare, while Lorena Garcia’s Chica offers a world of Latin cuisines spanning across South America. The poolside respites Spritz Restaurant & Bar and Capri Pool Restaurant & Bar keep sun worshipers nourished and thirsty.

Now Kunkel is turning to Japanese cuisine when Wakuda opens at the Palazzo in early 2022. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda has been awarded his two Michelin stars Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands Singapore and his popular Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Australia. In Las Vegas, Wakuda is promising its first upscale Japanese restaurant in the United States, taking over the former Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro space with a patio on the Las Vegas Strip at the front of the Palazzo after the steakhouse chose not to reopen.

The restaurant is inspired by the Shinjuku Golden Gai district of Tokyo, famous for its nightlife with over 200 small, diverse and eclectic bars in a six-block neighborhood. Most bars are only big enough for a handful of patrons, and the dark hallways and ramshackle atmosphere create a unique experience that’s hard to replicate. “It’s really all this other Japan that I don’t know that everyone gets to see,” Kunkel says of the local break dance kids and the neon lights he found there. At Wakuda, he hopes to transport customers to a space that combines old Japanese traditions with bold, upbeat sophistication, using nooks and crannies for the seats that provide a different experience no matter where the customer is. sits down.

Wakuda the chef, who plans to be heavily involved with the restaurant, chooses to bring an accessible omakase experience, tackling some of his classic dishes such as confit sea trout, perhaps his most famous dish, as well as yakitori and dishes cooked with bincho -bronzer.

Kunkel first met Wakuda when he worked at the Singapore Yardbird opening at Marina Bay Sands. “It was my first dinner reservation when I went and it was an epic and over-the-top experience at Waku Ghin,” Kunkel said.

At Waku Ghin, Wakuda serves pasta, donburis, and sea bass bites such as lightly poached octopus, wild-caught chutoro tuna carpaccio and fried marinated chicken as a starter, along with charcoal-grilled beef, abalone fregola and king crab spaghetti.

Tetsuya’s opened in 1989 in Sydney, Australia, and moved to a larger space in 2000. Wakuda’s two Michelin star Waku Ghin opened in 2010 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore with a 10-course tasting menu. Wakuda takes over Kunkel’s original plans to open a restaurant called Golden Gai at the Palazzo which initially started in 2019.

• John Kunkel’s 50 eggs to bring a taste of Tokyo to the Venetian [ELV]

• Tracking huge upcoming restaurant changes at the Venetian and Palazzo [ELV]

3355 Las Vegas S. Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109


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