There’s a new sushi restaurant in town, and so far it’s had quite the warm welcome from members of the public, with customers raving over the quality and service on social media over the last few weeks.
Neko Sushi is owned by husband and wife duo, Daniel Choi and Mirae Park. They moved to Bradford from Richmond Hill into the apartment above the restaurant just a few short weeks ago.
Originally from Toronto, and living in Richmond Hill, the couple took a leap of faith when they decided to pack up their life, move to Bradford and open their own restaurant.
It was after a day of fishing near the Holland Marsh in the summertime, that they decided Bradford would be a nice place to live.
They scoured ads for lease space available in Bradford to open a restaurant, when they came across the perfect location, right in downtown Bradford near the four corners.
Choi has ten years of experience working at a sushi restaurant in Toronto. He originally started his culinary career in Korean food, then eventually made the switch to Japanese. Both Choi and Park come from a Korean background, and met when they were both working at a Korean restaurant in the city.
Park is an art school graduate, and has only been working in the restaurant industry for a year, helping her husband. While Choi focuses on preparing and cooking the food, she deals with the marketing and customer service aspect of the business.
Neko means cat in Japanese. Cats in Japanese culture symbolize good luck.Their restaurant has tiny cat decor accents throughout, including their small chopstick holders at each place setting.
Neko Sushi’s menu is quite extensive, from rolls to deluxe rolls, and sashimi to bento boxes. Their most popular items so far Park says are their rolls.
They say the difference between their restaurant and other sushi restaurants is that they do not offer an ‘all-you-can-eat’ service.
“So the quality is a bit higher,” Park explained.
Everything is made in house. One of the struggles of having a restaurant in Bradford Park says is that most of their suppliers do not deliver this far north. Every three to four days, the couple makes the trip to Toronto to pick up their ingredients.
“This way it's more fresh,” Park explained.
There are currently three chefs on staff, plus a couple on-call crew when they get busy. Their busiest days are Fridays and Saturdays.
So far, the humble couple have found business in town to be great.
“The people living in Bradford are really nice,” Park said.
Local resident Amber Harris-Carniello is one of the restaurant's best customers and is happy to have them in the downtown community.
"You're welcomed when you walk in the door with a warm smile. They have no problem explaining anything on the menu and offering suggestions," she said.
"Everything is prepared fresh and artfully. The attention to detail on each plate even down to the little cat chopstick holders add to the enjoyment."
Choi and Park plan to celebrate with a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony sometime in the near future, once they are more settled.
To see the Neko Sushi menu, check out their Facebook page here.