Chef Shinji Kurita Planning to Reopen Shinbay in Scottsdale

Fans of Japanese cuisine will surely take heart at the comeback of a local luminary: Chef Shinji Kurita is working on reopening Shinbay, this time in Scottsdale.

Since it closed five years ago, Kurita's original Ahwatukee location of Shinbay has become the stuff of legends for its exquisite obentos, top-notch seafood, and refined, minimalistic atmosphere, where the chef-owner quietly worked as a sort of one-man-show behind the counter, creating artistic plates of ankimo (monkfish liver pate), whitefish sizzled in sesame oil, and tender octopus with olive oil.

Kurita says construction will soon begin on his space at the Scottsdale Seville, which will have a similar feel to his old restaurant. There will be just 14 seats in the dining area and a dozen at the sushi bar.

Although Kurita is still refining his concept, he says it will have omakase tasting menus similar to the original Shinbay, as well as a sushi bar with "New Tokyo-style" sushi.

What does that mean? "Only nigiri," he says. Maki (rolls) won't be an option.

And true to the ways of sushi purists in Tokyo, there won't be soy sauce for you to dip your fish into. Instead, he'll use his own special soy sauce, and will season each piece before it's served.

Look for a tentative April opening.

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