Mundial’s Olivier Anquier Santoku with seven-inch hollow edge blade makes a few concessions to Asian styles, but it’s very much an Old World knife. The wide drop-point blade still does a good job of slicing vegetables, fruit and meat.
The forged high carbon stainless steel design of this santoku gives it more strength than the usual thin-but-efficient Asian slicing blades. You’ll be able to use this knife for chopping and not need to worry that running across a bone might damage the steel. The steel compares well to anything made by Wusthof or Henckels, and turns instead of chipping. Sharpening steels reset the cutting edge easily. The wider stock and thicker cutting bevel make this knife less the classic santoku and more an improved chef’s knife.
Multiple hollows ground into the sides of the blade do decrease friction in the cut, and to some degree release slices of food from the blade. Some chefs accustomed to stamped steel designs will find the full-width bolster a hindrance. The bolster does increase the strength of the blade, but in a forward cut stops the knife short. One useful trick is to slice on the pull stroke instead of sliding the knife forward.
The ironwood grip of the Mundial Olivier santoku comes from an acacia native to South America. This abundant and renewable resource offers owners the beauty and durability of natural tropical hardwood without the moral concerns about depletion of the rain forest.
See the Mundial 5100 Santoku for another good santoku built for the professional kitchen.