Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, closed
A, C at Chambers St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Every chef knows the importance of a really good knife. What separates pros from amateurs is that they know where to buy the best. Korin, formerly to-the-trade only, opened to the public in 2003 and stocks well over 500 models of knives, imported from Japan and forged in centuries-old family factories. Most of the knives are sharpened Japanese style, on one side of the blade only, using techniques developed by samurai sword-makers (there are also some Western-style knives). In addition to being crafted from performance-oriented combinations of high-carbon steel and alloys, many knives are equally exquisite as art—with handles sculpted from water-buffalo horn or ebony, embellished with inlaid gold, or intricate lacquer work, and blades incised with fanciful kangi ideograms. Resident master sharpener Chiharu Sugai is available to retool the blade when it gets weary.