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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Binging at Bincho

(Front to back): Buta (pork belly), Unagi (eel with sansho pepper),
Tai (sea bream) and Gyu (beef rib off the bone)
Sanma (Whole salt-grilled mackerel pike)
Tori Tatsuta-Age (Deep-fried chicken with ponzu sauce)
Ninniku Chahan (Buttered garlic rice)
Yaki-Onigiri (Grilled rice cake with seaweed)
Nasu Miso Dengaku (Japanese aubergine with sweet miso)
Daikon (Crispy Japanese radish, toasted seaweed and roe with wasabi mayo)
Uzurabacon (quail eggs and pancetta)
Tsukune (Chicken meatballs)
Negima (Free-range chicken and spring onion) on left
Momo (free-range chicken) on right
Enokibacon (Enoki mushrooms and pancetta) 
Aigamo (duck breast, wasabi and spring onions) 
LOCATION: Bincho, 16 Old Compton Street, London
CATEGORY: Japanese, Izakaya and yakitori
DRINK: Beer, sparkling water, tea
WE THINK: We had wanted to go to Bincho for a long time, having heard much about how authentic their yakitori (essentially: grilled bird) is. True to yakitori tradition, Bincho serves grilled skewers of virtually every part of the chicken--from beak to tail--including skin, gizzards, liver, bones, heart, neck, tails and sometimes even arteries--stuff we haven't had outside of Japan before. These are all made on the traditional grill bar at the front of the restaurant. When we finally made it to Bincho, though, we "chickened" out (excuse the pun) and ordered what would probably be considered "boring" skewers by a Japanese person. We were just not in the mood for crazy textures, which is guaranteed with an order of bones and gizzards. What we did have, though, was an abundance of deliciousness on sticks! Favourites were the pork belly, the eel, the enokibacon, quails eggs and the dangerously yummy fried chicken. All of which we ordered seconds of (minimum orders are 2 skewers, so we essentially ended up with 4 of each of these). Even with four of us to share the food, we were so fat by the end of our meal (and stinky from the delicious garlic rice) that we were only an inch from hating ourselves. But we will definitely be back and be more adventurous next time (we hear they have "secret" daily specials and off-menu skewers). 

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