Ai & Om Knives, located in the heart of historic Chinatown, offers a thoughtful selection of Japanese knives, sharpening stones, and cutting boards as well as hand-sharpening services for both western and Japanese-style knives along with knife-skills classes and sharpening workshops.
With over 13 years of chef experience in professional kitchens including Eleven Madison Park, West, Bambudda, and Sai Woo, owner Douglas Chang draws upon his extensive culinary knowledge when handpicking knives from more than 30 lines crafted byJapanese blacksmiths. He sources his knives directly from Japan, working with family-run shops in which the craft has been passed down through generations, often over hundreds of years.
Ai & Om’s carefully edited collection includes industry-preferred lines such as Konosuke, Akifusa, and Nenohi (exclusively in Western Canada). Rare custom-made, hand-forged knives and one-of-a-kind blades pique the interest of professionals and collectors, while more approachable factory-made options are ideal for cost-conscious home cooks. Each blade is chosen with an eye for quality.
The store name “Ai & Om” translates to “love” in Mandarin and is short for Omoiyari, which roughly translates to “care” from Japanese, representing Chang’s philosophical approach to knives with passion, knowledge, and reverence. Sharpening services are given equal focus, as the quality of any knife is realized through use and maintenance.
Chang takes the same thoughtful, highly skilled approach in curating the shop’s collection as he does in rehabilitating knives needing a fresh edge. Later this fall, Ai & Om is launching a series of knife-skills classes and sharpening workshops, ranging from proper cutting techniques that enhance a home cook’s efficiency and enjoyment in the kitchen to DIY care and maintenance tips.
11am – 6pm
Monday & Wednesday to Saturday
12pm – 5pm