has been making sushi since he was 13. For 13 years, he apprenticed
under many different master chefs all over Japan, moving every
few years to learn a new style or technique.
Kaji came to Canada in 1980, and over the intervening years has
opened 8 different sushi restaurants, starting with Shogun Sushi
on Cumberland Avenue.
In May of 2000 he finally found the opportunity to settle down and
open his ideal restaurant-Sushi Kaji.
Kaji observes that in Toronto the more popular sushi becomes, the
less authentic it is. As a result, there are many sushi restaurants
in Toronto that are lacking.
Kaji believes that authentic Japanese food is very sensuous and
that making fine sushi demands not only a lot of training but also
a gentle, sparing care. He says a common mistake is to over handle
the ingredients. "Don`t touch too much, don`t push too much,"
he says, because the hand is warm, the rice is warm, but the fish
is cool, and touching the food dramatically blends the temperature
of the ingredients, often ruining its texture and taste.
Kaji also believes that the secret of good sushi is to always select
best ingredients, and never compromise on quality. His Japanese
supplier flies fish from Tokyo bay within 24 hours after it has
been taken from the water. Kaji serves fish in the evening that
he has purchased the same morning, never keeping fish overnight.
Other ing õredients for typical Japanese food such as vinegar, vegetables,
and condiments are also exclusively imported from Japan. Kaji
is fastidious about Japanese ingredients because his taste tells
him that Japanese ingredients are the best for Sushi.
Kaji also pays attention to the weather and seasons in Toronto,
for example when choosing the right vinegar for the right season.
In the summer he uses a soft, slightly sweeter vinegar because people`s
blood sugar levels are low due to the heat. In the winter he uses
a vinegar which is slightly bitter to give some extra zest during
Another example of Kaji`s Remarkable attention to detail is in
making his own soy sauce. He thinks that regular soy sauce is
too salty, so he makes his from scratch with dried bonito. We
draw your attention to the difference between the retail soy sauce
and Kaji`s own. You will find ours slightly sweet and richly flavoured.