Japanese chef Ryoichi Nakatani brings a wealth of experience to the kitchen, having been in the culinary industry for over 20 years. Originally from the Chiba Prefecture (near Tokyo), Nakatani spent his first few years as a chef-in-training doing random tasks such as deliveries, cutting fish and assisting with preparations for restaurants. He continued to pursue his craft at the famed Tsukjii Fish Market (now called Toyosu Market) in Tokyo, where he found his niche in Edomae sushi (also known as Tokyo-style sushi). Today, he helms Sushi Ichizuke in Singapore, the modern sushi-ya where diners can have a taste of his traditional Edomae cuisine.
While Nakatani is busy cooking up omakase delights for his guests, he can't help but be reminded of home. He takes a trip down memory lane and shares what he longs for now that he is far from home.
When was your last trip back home? How did you spend your holiday there?
Ryoichi Nakatani (RN): I haven’t returned to Japan since I moved to Singapore four years ago. However, when I do go back for a holiday, my main focus will be to spend as much time as possible with family and friends.
What do you miss most on the food/drink front when you are away from home or haven’t been back for a while?
RN: Definitely the Yakitori and Izakaya restaurants that I used to go to often, which I enjoy pairing with sake.