Chef Chat: Shin Toyoda, Sushi Roku

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Armed with a super sharp sushi knife and some of the freshest fish to be found in a desert, sushi chef Shin Toyoda takes Arizona tastebuds to Tokyo, one happy customer at a time.

Toyoda got his first job in a restaurant when he was 16 as a busboy and has been in restaurants ever since. His upbringing and his 30-year career -- 11 of which have been with the Sushi Roku company -- has made Toyoda very particular about his representation of the cuisine.

"I have to keep Japanese food traditional," he said. "It's my way."

It certainly doesn't hurt to have some of the best  ingredients on the market on hand. He says it is very important to keep it simple and let the quality and freshness speak for themselves.

However, Toyoda says some Japanese restaurants have a tendency to stray from the classic cuisine, complicating the menu with too much frill. He sees American sushi trends like Japanese cars sold in America: They just aren't the same as back home.

Some major differences Toyoda sees Stateside are the use of wasabi and teriyaki. He says in America, sushi restaurants give their patrons far too much wasabi on the side, so the diners tend to glob it onto their meal, overpowering the flavors of their sushi or sashimi. He also says that teriyaki really isn't that popular in Japan anymore.

Sadly, he also informed us that mochi ice cream isn't that popular in Japan -- but that probably won't stop us from eating it.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.