Nestled away in a residential area of Osaka, stands Toyonaka Sakurae, a 2-star Japanese restaurant. Owner Kenji Mitsuda honed his impressive culinary skill at Kaiseki Cuisine Masuda and Nadaman. Whilst respecting the core principles of Japanese cuisine, Chef Mitsuda also freely incorporates innovative techniques that are displayed in a countless array of dishes that are quickly becoming the basis for a new style of Japanese cuisine.
But what are the roots of these unique methods and innovative dishes? We exchanged words with Chef Mitsuda as he let us film the preparation of two of his dishes, “conger pike cooked in oil”, and “rosy seabass cooked in a special salted koji mold”. Here, you may enjoy reading the interview of Chef Mitsuda, watching the cooking movie demonstrated by Chef himself, and gathering any information you need regarding the restaurant.
I slice the rosy seabass to pickle in the salted koji mold that I will make later.
Q: Is there a knack to preparing the rosy seabass?
A: Chef Mitsuda:
Firstly, there’s the need to know where the bones are located. Japan has many types of fish throughout the seasons, and different fish need to be prepared in different ways. Therefore it’s important to commit to memory the different fish you’ll come into contact with in each season.
After removing the guts and spine from the conger pike, lots of little bones remain in the flesh, and instead of removing these, they are broken up into little pieces with a knife. There is a special knife designed for this purpose, but I do everything with this deba bocho (*2) that I am used to using.
*2: Deba bocho
A pointed carving knife mainly used for cutting fish, that is thick and ends in a point.
Osuka- Bld. 2F, 7-10-7, Sakuranocho, Toyonaka-shi, Osaka, 560-0054, Japan