Sunday, 24 February 2013

Bincho Yakitori

Relaxing Japanese Izakaya experience

Bincho provide something a little different to your usual Japanese restaurant in London, instead of the usual sushi and ramen, Bincho offers Japanese BBQ on the grill, which is a traditional style of Japanese concept that not quite got mainstream in UK yet. I didn't actually planed to visit Bincho, I went there for their newly open whisky bar downstairs and ended up eating in Bincho after smelling all the wonderful flavours while I was walking past their grill.

We sat behind the grill to get the chance to see the kitchen in action, the burst of meaty and char grill smells just make me so hungry and it was very interesting seeing all the meat well placed on the specially designed grill in little wooden skewers to really deliver an authentic fell to it.

This place doesn't do starter and main courses, you just order lots of small plates of grill food to share with the whole table so it is a bit like tapas food. First to arrive was Gyu, beef rib off the bone, the meat was tender and grilled at the right level, clothed with a sweet Japanese seasoning which is similar to soy sauces. Sea bream again used similar seasoning, the sauces was a little heavy and I wished they used less to balance out the neutral flavours of the fish's sweetness. Whole tiger prawn was a little over grilled and the meat got a bit tough, but otherwise the flavor was good.
Beef, sea bream and tiger prawns

Next came Sanma, whole salt-grilled mackerel pike, this is a Japanese classic and it was done brilliantly, the salt level was spot on without going overboard, meat easily peeled off the bone and the meaty flavours of the mackerel really delivered on the palate, followed that is the chicken oyster and duck breast. The chicken oyster was the best dish of the night, juicy, tender and smooth, the explosive flavours just spread around your mouth while I was chewing it. The grilled duck was also outstanding, the use of wasabi & spring onion combo worked well together and the duck were packed with Eastern spices and sweetness.
whole salt-grilled mackerel pike
duck breast

Finished off the meal with a rice dish, steamed rice with chicken, soft-cooked egg & spring onion, portion was massive and the neutral flavours of the egg and chicken was great to match with the bolder and stronger flavours of the grilled dishes. It was an impressive rice dish indeed.
steamed rice with chicken, soft-cooked egg & spring onion

Overall it was a very nice experience, the food here are perfect with beer, sake or the newly opened whisky bar downstairs. This is an ideal place for after work dinner or catching up with old friends. Price for food was very reasonable especially in central London, and if you are a BBQ friend, this place offers an alternative to the usual American and Korean BBQ, well worth a try. 

Food 4
Service 4
Ambience 5
Value 6

£30 per head with a bottle of beer

16 Old Compton St, London, 
Greater London W1D 4TL

Bincho Yakitori on Urbanspoon

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