Since March 2023, we have opened our own permanent place at an amazing location in the center of Amsterdam, near Central Station.
We were able to realize this dream location with the help of our wonderful community through crowdfunding.
Here we have plenty of room to fully expand Ken Sushi in the future and to present it as Ken originally conceived.
A dream come true after many setbacks and temporary locations.
But how did our story start?
Where the passion began.
When Ken was 18 years old he received a sushi course as a Birthday gift. That was the moment his love for making sushi was born. However, at the time he had many more passions such as freestyle skating and martial arts. That is why his career started in a different field. From a young age he was, like his brother Tom, part of the theater/dance company ISH for many years. With which he performed in many theaters in the Netherlands and abroad with dance, acting and his skating and martial arts skills.
They also did many educational projects with young people. During this projects they not only conveyed their skills, but it was also important to teach the youngsters confidence, perseverance and discovering and believing in their passion. Now in their own restaurant, they once again working with a great passion now passing on their knowledge and skills to their guests. In addition, at Ken Sushi they also like to give employees with a lot of motivation, commitment and passion the opportunity to learn something new, rather then years of experience.
Ken's own restaurant
After their theater careers, Ken and Tom worked together in a sushi restaurant for years, where Ken's dream arose to start his own restaurant and do it completely his way. In May 2019, Ken started this adventure with the thought and desire to offer an affordable omakase sushi and introduce guests to his omakase style.
In a small setting at the Lootsstraat in Amsterdam West, he was given the opportunity to start his own business and build a beautiful and successful company together with his family. This is where he started with his wife Bee and had a small bar where a maximum of 10 people could sit for an omakase or okonomi dinner. He shared the building with a Surinamese/Caribbean catering company, so take away guests and delivery people regularly walked in too. Despite this special setting, things quickly took off, especially after praising articles in the local Westkrant and the Parool.
The restaurant was unexpectedly quickly and surprisingly well received! That's why, initially as a matter of necessity his brother and nephew joined the team to help Ken next to their other jobs. But they stayed and never left until this day forming a close family team. Since then they work together with heart and soul to ensure that the family business remains a success and continues to grow while doing what the love.
Not much later, an extra chef was needed and we had to work with three shifts a day, no more okonomi and only omakase at fixed times. Bee had to step back in the meantime due to the pregnancy and birth of their first son Kenji in July 2020, making another dream come true. Nowadays she provides administration and desserts! Due to the enthusiasm of our guests, we have created a very nice and loyal community over the past four years, regular guests who regularly come to eat and continue to support us in good and bad times. At the bar we always have a nice mix of regular guests and new guests with all kinds of backgrounds.
A lot of moving
Unfortunately, a lot changed due to years of corona restrictions. In April 2021 we left the Lootstraat in West to offer take away bento boxes at a temporary location. We were over the moon when we heard that we could stay on the Amsteldijk and open our restaurant again at this great location with a pleasant, light space. In ten days we transformed the old office building into our sushi bar with lounge. Unfortunately, we were quickly thwarted by the municipality and this dream only lasted a few months.
In October 2021 we were given the opportunity to temporarily settle in the lobby of the Olympic Hotel, until we found our own location. This 'temporary' took a little longer than we hoped, but we are grateful that our guests continued to visit us regardless of the location and we were able to keep our restaurant running in such a nice environment.
After all these wanderings, we have now settled on the Geldersekade at the beginning of 2023 and are continuing to build on our dream! Due to various factors (corona restrictions, increasing purchasing prices, expansion of the team and our own location), we can unfortunately no longer offer the omakase at a bargain price, as in the early days. We regret that this makes us less accessible to a wider audience in this regard. We hope to change this in the future by opening the bar to guests without a reservation, and offering a small menu with Asian fingerfood.