I was strolling in Kappa-Bashi district in Asakusa, Tokyo. There are over 170 restaurant supply stores on 800 meter (half a mile)-long street, selling just about anything you need to run a restaurant: Japanese and western style plates, pots for the kitchen, pots to serve noodle and soup dishes at the table, pans with over hundreds of different sizes shapes and colors, chopsticks that ranges from $1/pair to $30/pair, traditional Red Lanterns with calligraphy style words written outside that are displayed at Yakitori and Ramen Shops, lacquerwares both black, red, traditional and modern, Store Signs, uniforms like the ones worn by Sushi Chefs in the US, To Go Containers, Refrigerated Showcases, Wax Food Displays some of which look better than the actual food, menus and much more. It’s a restaurant supply wonderland!
I was browsing the street and went inside to a knife shop. Inside were literally hundreds of hundreds of knives, Japanese and Western, short, long, small and big, most of which, I had never seen of. As I was looking at the display case, I overheard this conversation between a customer and the store owner. They were looking at several knives on a table.
“So, which one do you think is the best knife?” The customer asked.
“Well, they are all great knives,” the owner replied.
“Yes, I know they are all great. What I’m asking is which I should I buy? Which one do you recommend?”
“Let me see…., well, I can tell you from my experience that almost all the professional chefs buy inexpensive knives because they use their knives and sharpen them every day. So, they know they will damage expensive knives if they use them every day. Almost all the amateur semi-pro chefs end up buying expensive knives. I suppose that is because they want to own and collect knives rather than use them.” And the store owner stopped and there was a silence. I left the store after hearing their conversation, so I have no idea which knife this customer ended up buying, or maybe he did not buy any knives at all. If I had to guess, I would say he ended up buying expensive knives because obviously, he was not a professional chef because if he was, he did not ask “Which knife should I buy?”