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Two-Michelin-star sushi chef Masaki Saito is leaving New York to open a restaurant in Yorkville

Two-Michelin-star sushi chef Masaki Saito is leaving New York to open a restaurant in Yorkville
Chef Masaki Saito Photo by Kathryn Sheldon/Michelin Guide US

New York’s loss is Toronto’s gain: Two-Michelin-star chef Masaki Saito is leaving his perch behind the counter at Sushi Ginza Onodera in the Big Apple to open Sushi Masaki Saito in Yorkville, where the chef will serve his interpretation of traditional edomae-style sushi.

Edomae practitioners are known to marinate, simmer or cure raw fish prior to serving it, in order to maximize both the umami and tenderness. Saito’s edomae pursuits have earned him recognition as a sushi savant: He opened the New York branch of Sushi Ginza Onodera in 2016, earned his first Michelin star in 2017 and added another, at age 30, in 2018.

Michelin-starred chefs have opened restaurants in Toronto before, but Saito plans to put down roots here, which would make him the first Michelin-starred chef to cook here on a permanent basis. Saito was first drawn to the city by sushi pals Jackie Lin and Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga of Shoushin, and says he was won over by Toronto’s energy and multiculturalism, which he sees as the right audience for his edomae style—even though our city isn’t currently recognized by the Michelin Guide.

The restaurant is scheduled to open at 88 Avenue Road, across from Yorkville Village, by spring.

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