Feb 21, 2024 - Food and Drink

3 things to know before eating at Omakase Experience by Prime Fish

small restaurant with six chairs around one counter

Omakase Experience by Prime Fish seats up to six people and can accomodate up to eight for special ocassions. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Omakase Experience by Prime Fish offers a unique dining experience for sushi lovers looking for fresh seafood, authentic cuisine and eccentric ingredients.

Catch up quick: Chef and owner Robin Anthony is self-taught and specializes in traditional Edomae (Tokyo-style) sushi.

  • He opened Prime Fish, an Asian sake and raw bar in Ballantyne, in May 2021. One year later, he opened Prime Fish Omakase in Providence Park, near Cotswold.
  • Most recently, he brought his Indonesian roots to south Charlotte with Nusa in Arboretum. This month, he quietly opened Prime Fish Cellar, a wine, sake and gourmet goods store, in the same shopping center as Prime Fish Omakase.
chef behind counter making food
Chef Robin behind the counter. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Of note: Omakase is a Japanese phrase that translates to "I'll leave it up to the chef."

Why it matters: Tasting menu restaurants like Omakase Experience by Prime Fish — as well as L'Ostrica and Counter- — are changing Charlotte's restaurant scene. They charge a premium to customers upfront for high-quality ingredients.

The big picture: Omakase cuisine and tasting menu restaurants are two trends taking over Charlotte's culinary scene.

  • Kappo En is an omakase speakeasy located inside Menya in Elizabeth.
  • Moon Thai & Japanese in SouthPark offers omakase from Tuesday through Sunday for $100 per person.
  • At Counter-, the James Beard-nominated tasting menu restaurant in Wesley Heights, owner Sam Hart has, in the past, featured omakase-style previews of his upcoming new restaurant Maneki.
caviar and chips
This was the first course in my 10-course lunch — Royal Ossetra caviar on fatty tuna and chips. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Details: Omakase Experience by Prime Fish is a small and intimate restaurant located at 2907 Providence Road. It has counter seating for six people, but it can accommodate up to eight people for private parties and special occasions.

  • A 10-course lunch menu is available for reservation only on Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm for $150 per person.
  • Dinner reservations for their 16-course menu start at $300 per person. Dinner is served on Wednesdays at 6:30pm and on Fridays and Saturdays, there are two services — at 5:30pm and 8:30pm.
  • For an additional $100-$200 you can choose between the premium sake and wine pairing and the reserve sake and wine pairing. The restaurant also serves N/A wine.

Here are three things to know before you go:

1. It's the kind of place you take someone to impress them.

Because of the intimate setting, you'll have a lot of one-on-one time with chef Robin, who will guide you through the dining experience and prepare everything in front of you.

You'll try everything from rare Bafun Uni to Yubari King Muskmelon, a Japanese delicacy

close up of a slice of melon
The most expensive pair of Yubari melons sold for $45,000. This was the final course of the lunch I had. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

2. 97% of the fish comes from Japan.

Chef Robin has hired two fishmongers in Tokyo who purchase the fish for him. From there, they overnight the fish to New York and then to Charlotte.

Nothing is frozen. Chef Robin cures, preps and stores the fish the same way it's been done for hundreds of years, using vinegar or salt.

  • It's the best of the best, chef Robin says. He even uses the same fish as Jônt, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Washington, D.C.
box of uni
Box of Bafun Uni. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
two pieces of beef
Chef Robin also uses grade A5 wagyu Japanese beef. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

3. Every time you go, you'll have a different meal and experience.

Because the ingredients change seasonally and are dependent on what chef Robin can source from Japan, lunch and dinner menus change daily.

There will always be mainstays on the menu, like tuna, for example, but the place it's sourced from changes depending on the season.

pieces of sushi
This course was served on a hand-painted plate from Japan. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
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