What are we, you ask? We’re a casual fine dining restaurant that serves more cutting-edge Japanese-inspired foods. Our heritage is Japanese, yes. However, we like to take a more contemporary approach. We build upon our roots. And, at times, we may be in opposition to the “authentic” views of what Japanese food is and is not. We are not afraid of breaking rules or boundaries. And, so, we are the Japanese New Wave.
Chef Kohei Matsuyama & Michiko Takahashi: The Powerhouse Duo
The duo, behind the much loved Kon-nichi-wa restaurant on Baldwin Street, are now bringing you their latest creation: The Shozan Room. Both are restaurant veterans and are no strangers to the industry.
Chef Matsuyama has over 35 years experience working at high-end Japanese restaurants in both Toronto and Japan. His specialty is in the art of Edo Kaiseki cuisine: the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine. Prior to co-owning Kon-nichi-wa, Chef Matsuyama worked as Sous Chef at the top-rated Katsura Japanese Restaurant at the Westin Prince Hotel in Toronto. And, for 15 years, he worked at the Takanawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Japan meticulously preparing highly specialized, multi-course dishes.
Michiko Takahashi also has extensive experience in the restaurant industry. Prior to co-owning Kon-nichi-wa, she worked at high-end Japanese restaurants in Toronto (Katsura/Westin Prince Hotel), Ottawa (Yakitori House), and Japan.
For Squid-Ti, restaurants are in his blood. He was born into the industry. Both his parents own (have owned) Japanese restaurants in Canada. Naturally, Squid-Ti’s first job was working for his late-father. At the age of twelve, and while his peers slept through the night, Squid-Ti scrubbed charred teppan tables until dawn. All eleven of them. He also worked outside the family-owned restaurants and, eventually, became sushi and tempura chef. Squid-Ti has over 15 years experience in the industry.
But Squid-Ti’s experience isn’t only limited to restaurants. He has a diverse background in the creative arts. He’s made award-winning films that have screened at film festivals worldwide, involved himself in broadcasting, composed and performed his own electronic music, and is Savile Row trained in the art of bespoke tailoring.
After pursuing studies at university, Squid-Ti now comes back full circle, back to his roots. Squid-Ti has a B.A. in Philosophy, a B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology, and a law degree (JD) from the University of Ottawa.