Meet Your Maker: Tanto, QT Melbourne

Tanto's Mr Takai with a Suisin knife

Tanto's Mr Takai with a Suisin knife

A boutique blade with your bao? Sign us up.

After one too many Martinis at the hotel bar, a knife shop is probably the last place you'd expect to stumble upon. But on the ground floor of QT Melbourne, next to the hotel's Korean- Japanese bar Hot Sauce, you'll find Tanto, a boutique specialising in expertly forged Japanese Suisin knives. They're sourced directly from Sakai city in Osaka Prefecture, where they've been crafted since the 14th century, and where knifemaker Junro Aoki has been making them since 1990. His son Tatsuya has helped bring the knives to Tanto, the first and only store in Australia to sell them. Staff can also sharpen and service your existing blades using traditional Japanese equipment, help you decide on a Suisin or work with you on a custom design.

What kind of knives does Tanto stock, Tatsuya-san?
There are many - from yanagibas or slicers, to deba filleting knives, the all-round santoku and gyuto knives, sabaki and yodeba for filleting and boning, and many more.

Where do you find the materials for your knives?
We source stainless steel from Sweden, and our carbon steel is Yasuki Hagane from Hitachi, who made some of the first Japanese swords.

What makes a good chef's knife, for your money?
Sharpness, retention, ease of maintenance and the balance. Knives in the Hayate series [one of the higher-end lines at Tanto] take at least three months to make.

What's the best way to care for a Suisin knife?
Always keep it dry. For home use, you should sharpen your knives every week or, if you're a commercial chef, daily. Every three to six months it's also worth booking in for a professional sharpening and reshaping service.

Tanto, knives from $65, QT Melbourne, 6 Portland La, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 8636 8836,


Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
David Chang’s Ugly Delicious is about to make you very hungry
Lee Tran Lam on her obsession with podcasts
Australia’s top-ranked cheeses announced
SBS to screen four top food documentaries in February
Josh Niland to open a seafood shop in Sydney
Sydney Fish Market: now delivering
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Hot 100 2015 - Food

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Women in Hospitality

A new organisation is empowering women working in the hospit...

The producers: Two Rivers Green Tea

A leading local tea exporter now offers his leaves to the do...

The producers: Colony honey

A selection of regional monofloral honeys sourced direct fro...

Liquid gold

We find ourselves inexorably drawn to salt caramel in a jar....

The producers: Atssu Divers

Hand-dived abalone, turban shell and sea urchin.

Making a scene

Entertainer Julia Zemiro notes there’s little difference bet...

Deutscher’s Turkey Farm

When it comes to talking turkey, the best birds have lived t...

Sandor Ellix Katz Q&A

Food fermentation 'revivalist' and guru Sandor Ellix Katz di...

The producers: Alexandrina Jersey milk

Meet the producers of the creme de la creme of Australian fu...

Gamze smokehouse

Bringing local flavour to artisan-made bacon.

Gourmet Traveller Gourmet Fast app

Now, here's a mighty handful: GT's Gourmet Fast recipes are ...

Food emoji we wish existed

What? More than 200 new pictograms in the latest Emoji set, ...

What is jumbuck?

The jumbuck has leapt straight from the pages of Banjo Pater...

Inside Out almond milk

Thicker, creamier milk, with a more pronounced almond flavou...