Here’s a gander at all my new cooking gear. 3 small little accessories. A squid shaped grater because it’s absurdly cute and it’s great for fine ginger/wasabi/radish and stuff like that. Next was a fish scaler. I like doing small fish start to finish at home, scraping scales and gutting/filleting. It’s just one of those fun things. Another thing is I also really don’t trust the guys in Sydney fish market/grocers to handle fish well. They’re just pretty roughhouse and fast rather than good. Throwing fish around is bad cos the pinbones often break the flakes of flesh. Plus I also got a cheap fish tweezer. I like this one cos the tip is pointy and not flat. Used it on some salmon, which worked out fine after I got used to the motion and force. At the start I was bending it outta shape! All in all a decent haul of useful but cool gear.

Now for the serious shit. I picked up 2 Aritsugu knives in my Tokyo trip, a white steel #2 165mm deba and an A Type semi stainless 240mm gyuto. The deba I used on some kingfish actually just for fun and it did ok despite not being razor sharp. It’s also started to patina slightly with blue tones on the blade edge. Pretty cool. I’ve since sharpened it and it’s good now. Can’t wait to break into some bonito or mackerel. You can see the different logos on the knives. The deba has a hand chiselled one whereas the A Type is machine stamped. This clues you into the manufacturing process and it’s the reason why the deba costs a little more than the gyuto at 14000Y versus 11500Y because it’s handmade. It’s not a definite signifier of better quality though! Incidentally, the Kyoto Aritsugu, a different company with a longer history etc sells a similar A Type wa gyuto for about double the price. However, given that the steel is the same and the manufacturers are OEM, I really don’t have a problem with the cheaper one!

The gyuto I had a lot of hesitation prior to purchase. I wanted a new gyuto because the old Wusthof has definitely reached retirement status. No matter what I do, it’s just never gonna be sharp enough for me. The Tojiro ITK just feels too short and a little rough in terms of performance. It cuts smooth and quick but it feels a little awkward for me. Maybe I just don’t like the thick bevel. In any case, it was pretty inexpensive and well, the kurouchi finish was cool while it lasted. I’ve gained a much better understanding of knives and what I prefer through it and at the end of the day, it’s still gonna see use or I could give it to my family back home too.

So one of my must dos in Tokyo was to kop a new gyuto. I also wanted a wa style Japanese handle rather than the Western type. I like the aesthetics and feel of the wooden handles a lot more. This meant my options were limited and typically expensive. Actually, the knife I wanted the most was a Masamoto KS but it wasn’t in stock when I went to the Masamoto Sohonten store in Sumida. Masamoto Tsukiji doesn’t make this knife I think. I hoped I would find something in Kamata but they too ran out of the KS. I missed out like twice. I also didn’t find any Seki city type knives that I would go for like Konosuke etc. So the next choice was the Aritsugu A Type. I just couldn’t leave Tokyo without a new gyuto. So I kopped one from the inner market in Tsukiji. If I had a little more patience, I would’ve got the same knife but with a blond ferrule instead of the regular black one since the Aritsugu store in the outer market had one.

My main fear about the A Type was it was notoriously hard to sharpen. I got around this problem by getting the store to sharpen it for me or at least set the initial bevel. Otherwise, it actually ticked all the boxes moreso than the Masamoto KS. It was cheaper, semi stainless and slightly thicker. If someone stole it, I wouldn’t cry. If someone stole the KS, I would considering it’s 3 times the cost. I tried out the A Type doing some chicken curry and sliced pork yee meen and I gotta say, it’s really super. Breezes through everything and because of it’s noticeable but slight heft, it doesn’t feel fragile, closer in feel to my Wusthof but much better balanced. The initial shop bevel is a 70/30 right bias and it’s pretty sharp but I cleaned up the sorta rough finish on my stones at home and the steep edge is just gleaming. It blows past my previous knives for sure. Everything that I read about how the knife is hard to sharpen etc has evaporated at this point. Turns out I kopped the perfect “beater” knife after all.

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Ps. Popped a photo of my properly sheathed Konosuke HD Sujihiki as well. Had to drill and grind out the hole on the saya to fit the pin.

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