Tanto, QT Mel­bourne

A bou­tique blade with your bao? Sign us up.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Gourmet News -

Af­ter one too many Mar­ti­nis at the ho­tel bar, a knife shop is prob­a­bly the last place you’d ex­pect to stum­ble upon.

But on the ground floor of QT Mel­bourne, next to the ho­tel’s Korean-Ja­panese bar Hot Sauce, you’ll find Tanto, a bou­tique spe­cial­is­ing in ex­pertly forged Ja­panese Suisin knives. They’re sourced di­rectly from Sakai city in Osaka Pre­fec­ture, where they’ve been crafted since the 14th cen­tury, and where knife­maker Junro Aoki has been mak­ing them since 1990. His son Tat­suya has helped bring the knives to Tanto, the first and only store in Aus­tralia to sell them. Staff can also sharpen and ser­vice your ex­ist­ing blades us­ing tra­di­tional Ja­panese equip­ment, help you de­cide on a Suisin or work with you on a cus­tom de­sign.

What kind of knives does Tanto stock, Tat­suya-san?

There are many – from yanag­ibas or slicers, to deba fil­let­ing knives, the all-round san­toku and gyuto knives, sabaki and yo­deba for fil­let­ing and bon­ing, and many more.

Where do you find the ma­te­ri­als for your knives?

We source stain­less steel from Swe­den, and our car­bon steel is Ya­suki Ha­gane from Hi­tachi, who made some of the first Ja­panese swords.

What makes a good chef’s knife, for your money?

Sharp­ness, re­ten­tion, ease of main­te­nance and the balance. Knives in the Hay­ate se­ries [one of the higher-end lines at Tanto] take at least three months to make.

What’s the best way to care for a Suisin knife?

Al­ways keep it dry. For home use, you should sharpen your knives ev­ery week or, if you’re a com­mer­cial chef, daily. Ev­ery three to six months it’s also worth book­ing in for a pro­fes­sional sharp­en­ing and re­shap­ing ser­vice.

Tanto, knives from $65, QT Mel­bourne, 6 Port­land La, Mel­bourne, Vic, (03) 8636 8836, tanto.com.au

ON THE EDGE Tanto’s Mr Takai with a Suisin knife.

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