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Where can I find Japanese Chef's Knife in GTA?

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pcavaliere Sep 23, 2008 11:41 AM

Does anyone know of a brick and mortar store that sells Japanese Chef's knives in the GTA? I currently own an 8" Henckles Chef knife and am ready to upgrade. I have read reviews about different knives and visited various websites that sell them, but would like to actually hold various knives before making my decision. In particular I am interested in Misono Knives (UX10), Masahiro, Shun and Mac. I know Tap Phong sells Global, but does anyone know if they sell the ones I mentioned?

Thanks.

  1. b
    Beagle Sep 23, 2008 11:52 AM

    There is a store on the corner of East Beaver Creek and East Pearce in Richmond Hill. It is exclusively Japanese cookware. Not sure of the name, but I pass by it everyday and can post it later.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Beagle
      aser Sep 27, 2008 09:40 AM

      Ozawa is the name of the place, and I happened to stop by yesterday. They actually had a Misono sujihiki on display, the carbon steel model if I recall. There were also a few other yanagi's and deba's. Also interesting is that they have Naniwa sharpening stones, their honing stones (high # grits) are what they excel at.

      Prices were quite high, but give them a call to see if they have other Misono's kicking around.

      http://www.ozawa.ca/

      1. re: aser
        p
        pcavaliere Sep 29, 2008 09:05 AM

        I actually went there too. I work close by. I saw the knife you were referring to. I spoke with Yuko. She is very nice. She explained to me that they usually don't carry the Misono line. That knife in their display was ordered in combination with other knives by another customer and he decided not to purchase it. She emailed me the Misono catalogue and is finding out about the knives I am interested in.

    2. s
      Snarf Sep 23, 2008 12:02 PM

      I know that Degrees on Yonge sell both Mac and Global, but that might be a bit too retail for you. Maybe check some of the posts on wholesalers.

      But definitely try out the Macs. They are truly works of art from beginning to end. Global makes pretty knives with great blades, but the grips are a yes or no fit with many people. Like trying on gloves.

      1. g
        goodcookiedrift Sep 23, 2008 12:09 PM

        I only know of Korin (http://www.korin.com/) as an establishment that carries a wide variety of Japanese knives. I don't know anywhere in Toronto, even Canada to be honest. That said, i'd give them a call. My chef friends and myself included, have purchased some Misono knives from them while in New York and the prices are really good. And i've never been hassled by customs either.

        4 Replies
        1. re: goodcookiedrift
          aser Sep 25, 2008 09:09 AM

          I am not aware of any stores in Toronto selling Misono and Masahiro. I purchased my ux10 gyuto from Korin, it's one of the best knife stores in N. America. They sometimes have 15% off all knives sales.

          For a Canadian alternative try....

          http://www.paulsfinest.com/

          btw, Mac makes one of the best bread knives imo, SB-105.

          1. re: aser
            m
            moreana Jan 21, 2009 07:54 AM

            I've ordered from Paul's Finest before since I didn't want stuff shipped via USA. The owner answers his email and all my questions personally, so I ended up purchasing my knife set from him. I also didn't pay PST since it came from Quebec.

            1. re: moreana
              t
              tochowchick Jan 21, 2009 09:34 AM

              Thanks to this post, I bought a knife as a present from Paul's finest for Christmas...very pleased with the quality/price/service...recommend them.

              1. re: tochowchick
                d
                Darrin Jan 24, 2009 07:35 AM

                I've purchased several times from Paul, and always have experienced the fastest, most hassle-free service I could hope for. He carries the full Misono line, including the UX-10 line, which you won't find anywhere else - trust me, I looked!

        2. duckdown Sep 23, 2008 12:27 PM

          The Cooks Place on the Danforth has it all

          1 Reply
          1. re: duckdown
            d
            DrewStar Sep 23, 2008 01:53 PM

            I realize you want a brick and mortar store to perhaps hold the knife before purchasing, however, you can save a lot of money buying online. In my case I saved at least $30 buying off of eBay as compared to The Cooks Place for the same MAC knife. My advice is to try a knife then go online.

          2. g
            goodcookiedrift Sep 23, 2008 12:32 PM

            Its also worth noting, that many of the Japanese knives including Shuns, Misonos and Mac's are all Western Styled. Japanese style knives only have one edge which is not ideal for many at-home chefs. Infact, i know few trained professionals that can actually wield a Japanese style knife the way its intended (especially Honyaki knives). That being said, my friend who worked at Per Se for a bit said that the whole kitchen used Misono's. I figure if good enough for Thomas Keller, good enough for me. And I haven't been disappointed since.

