Connecting with taste - Mr Kiyoyama of Sushi Kaiba
"Chef's are eager to delivery delicious and memorable food."
In our second installment of "Connecting with taste " we speak with Chef Kiyoyama of Sushi Kaiba in Kitahorie, Osaka.
Sushi to enjoy with all five senses
Three minutes from Yotsubashi station rests a popular Sushi Restaurant with vivid modern Japanese decore. The entrance, covered with glass allowing a deep view of the chef's world.
"I don't speak with words, i let me food speak for me " Mr Kiyoyama says, he believes words can never match or fully describe delicious food.
Mr Kiyoyama didn't go to a vocational school to learn his craft, around 22 years at the age of 18 , a friend invited him to work at an Inn in Wakayama.
He didn't feel a cooking career was the path for him at the time, but his friend asked him to help because he couldn't find enough staff.
He excelled in the kitchen and developed a keen passion for the work.
After finishing at the Wakayama Inn, Mr Kiyoyama began working at a famous restaurant in Namba, originally intending to work on the floor with the wait staff,
he was quickly moved into the kitchen and developed his skills with the guidance of the senios chefs.
Thinking from Right handed to left handed
"I wanted to overtake my seniors as soon as possible ", Mr Kiyoyama recalls. He learnt as much as he could , but found one , re-occurring barrier to excelling.
Mr Kiyoyama was left-handed.
You may ask , why was that a barrier ?
In Japan, food preperation techniques are designed for right-handed people, from placement of fish, to the placement of fingers and body position,
everything has been designed with a right-handed person in mind.
Unlike Western knives which have a double edge and can be used by either left or right handed people,
Japanese kitchen knives use a perfect single edged blade ,designed for right-handers.
So, Mr Kiyoyama had to mentally convert the process's and techniques he would learn from his seniors and books and any other source,
to a left-handed perspective. He did everything with his left hand, even though his parents had made him learn to use chopsticks with his right.
I wanted to learn everything possible, so i bought a right-handed kitchen knife again and began re-learning from scratch all the necassary kitchen knife techniques.
I like the weight, sharpness and hardness
"The first thing I bought was the Sakai Ichimonji Mitsuhide Montanren Yanagiba . I like the weight of the blade and the overall sharpness."
"I think customers enjoy seeing me work with it, customers can see me work clearly from their chairs"
"The quality of the knife and the sharpening on it, contribute to the quality of the final product" says Mr Kiyoyama,
he believes people who sharpen their own blades often don't sharpen correctly, especially around the blade tip.
Quality Seasonal Produce
"Every store has access to fresh fish because the transportation technology has improved so much. But really delicious seasonal fish require's experience.
For example, many chef's believe Conger Eel is in season throughout early Summer,
but in fact, Conger Eel from Autumn is more delicious as it has built up a better fat layer.
Our shop only serves really delicious ingredients. We also have sommeliers available to match the liquour to the food, everything is about balance and harmony with each ingredient. ”
Enjoy Sushi with all five senses next time you're in Osaka, at Sushi Kaiba
Address 1-15-22 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka
Lunch 11: 30-14: 00 (Open only on the 1st floor, lunch menu only), Dinner 17: 00-23: 30 (LO 23:00)
No regular holidays Closed
Phone number 06-6532-2918