This summer, The Source Hotel + Market Hall will welcome Temaki Den to its collection of restaurants, retailers and makers in RiNo. Fans of Denver’s Sushi Den on Old South Pearl Street will be especially excited to hear that Sushi Den Chef and Owner Toshihiro “Toshi” Kizaki and Kenta Kamo, executive chef of OTOTO, are the brains behind the new restaurant. Toshi Kizaki is considered the legend who first introduced sushi to Colorado more than 35 years ago, and under Kenta, OTOTO has won 5280’s and Westword’s “Best Japanese” restaurants for the past three consecutive years. Kenta will spearhead Temaki Den’s operations.
Temaki Den is the first restaurant of its kind in Colorado focusing on fresh and captivating, no-frills handrolls, made with equal parts care and creativity. The intimate 22-seat restaurant inside the original Source Market Hall will provide guests with the ultimate sushi experience. Sushi chefs compose each handroll just a few feet away from guests to ensure the best bite at its peak temperature and prime texture. Temaki Den’s menu will offer three to six rolls that total from $12 to $24 with a la carte rolls starting at around $5/pc.
“In a way, with Temaki Den, we’re going back to the basics of traditional sushi. Sushi should be simple but every step of the preparation needs to be executed with perfection using the best rice, best nori, and quality ingredients,” said Chef Kenta. “Using quality ingredients is a given, but the standards will be the same as Sushi Den, if not higher, for our chefs preparing the ingredients.” He continued, “We are designing Temaki Den to be an incubator for sushi chefs and a place where people cherish coming to work, learning and continuing to perfect their skills.”
Temaki Den will take the term “top quality-ingredients” a step further. Fish is flown in from the Nagahama fish market in Fukuoka where it is handpicked daily by Chef Toshi’s younger brother, and the nori on offer is some of the highest quality available in the nation. “The nori is one of the most important components of temaki-zushi. We’ve taste tested over 40 brands and narrowed it down to just one. Our nori is extra crispy and less prone to getting soggy. It has a depth of flavor above all others,” says Chef Toshi.
Since its opening in 2013, The Source — an 1880’s brick foundry building turned artisan market hall — has been home to the region’s most impassioned, craft-focused artisans. With nearly two dozen restaurants, retailers, and makers of all kinds, The Source continues to push the boundaries of culinary, art, design, and handmade goods in Denver.
“Denver has been craving fresh, light, delicious food that makes a perfect 30 minute lunch while also encouraging a deeper dive into the menu for dinner,” said Justin Croft, vice president of development at Zeppelin Development which owns, operates and developed The Source. “Temaki Den offers an alternative to the standard fast-casual assembly line. Each bite is served quickly and directly by the chef making it in front of you, typical of smaller restaurants in Japan. We are working hard with chef Kenta and chef Toshi along with Dynia Architects and Wunder Werkz Design Studio to create an atmosphere that makes guests feel instantly comfortable.”
Photo courtesy of Zeppelin Development