            4 Replies
            1. re: goodcookiedrift
              grandgourmand Sep 23, 2008 12:48 PM

              On a separate post, I asked about where I should go to fix the broken tip of my Misono. Haven't got around to it yet....where woudl you go? I really would like to do it myself, but between gambling and food, there's just not time.

              And to the OP, the cooks place on Danforth that duckdown mentions above has Global and Mac.

              1. re: grandgourmand
                g
                goodcookiedrift Sep 23, 2008 12:57 PM

                I just emailed my friend (said chef/ex Per Se employee) about this. She's always been telling me to send her my knives because she can sharpen them and even bring back the point which I'm sure you know is pretty hard to do. Anyhow, hopefully i'll get an answer and I'll repost as soon as i find out.

                1. re: goodcookiedrift
                  aser Sep 25, 2008 09:19 AM

                  You can repair a broken tip by grinding the tip of the blade on the blunt heel side, over a coarse grit water stone. If you send it into a shop for repair this is what they'll do. The aforementioned Korin and Dave at Japanese Knife Sharpening can handle these repairs.

                  http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.co...

                  If you're interested in high quality Japanese knives, my suggestion is to pickup some water stones and stone flattener to go along w/ it. Western-style Japanese knives have sharper angles to them (15˚ 70/30) compared to Solingen knives (20˚ 50/50). I don't know of any sharpeners in Toronto that work w/ Japanese knives, so if you take it to a place like Nella, you might get a blade back that has been reshaped into a traditional western knife.

              2. re: goodcookiedrift
                s
                stapler Sep 24, 2008 04:18 AM

                I believe the one sided knife you are referring to are actually sushi knives, made for slicing only. My guy has two, left handed no less! There are also regular chef knives, cleaver, turning, boning etc made in Japan.

              3. Kagemusha Sep 23, 2008 02:35 PM

                Go to Williams-Sonoma, look interested and get 'em to let you fondle the Shun and Global stock--take notes. Online is way cheaper, now that the C$ is stronger, but be aware that not everything is available. MACs are sweet. Paderno stores will order anything available from the MAC catalog. For me, MACs hit the price/value sweet spot.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Kagemusha
                  n
                  neighborguy Sep 24, 2008 09:16 AM

                  Which Mac do you like? There are so many.

                  1. re: neighborguy
                    Kagemusha Sep 25, 2008 02:53 PM

                    I have several from the Original+Superior series(the rounded tip models) that I love and a gift Pro series MSK-65 santoku. I'm partial to the cheaper Superior series.

                  2. re: Kagemusha
                    eddy Sep 27, 2008 12:50 PM

                    I agree I love my MAC

                  3. jayt90 Sep 23, 2008 03:06 PM

                    Some Costco's have displayed a set of 8 Globals, in a block, in their jewelery case. More knives than anyone would need, but just $600.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jayt90
                      Kagemusha Sep 23, 2008 04:27 PM

                      Drooled over those at Xmas but noticed they vanished by early summer. Fit is everything, though, and I find Globals' handles just don't work for me. Gorgeous blades for medium to small paws.

                    2. f
                      fatman0000 Sep 23, 2008 04:47 PM

                      As well as quality knives,where is a good sharpening service in to.
                      You also need a good steel and learn how to use it. Ceramic knives are also recomended.

                      1. g
                        Grant van gameren Sep 23, 2008 06:14 PM

                        I've bought some knives from Yamasho at 2238 Dundas St. West Suite B105 Toronto
                        Although they are japanese style knifes, but im pretty sure they carry some western style japanese knifes. Ones i particularly like right now are suisin INOX series.
                        Not sure if your a cook or not, but i would highly recommend a good set of Masamoto or suisin japanese style knives.
                        These are the one sided , wood handle, usually carbon steel that require sharpening stones as opposed to the steel. They remain very sharp even after a lot of use, but is a whole different world compared to western style macs, globals etc... They are expensive. atleast 200 + for a semi decent knife but in the end worth it.
                        You'll notice the same looking knifes for 100 - 1000 bucks and you'll ask yourself whats the difference. Its all in the steel they use. the more carbon, the softer the knife, making it easier to sharpen and get sharper.

                        Korin as someone mentioned is good as well as i've bought most of my knives from www.japanesechefsknife.com. They are located in Japan, and shipping rates are great and you can usually talk them down via email.

                        Also, you would have to invest in a good set of ceramic sharpening stones that will run you another 150 bucks. :(

                        Come to think about it. Buy yourself a Mac and put the money you save on a downpayment for a condo :)

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Grant van gameren
                          Notorious P.I.G. Sep 23, 2008 06:33 PM

                          Are these knives to be used in a kitchen? Or are you using these knives in a home environment? Also, what are you primarily going to be cutting with the knife? Are you perhaps looking for a good all purpose knife? Or something specialized?

