SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The Valley is home to many interesting and unique dining experiences.
People can eat with their hands and watch knights joust at Medieval Times. Or watch small planes depart from Chandler Airport while enjoying breakfast at The Hangar Cafe. Pick up a pizza and listen to music played on a giant 1920s Wurlitzer theater organ at Organ Stop Pizza. Take a literal spin around downtown Phoenix from Compass Arizona Grill. Or experience a 20-course tasting menu from James Beard-nominated chef Kevin Binkley at his restaurant, Binkley's Restaurant.
Let's add another to the list.
For those with a taste for seafood, specifically Japanese cuisine and sushi, ShinBay's omakase-style dinner may be an experience to dive into.
Omakase, which translates to "entrust" or "chef's choice," is a popular dining experience at high-end restaurants in Japan. And at ShinBay in Old Town Scottsdale, Chef Shinji Kurita is entirely in charge of the evening meal.
"We have one menu, which is from me," he said during a recent interview, followed by a friendly laugh.
There is no menu listed online and no menu at the table. Actually, there are no tables in the restaurant at all. Instead, diners sit among 13 seats at an L-shaped bar that faces Kurita's prep area where diners will watch him make that evening's meal.
While the menu has the potential to change each time, people can expect a five-course meal with each course consisting of five plates, said Kurita.
"The main foods are nigiri sushi. There is some sashimi and appetizers. We serve seafood, most of the time. Seafood and vegetables," he said.
One of the heftier dishes that Kurita showcased for ABC15 -- that way we could get video and a photo of it -- was a seafood platter with at least six different kinds of seafood. Each item was then meticulously topped with a difference sauce, garnish, and other flavorings.
ShinBay is likely not an on-the-whim dining experience for most diners. Dinner lasts two hours and Kurita offers two seatings -- 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. -- on Wednesday through Sunday. He is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Reservations are required. The cost of the experience is $185 per person, which does not include an automatic 15% gratuity, tax, or the cost of drinks.
IF YOU GO:
3720 N. Scottsdale Rd #201, Scottsdale, AZ 85251