/Get Inspired/Local Act

On Dundas West, Knife is on the Cutting Edge

The moment Eugene Ong’s beloved blade shop, Knife, was born

By Sharine Taylor
Photography by Arash Moallemi

Eugene Ong took the mundane task of knife sharpening and turned it on its head – or point, rather. While employed at a friend’s restaurant as a line cook, he took up honing duties and, against the advice of the head chef, used the opposite side of a whetstone.

To both of their surprise, this yielded more refined results than the recommended technique. Fascinated by his discovery, he decided to make a few trips to Japan to learn about the art of knife-making. In 2009, Ong opened his storefront.

Knife is equal parts gallery for Ong’s inventory of artisanal Japanese knives and display of the craftsmanship that goes into each blade. The store’s clientele of professional cooks and kitchenware aficionados is promised high-quality knives forged from stainless steel, with handles made from morado, jarrah and pakkawood, and delivered directly from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Now celebrating 10 years in the business, Ong certainly has a sharp eye for what makes a good knife. Among his favourites are those by Mcusta (for its contemporary take on a centuries-old practice), Takamura (infamous for the calibre of its blades) and Fujiwara, whose rustic knives are a by-product of four generations of swordsmiths.

In-store classes bring a community element to the business. With his popular knife-sharpening and -skills sessions, aspiring connoisseurs can stay on the cutting edge.