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Sushi Master Kit: From student room to own restaurant

Sushi master kit.Veiled Marie Wonders

“No, like this,” said Kitsanin Thanyakursaja, closing the drawer with a graceful motion. It closes with a click. He, whom everyone calls Kit, looks at sous chef Floris van der Staei, 21, and appears to say how difficult it is. Van de Staay thinks it was difficult. He was gentle at first, but he became very aggressive because his drawer wouldn’t close. However, when Kit does that, he closes quickly.

Thanyakulsajja is good at these things. His girlfriend, Margot Schipper, 23, told us to watch his hands, especially his fingers. However, if you give him a defiant drawer, he will slowly slide it closed.

The drawer is behind the bar at Thanyakurthaja’s new restaurant, Undercover, which is still under construction but is already making headlines in the culinary world. Two years ago, he became known as the “Sushi Student” after running a top-of-the-line restaurant in his Park student room. At first, I should have known, but after a wave of media interest, they now offer Japanese omakase without a menu where the chef decides how and what to eat. And what was the best sushi?

After a successful start, his friends came to his aid, but Thanyakulsajja only lifted his head off the surface. Despite only getting his three hours of sleep per night, he completed his liberal studies in the Arts and Sciences, for which he moved from his native Thailand to Amsterdam.

He then opened his own shop, but it wasn’t a restaurant as we know it. Indulge yourself with 20 sushi dishes in a secret room at the stylish Kaisersgracht hotel The Dylan. He continued this for his year and a half, until the opportunity arose to run his own restaurant where everything was perfected to his liking.

null Belled Marie Wonders

Veiled Marie Wonders

Undercover occupies the first two floors of graphic design firm Thonik’s impressive new Wibautstraat offices. It’s not quite finished yet, but it’s basically all there. Think about it specifically. A pretty urban tabla rasa in Thanyakulsajja, opening in mid-October.


Sous chef Van der Stuay met Thanyakursaja while indulging his love of Japanese cuisine at The Dylan’s secret restaurant. “That night I said I would like to work for you. He is a true perfectionist and takes some getting used to.The first time I started cutting fish he immediately stopped me and told me what I had to do They gave me a list of 10 things, and all 10 were right.”

Thanyakulsajja is good at cutting and his fingerwork is unmatched. Give him wasabi root and his hands will dance for you, choreographing your thumb, little finger, and everything in between. “You get this nice bright green color. It’s aesthetically appealing.”

null Belled Marie Wonders

Veiled Marie Wonders

That’s how he works, he keeps an eye on everything, but in the end it’s all about sushi. I learned in “Sushi is about mastering thousands of little things to perfection,” he previously told the newspaper.

He carefully scrapes off the scales of the amberjack, puts the kitchen knife back in place exactly, puts the cloth on the cutting board and cleans it almost neurotic. “It’s like letting the ball bounce a few times in tennis before you serve it,” he explains. “It’s not really necessary, but if you don’t, something will go wrong very quickly.”

play with absurdity

Thanyakulsajja loves being able to do everything her own way. When does he see Undercover as a success? “I am part of Gen Z and success for us is not about money or possessions. If you can recognize yourself in this place, this place will succeed.

“I love playing with absurdity. The sushi bar in the student room was like that. We create traditional Japanese cuisine, sometimes using techniques that have been passed down for centuries, but instead of kimonos, fusuma and perfect tranquility, we cook in a modern, cosmopolitan setting with a backdrop of concrete and hip hop. And I’m a 23 year old Thai still in Amsterdam.”

null Belled Marie Wonders

Veiled Marie Wonders

Thanyakulsajja then prepares the piece de resistance on a cutting board. Nigiri with wasabi and fish covered with soy sauce. Rice differs from paddy fields in Japan, soy sauce varies from fish to fish, and there is no better fish in the Netherlands. But not cheap. The omakase menu is around 150 euros. “It’s complicated because I want to make this dish more accessible, but it’s expensive.”


Slice the mackerel with your fingers. My girlfriend Margot says she never gets tired of watching it. “You know, is his middle finger his dominant finger?” After six months of dating, on her first date, he brought her a drink.

Thanyakulsajja are happy to converse while chopping, assembling, cleaning and arranging, but don’t expect small talk. “I’m anti-hospitality,” he says. I don’t talk or yak just to set the mood. I don’t run the show and I’m not interested in Sir and Madam stuff. When I serve squid, I never hear it tell me where it lives, its life story, or its Latin name. I want to tell everyone. That’s my area of ​​expertise. ”

So he’s against hospitality, and he’s against the dress code. “Because people like to come here in streetwear. This place isn’t just about expressing your identity, it’s for everyone. I know what I want and what I can do.”

After Van der Staay explains how the takeout menu works, Thanyakulsajja puts his knife down neatly and heads to the kitchen. On the way, when you pass in front of the drawer, it closes with a whoosh. Kit is good at it and he knows it.

null Belled Marie Wonders

Veiled Marie Wonders

https://www.parool.nl/english/sushi-master-kit-from-student-room-to-his-own-restaurant~b2092da6/ Sushi Master Kit: From student room to own restaurant

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