The certification program of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas

Interview of Supporter Stores Edomae Sushi Matsuki

Offering authentic sushi to landlocked European countries using Edomae (Edo-style) sushi technique

Bratislava / Slovakia

Savor authentic Edomae sushi in the center of the old city

Edomae Sushi Matsuki is just off the Main Square in the Old Town area of Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. Because it is located in a secluded part of the building, it goes largely unnoticed, and has a hideaway atmosphere about it. On descending the stairs to the basement, the entrance space has a black and white monotone stone pavement which fuses the sense of a Japanese garden with a winery and expresses the friendship between Japan and Slovakia. The remains of a former wine cellar are visible in the arched brick wall, but on venturing further inside, the visitor sees a beautiful counter made of hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood. It is a small established, with just eight counter seats and a tatami room.

In their strong desire to "popularize authentic Edomae sushi in landlocked countries," Kento Suzuki, representative director of Most Ltd. (headquarters: Osaka), and Atsushi Matsumoto, representative director of Insyokujin College, opened the restaurant on June 6th, 2019. "Most" means bridge in Slovak, and Mr. Suzuki, who has long experience living in both countries, founded the company with the aim of it becoming a bridge between Japan and Slovakia. In addition to operation of the Edomae Sushi Matsuki restaurant, the company exports Japanese food ingredients, imports Slovakian wine, and supports the opening of overseas stores.

Edomae sushi

Both day and night, a reservation is required, and only set meals are offered. Meals start with an appetizer, followed by assorted sashimi, nigirizushi, a flame-broiled dish, kerayaki (omelet with fish surimi, etc.), soup, and dessert.

Depending on the seafood in stock that day, meals are devised using Edomae sushi techniques such as soaking, marinating, boiling and broiling. The seafood is purchased not only from Europe, but also Japan and other countries. Since there is a variation in the seafood used in sushi depending on the day, bringing out the goodness of the ingredients is a serious challenge. Furthermore, rice from Fukui prefecture is used, which is ideal for vinegared rice, and so there is no compromise on taste. Nigirizushi served with seafood is such a superb dish that it makes the customer forget they are overseas in a landlocked country.

As a beverage to accompany sushi, local people enjoy drinking sake, and also wine and champagne, etc.

Slovakian and Japanese media coverage

Matsuki’s Edomae sushi is provided through the efforts of chef Keisuke Nagasawa, assistant chef Peter Horvát, and service manager Kazune Takeuchi. Both Mr. Nagasawa and Mr. Horvát are graduates of Japan’s Insyokujin College Sushi Meister Course; Mr. Nagasawa then trained at a Michelin-listed restaurant in Japan and, after working in the USA, became chef at Edomae Sushi Matsuki. 30% of customers are Japanese and 70% are non-Japanese, including Slovaks. Since the restaurant aims to offer an authentic taste, it does not engage in particularly large-scale advertising, but the number of Edomae sushi fans has steadily increased through word-of-mouth in Slovakia, and the restaurant has recently been covered by major Slovakian media and media in Japan.

Wanting to offer an authentic taste

According to Mr. Suzuki, there has been a sushi boom in Slovakia for several years, and since sushi is sold in restaurants and supermarkets, etc., run by Asians and local Slovaks, it is well known to the general public. However, a lot of it is made by simply cutting and placing salmon and tuna, and it is therefore totally different to Japanese sushi; he says that, for this reason, he decided to open the restaurant because he wanted people to experience the authentic taste of sushi. The nigirizushi served at Edomae Sushi Matsuki includes various types of seafood, and is it able to completely change local people’s perceptions of sushi.

He says that preparations for opening the restaurant went reasonably smoothly thanks to his experience of running an izakaya in Slovakia, but delays still occurred due to work on the interior, etc. He used highest quality tatami mats and a hinoki wood table to create a Japanese style room, but says this proved to be a miscalculation because the room is largely unused due to customers preferring to sit at the counter and watch the chef work.

Opening of specialty store OMUSUBY

In November 2019, OMUSUBY was opened in order to promote the deliciousness of Japanese rice. It provides Japanese fast food-style meals that mainly include rice balls, offering rice ball sets, okonomiyaki, omelets and Japanese confectionary, etc., at affordable prices. Going forward, Mr. Suzuki says of his aspirations, "I would like to promote Japanese cuisine—which is a cultural heritage—overseas in a proper form, and, in the future, want to create an environment that allows Japanese people who have gone abroad—like myself—to be proud of Japan."

Edomae Matsuki Bratislava
Ventúrska 18, 811 01 Bratislava
+421 (0)948 917 097