Working as both the chef and manager, no compromise on quality and preparation.
Is there anything that you emphasize in particular with your work?
Quality ingredients are certainly important, but preparation is something that I like to give a little extra time to. There are surprisingly few raw seafood ingredients that you can use as is when it comes to sushi toppings. Therefore, I like to bring out the flavor of each ingredient by adding a little twist here and there. My restaurant’s hours are on the shorter side, but I spend a great deal of time preparing ingredients outside of business hours. This is definitely the type of work that I like, but you could say it’s a pretty stoic approach that doesn’t make any comprises.
Also, I offer a standard lineup of sushi for my menu, so rather than spending time crafting a novel menu that emphasizes creativity, I prefer to focus my energy into working with staple sushi toppings and perfecting the classics.
That is an astonishing amount of time to dedicate to preparation. Are there any steps that you’re taking as a manager to promote your restaurant’s longevity?
I make sure to purchase ingredients without worrying about the price. You can suffer a total loss financially if you cause a deficit of course, but rather than rely on bargains I prefer to only use good ingredients that appeal to me.
My restaurant gets its stock from Tsukiji Market, and I like to go there in person whenever I have a few days off. There are merchants there that I’ve known since my days at Sushi Matsumoto, so I like to buy from them since I know I can trust what they’re selling.
Looking toward the future with an eye on improvement, even after receiving a Michelin Star.
What was it like when you received a star from Michelin?
Naturally I was very thankful. A lot of customers from abroad started to come in after the restaurant was awarded the star. But I don’t feel content with just one star, I want to keep working on building the restaurant’s reputation even further.
What type of plans do you have for the future of your restaurant?
At the moment I don’t have any plans to extend the restaurant with more locations, but I would like to move my current location since it’s on the building’s third floor. I’m also thinking about taking on an apprentice since I only have part-time staff. It would be good for the restaurant to have someone young and full of energy to come in and work with me.