Chef Kakinuma is a third generation sushi chef. Both his father and grandfather were sushi chefs. When he decided that he too wanted to be a sushi chef, his father told him he must learn from someone else so that his success would be his own. He was introduced to Chef Yoshitake by a family friend and began as an apprentice at Sushi Yoshitake. He worked under him for many years and Mr. Yoshitake spotted something in him, because although it is very unusual for a Sushi Master to directly train an apprentice, Mr. Yoshitake did this for Kakinuma. After this, Chef Kakinuma wanted to expand his culinary experience and better learn English, so he moved to the U.S.. During his time there he worked in restaurants in both NYC and Atlanta, perfecting his craft and also learning more about western pallets.
After ten years in the U.S., Mr. Yoshitake contacted him about opening the first Yoshitake outpost in Hong Kong and asked him to move to Hong Kong to head the endeavor. Chef Kakinuma enthusiastically agreed. Sushi Shikon opened in Hong Kong in 2012 originally under the name Sushi Yoshitake. The name was later changed to relieve confusion about Sushi Yoshitake in Tokyo moving. Their first year opened, Chef Kakinuma navigated them to their first 2 Michelin Stars. The following year they achieved their 3rd Michelin Star. They also ranked in the Hong Kong Top 100 Tables guide.
Every day, Sushi Shikon has the freshest ingredients flown from Tokyo. The restaurant, which closely recreates the standards of its Tokyo-based sister restaurant, offers an intimate atmosphere, where up to eight guests can watch sushi masters craft each dish in front of their eyes. Complemented by a wonderful sake and wine list, Sushi Shikon offers a quintessential Ginza sushi experience.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 4 words...
Portion, temperature timing and fun.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Meeting really great fishermen who are passionate about what they do and can give great explanations about their craft and the fish that they catch. This sort of passion and enthusiasm really inspires me, especially because without them I couldn’t do what I do. They provide me with the top quality fish I need to execute what we create at Sushi Shikon.
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
I would go to the two Michelin starred Passage53 in Paris. The chef, Shinishi Sato, is Japanese, as is his entire staff, but they only use the best French ingredients they can get hold of – and turn them into something very special. Also, Sato visited our Tokyo shop, the Three Michelin Starred Sushi Yoshitake, and has become friends with Mr. Yoshitake. I think what they’re achieving there is really interesting.
What four things would you take to a desert island?
I don’t even have to think about this, my wife, my two kids and Japanese Beer!! I assume a dessert island will have fine fish in the waters, so we will be set.
- 3 Michelin stars | Sushi Shikon
The Mercer Hotel
29 Jervois Street