In 2016, Tatsuo Kan opened his first restaurant in Penticton and it was an instant sensation. Sushi KOJO is no ordinary Japanese restaurant - this is a sushi experience. As an elite trained Japanese sushi chef, a title that takes many years to achieve, Tatsuo brought with him from Tokyo a mastery of skills. From his addictive Ramen noodle bowls (all the rage right now on the International food scene), as well as top tier sushi making, Tatsuo knows how to create a restaurant and build an excellent team to provide top level service to his customers.
The charm of his restaurants is also enhanced by his magnetic personality — you can tell that Tatsuo truly loves what he does. Sushi KOJO in Penticton is packed daily which inspired his decision to open a second restaurant in West Kelowna. KOJO Soul Fusion incorporates Tatsuo’s creative side by integrating different flavours and beautiful presentation to his dishes. The menu is innovative and enticing.
“Our restaurant brings a little Japanese flair and a whole lot of Okanagan hospitality together in what is the perfect blend for Westbank,” Tatsuo says.
Stunning and delicious creative sushi rolls are on the menu like the KOJO Roll featuring Toro (fatty tuna), green onions, cucumber, Aburi style (seared) tuna, Poke sauce and spicy sauce on top. And PS if you have not experienced Aburi yet – prepare to freak out.
Fusion comes into play with dishes like Poke (pronounced po-kay) on the menu served three ways. Poke means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian and is a favourite comfort dish on the islands that became another big food trend here. Poke is pieces of raw, marinated fish (and other variations) served atop rice with other vegetables and toppings with sauces – you will see why it is so addictive.
And then there is the ramen — the ultimate comfort food. Four versions of this beautiful Japanese noodle soup are on the menu including: Red Spicy Ramen with chicken, spicy miso broth, karaage (Japanese fried chicken), green onions with an egg on top. In other words, a big bowl of happiness.
KOJO is all about the experience and also supports the local drink industry with local wine and beer in house along with the usual Japanese specialities – like sake. Sake aficionados will be thrilled to see Dassai sake on the list. Dassai 50 is a premium junmai daiginjo sake and is very expensive. (tip: Tatsuo offers it at a very reasonable price for the enjoyment of his customers.)
In Japan, Tatsuo owned and operated a huge catering company and offers the same service at both of his locations. Key for his success in the Okanagan has been his dedication to training his staff – many of whom have come to him from Japan. He and his growing family (baby number four on the way!) are based in Summerland.
You can find them in West Kelowna at 3466 Carrington Road or in Penticton at 3480 Skaha Lake Road. Find their website here.
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