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Communities Eat: Finding traditional Japanese food in Sudbury

Kako’s Kitchen uses a Japanese method of cooking called ‘washoku’ that prioritizes local and seasonal ingredients to create a harmonious, light and delicate meal

There aren’t many options for traditional Japanese cooking in Sudbury, but that’s why Takako Boyle took it upon herself to offer her culture to Sudbury. 

Boyle had her grand opening for her restaurant Kako’s Kitchen just a couple of weeks ago on June 4 and she practices ‘washoku’ in her cooking. 

‘Washoku’ is a practice of traditions in producing, presenting and consuming food. It’s supposed to showcase local and seasonal ingredients in a harmonious, balanced way and the food can best be described as very light and a delicate mix of flavours.

Sudbury.com visited Kako’s Kitchen to experience her food. You can check out a TikTok of our taste test below.

@sudburydotcom I love these mochi balls so mochi #fyp #foryou #sudbury #ontario #foodtiktok #foodtok #japanesefood ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

 

This is the type of cooking her mother used to do for her, and she wanted to make sure her three children were also exposed to this culture. That is also why she is one of the lead organizers for the Japan Festival this year. 

Since she works alone, her bento boxes and vegan ramen often sell out.

“I can make up to 20 or 25 a day for bento boxes and for vegan ramen, too. It’s limited so it sells out pretty quickly,” Boyle told Sudbury.com. 

Her bento boxes and ramen ingredients often change as well because she uses fresh, seasonal and local ingredients to prepare her dishes. Boyle told Sudbury.com that she gets a new batch of mushrooms each week from The Ugly Barn Farm and some of the ingredients in her kitchen, she made herself. 

Boyle learned from a traditional ‘koji’ maker how to prepare ingredients. Koji is cooked rice and/or soybeans fermented and used in miso, soya sauce, mirin, sake and a list of other ingredients. 

In her case, she has been using her koji to make homemade mirin and she also had miso that’s been aged two years in her inventory. The miso is darker in color than the typical miso you would see in store because it’s been aged longer, the flavour is deeper as well.

Kako’s Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Wednesdays to Saturdays. The bento boxes, vegan ramen and mochi are available until they’re sold out or until 2:30 p.m. From 2:30 p.m. to close the restaurant serves the traditional tonkotsu (pork) ramen.