                          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                            p
                            pcavaliere Sep 24, 2008 08:34 AM

                            As I mentioned, I own an 8" Henckles Chef knife. I use it as my main knife that does at least 80% of my kitchen work. I would be using the new knife to replace my Henckles. I am a passionate home cook only not a professional. I would be buying the knife for sharpness and lasting sharpness and to admire it as a piece of art. I do own other knives for specialized cutting, but I am only looking to replace my chef's knife.

                            1. re: pcavaliere
                              g
                              goodcookiedrift Sep 24, 2008 08:51 AM

                              My friend mentioned to me that the best bang for your buck then would be the Misono UX10 series. The prices are affordable and they hold their edge forever (the Sweedish steel is actually that much harder). Makes sense why many professionals choose this knife.

                              Masamoto's are beautiful and from what I understand, are probably one of the best knives out there. I wouldn't mind getting my hand on one of these.

                              Globals are nice, but to be honest, they are entry level and consumer grade. If you want something that's a bit more professional grade but don't want to break the bank, I think the Misono's seem like the best fit.

                              1. re: goodcookiedrift
                                grandgourmand Sep 24, 2008 09:38 AM

                                I've got a Global and a Misono (santoku blades)...much prefer the Misono, which is a 660 series.

                                1. re: goodcookiedrift
                                  aser Sep 25, 2008 09:35 AM

                                  ux10 is still quite expensive, albeit a great knife. If you want a 9.4" gyuto you're looking at over $200 usd. That's more than what most normal home cooks would like to spend on one knife.

                                  I think the best bang for buck knife on the market is the Togiro-DP. For the average home cook, this is more than enough. It performs better than henckels or wusthofs, and at greater savings. Heston Blumenthal raves about Tojiro, but he's obviously using their more upscale models.

                                  http://www.korin.com/models.php?cat=5...

                                2. re: pcavaliere
                                  Notorious P.I.G. Sep 25, 2008 01:49 PM

                                  As a home cook I believe you have a huge advantage over most professional cooks. You can own a really nice japanese knife without worrying about a co-worker taking it and throwing it in the dishwasher with the forks or lending it to someone only to look over to find that they're putting it through an electric knife sharpener. That said, the home is also perfect if you want to take the time to care for a really nice virgin carbon blade. You mentioned wanting to admire this knife as a true piece of art and I think that's great. The Misono UX-10's are great knives and I would recommend them to anyone. They're light, they are nicely balanced, and they stay sharp and precise.

                                  However, if you are interested in admiring it as a piece I would recommend going with a Masamoto. Besides being highly regarded as the best knives a chef can purchase they have a significant history dating back to 1872 with five generations of knife craftsmen under their belt. Virgin Carbon is not stain resistant but since you're in the home it would be very easy to give the blade a quick wipe after cutting through something, especially if it's highly acidic. If you don't want to bother with the trouble of carbon steel then Masamoto also makes a line that is made with VG-10 stain resistant steel.

                                  Price wise, Misono UX-10's are actually more expensive with their Gyutou knives ranging from around $143 at 7.0'' to $235 for the 10.5''
                                  Masamoto weighs in at $144-$215 for the same lengths in the Virgin Carbon Steel and $130-$208 for the VG-10 in the same lengths.

                                  Weight wise the Misono is in the middle. They are .5oz lighter than the Masamoto VG-10 but .5oz heavier than the carbon steel. Which will hardly matter at all since again, it's for the home and you're not using it all day.

                                  You'll also need a medium grit water stone and a fine grit water stone. You may want to start off with a synthetic stone then move up to a ceramic stone and then finally a diamond stone but that depends on your level of sharpening ability and what kind of knife you end up purchasing.

                                  Good luck with the knife hunt!

                            2. BokChoi Sep 23, 2008 06:45 PM

                              Got my fabulous Global Chef's knife at Nikolau. They carry all the big-named knife brands. Excellent selection. Excellent prices.
                              629 Queen St. W., Toronto

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BokChoi
                                BokChoi Sep 24, 2008 05:14 AM

                                btw. they also carry Mac knives.

                              2. c
                                chunkeymonkey Sep 24, 2008 03:37 PM

                                If your looking to buy Global knives definetly go and buy them at Tap Phong,beat prices for global knives.

