Why? This toasty hideaway is perfect for cold winter nights in Soho! As you enter the restaurant, you pass chefs labouring away to prepare dishes on traditional open charcoal grills. Bincho’s website explains the chef’s methods: ‘In Japan, the Ganko Ojisan are the keepers of the flame…’ and hey, in this weather, I want to be wherever the flame is!
When? A Tuesday evening at 8ish – the restaurant was very busy but seats were still available without reservation.
Impression: The buzzing, izakaya-like atmosphere was ideal for meeting up for a girly gossip with my friend from Japan, Sian, another ex-JET teacher.
Prices: Skewers of chicken grilled over charcoal (yakitori) start from £1.40 for two – so this is an easy place to eat as little or as much as you like. There are more substantial dishes with rice, salad etc. for £4.00-£6.00.
Like with tapas or dim sum, it is actually rather easy to get carried away and eat loads – be warned!
300ml of hot sake is £8.30, and a pint of draft Asahi is £4.00. Desserts are around £5.00, and are surprisingly good.
Service: The friendly waitresses were extremely busy, but if you look hungry enough they’ll get round to you…
Description of food and drink: Starting with a little hot sake seemed to be in order.
We then had a selection of old faves – tasty skewers including Asparabacon, Buta (pork belly) and Negima (chicken and spring onion) along with the very interesting Aigamo (duck, spring onion and wasabi).
Had to include a photo of the ‘Baked Chocolate’ dessert – gooey goodness.
Toilets: Fine, located down the stairs.
Come again? Absolutely – I’m going call to find out about special offers. The restaurant attracts a young crowd and plenty of students, so they often have deals on Mondays such as skewers for £1.00.
16 Old Compton Street
London W1D 4TL
Tel: 020 7287 9111