Robert De Niro attends opening of Japanese restaurant in KL

KUALA LUMPUR - Academy Award winner Robert De Niro added a little Hollywood glamour to the city on Wednesday night.

The US actor and restaurateur, who was in town along with chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Tepper, was here to attend the grand opening of Nobu KL.

"It's great to be here. I'm proud of being part of the Nobu tradition. It's been a long run and it's only going to get better and better," said De Niro in his short speech on stage.

The three owners took part in a traditional Japanese sake ceremony, in which the lid of the sake is broken with a wooden mallet to symbolise fortune and prosperity. Guests were also treated to the powerful, spellbinding sounds of the taiko or Japanese drums, in a performance shortly after.

Also present at the cocktail event were some 350 guests made up of journalists, celebrities and VIPs. Among them was Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the youngest daughter of the Sultan of Selangor and Tan Sri Syed Yusof Tun Syed Nasir. The two men are the Malaysian partners of Nobu KL.

De Niro arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Manila, where he launched Asia's first Nobu hotel within a casino complex, and left right after the launch.

Nobu KL is the chain's first outpost in Southeast Asia. The upscale restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary in August last year.