That a Swede would be one of the most prominent innovators in the art of sushi making is perhaps not expected. But that’s exactly what Pontus Johansson is. The owner of the restaurant Saiko in Malmö, Sweden has won several awards in sushi competitions at both national and international levels. This year, he and his team got first place in the Sushi World Cup in Tokyo. thus enabling him to call himself the best sushi maker in the world.
A little less than three years ago, Johansson opened Saiko in Malmö, a creative, innovative sushi restaurant that has become one of Marcus’s personal favorites to visit whenever he is in town. Here, they create sushi in a different way, with a delicate balance of tradition and innovation – which, incidentally, is what the word “saiko” means in Japanese.
I had the opportunity to ask Pontus a few questions about his success:
Hello Pontus! Tell us a little about you and Saiko. How come you wanted to open a Japanese restaurant?
What to the eye looked relatively easy but turned out to require a great deal of creativity and skill is probably what made me interested in the art of sushi in the first place.
The ability to create many small colorful flavor combinations in a wonderful symbiosis got me hooked a little more than ten years ago. The desire to cook my own food and set my own standards led to me taking matters into my own hands and open my own restaurant a little more than three years ago.
How would you describe your restaurant in a few words?
A unique and unexpected taste combination of Japan and Skåne (the southern part of Sweden). Our vision is to use our knowledge to create a culinary experience, both with our sushi and our Japas – Japanese inspired small dishes.
What do you think are the factors to Saiko’s success?
My incredibly talented team who are as crazy and imaginative as me! We work closely and intensely together trying to create fun, new taste sensations from whatever seasonal produce Mother Earth has to offer. The variations of morsels in various shapes and forms, flavor combinations, textures and knowing that everything is cooked from scratch – that can probably be a factor too.
And what do you think the future holds for Saiko?
Lots of adventures!
If you ever find yourself in Malmö, do yourself a favor and check out this fabulous spot.
St. Knuts väg 7, Malmö