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Bincho Yakitori - Soho
Bincho is venerably modelled on the Japanese izakaya, or drinking house, where workers can come and down Sapporos at the end of a long day and order a few bites to eat while catching up friends and co-workers. The front entrance of the restaurant is dominated by a bar, behind which sits a charcoal grill, where small eats - skewers of meat, fish, mushrooms and vegetables - are perfectly grilled over hot coals and served to diners on an on-demand basis. The food is simple and excellent - the starter skewer set is a good way to go for the uninitiated and represents good value.
Skewers are not the heavy, hearty Turkish and Lebanese affairs you'll find on Edgware Road and Dalston - we're talking light, delicious morsels with often the minimum of preparation to allow natural flavours to shine. Free-range chicken is predictably popular and delicious; grilled duck breast, beef rib, shiitake mushrooms and asparagus with pancetta are all delightfully simple takes on favourites. For the serious eaters, there are a multitude of intrepid options; in fact, the grill chefs positively encourage it. Delicate chicken hearts, enoki mushrooms and the incomparable chicken oysters are all served, and the chefs take requests on specific parts of the bird they will grill.
Larger dishes are offered as well; the whole grilled sardine and mackerel are both excellent and rice is served in various guises on the side. Side dishes are simple but delectable, including two varieties of miso soup, tori-tatsuta age (deep fried chicken with ponzu) and the lovely Japanese aubergine with sweet miso. Due to the small size of dishes and the minimum of two per order, what seems cheap can add up quickly. But for the bon vivant, epicureally curious or adventurous eater, Bincho presents a delicious proposal.
Opening times: Monday: closed for lunch Monday - Friday: 12:00 - 15:00/17:00 - 24:00 - - Saturday: 12:30 - 15:30/17:00 - 24:00 - - Sunday: 1:30pm - 15:30/17:00 - 22:30
16 Old Compton Street, Soho, W10 4TLView Larger Map