                                1. o
                                  Ohly Smokes Oct 24, 2008 06:08 AM

                                  Hi,
                                  I've been looking into Shun knives and have heard they are available at the following locations:
                                  Nella Cutlery in Toronto
                                  Amazon.com (duty & shipping)
                                  Niagara Restaurant Supply - St Catharines

                                  What is everyone's experience/opinion of Shun knives?
                                  Thanks
                                  Jeff

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Ohly Smokes
                                    aser Oct 29, 2008 04:12 PM

                                    there are better japanese knives for same or less than shun, but for a widely distributed line, it is still quite good. If you buy one you'll surely have a sharp knife as long as you spend the time to care for it (ie. regular sharpening with waterstones).

                                    Do some hands on testing at William Sonoma, they're one of the few chain retailers that carries the 3 most widely distributed blades (Global, Shun, Mac) in Canada.

                                    1. re: Ohly Smokes
                                      p
                                      PBR63 Dec 7, 2008 06:46 PM

                                      Nella doesnt carry Shun, try the The Inspired Cook (1378 Queen Street East)

                                    2. jayt90 Oct 29, 2008 04:32 PM

                                      There is a set of 8 Global knives, in a block, at Costco, Ajax, for $600.
                                      This is tempting, but it is more than I need, On the other hand, I will always have a good blade when one favored one gets dull!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jayt90
                                        aser Oct 30, 2008 04:31 PM

                                        don't do it, you should always use the knife that is suited for the task. I'm picturing you trying to cut mire poix w/ a boning knife, that is an invitation for an injury.

                                        Get a chef's knife (minimum 8"), a pairing knife, a boning knife (if you like to de-bone fish/chicken/turkey) and a bread knife (if you eat lots of bread). You don't have to stick w/ one brand for each knife, mix them up.

                                      2. p
                                        pokerdan Oct 31, 2008 09:19 AM

                                        I recently shop at Bay (Downtown location) and I see they sell Japanese Knife at the basement level. You can check it there and see if this is one of your favourite. However I bought a set of Henckles at 25% off. loving it.

                                        1. c
                                          CoffeeAddict416 Dec 9, 2008 07:19 AM

                                          I know this wasn't in your request list but i saw Wusthof entry level Santoku knives with scalloping at winners in the downtown area for $50. Pretty much 1/2 price for those knives I think.

                                          1. p
                                            PBR63 Dec 16, 2008 11:55 AM

                                            Trying to get The Inspired Cook to carry Misono. They will be the only ones I know of in Southern Ontario to carry them!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: PBR63
                                              Notorious P.I.G. Dec 16, 2008 12:32 PM

                                              That would be amazing. Pound for pound they are the best value by far in a knife. IMHO.

                                              (Disclaimer: the best knife is whatever works best for you and whatever feels most like an extension of your hand)

                                            2. t
                                              tpw72 Jan 20, 2009 11:08 PM

                                              Check out Sanko on Queen st. west at Bellwoods. If you ask them they will show you some lovely Japanese hand made knives that aren't on display.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: tpw72
                                                g
                                                gazzer55 Oct 24, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                I purchased a traditional japanese knife, with a wooden handle, from tap phongs on Spadina. The lady told me it is from a company called Shogun. It looks like a deba knife but the blade is much thiner. Does anyone know what kind fo knife this is or if the company is any good? The knife only cost me $50. Thanks

                                              2. j
                                                JennaBean Oct 24, 2009 10:19 AM

                                                I'm looking for an Unagi saki traditional eel knife. Anyone have any leads on where I could get one in the GTA?

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: JennaBean
                                                  n
                                                  Nyleve Oct 24, 2009 11:09 AM

                                                  I've ordered knives from http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/def... before. Quick service, reasonable prices, huge selection of good quality knives.

                                                  1. re: JennaBean
                                                    aser Oct 25, 2009 12:24 AM

                                                    You're not going to find it in a store ready to be bought right now. The two stores that carry Japanese style knives in Toronto can probably order it for you if you're patient and willing to pay a markup. Otherwise online is your best bet, namely Nyleve's rec...

                                                    The two stores I'm referring to are Yamasho and Ozawa. Yamasho doesn't have an unagi-saki but has a wide selection of the standards (yanagi, deba, usuba, even a maguro bocho).

                                                  2. Thatcher Oct 25, 2009 11:33 AM

                                                    If you don't want to go mail-order, there is a small shop off Hiway 7 that supplies sushi restaurants and they have a really great selection of Japanese knives. I'm sorry I don't know the name. If you drive toward the Honest Lawyer pub, across the street, on the west side, there is a non-descript little strip mall, up on a hill. In that mall is the shop. It's the only Japanese shop there.

                                                    Don't know if that helps.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Thatcher
                                                      aser Oct 25, 2009 02:46 PM

                                                      That's Ozawa.

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