Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Ono sushi

Image from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, courtesy Magnolia Pictures

I can’t quite put my finger on when – it was more than a decade ago now – but, Toronto became obsessed with sushi.  There are three places within 10 minutes walk from my home and that’s light compared to the sushi to population density ratio downtown.

Sushi from Omi on Carlton Ave in Toronto

Image via Omi Sushi

There are lots of budget sushi takeaways (great in their own rite) but these are balanced by a few really wonderful spots, Nami and Omi to name a couple.  Places that treat sushi like an art.

Sushi on a board by Omi Sushi, 234 Carlton Ave in Toronto

Image via Omi Sushi

But if it’s the best sushi in the world that you seek, it’s not surprising that you’ll need to travel east to Japan.  Once there however, you might be shocked to learn the world’s best sushi is served up in a humble ten seat place located in a Tokyo subway station.

Jiro Ono, world's best sushi chefImage from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Sukiyabashi Jiro, is the first sushi-only restaurant to ever receive 3 Michelin stars,  it’s chef and proprietor, Jiro Ono, is considered the world’s best.

Chef Jiro Ono at work with his sonImage from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, courtesy Magnolia Pictures

At 85 Jiro loathes holidays, or any reason that would keep him from his sushi bar.  And Jiro, who has been practising his art for most of his life, isn’t done evolving.  He runs his little restaurant from sun-up to well into the night, with his eldest son, Yoshikazu, by his side.  His son will one day be responsible for continuing Jiro’s legacy.    Indeed it’s this relationship between father and son, along with a mediation on the quest to perfect an art, that has formed the basis of a new documentary film called Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

The film also asks if it’s true that doing what you love means never working a day, or whether you just work that much harder, with tolls on other facets of life.  The film is, as Anthony Bourdain reviews, “Thrilling and beautiful”, perfect for foodies and anyone else for that matter.

The film is currently playing here in Toronto at TIFF Lightbox and then makes the circuit through our city’s rep cinemas.  If you’re in the US, here’s the film’s list of local showtimes.

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