One of our favourite Friday night dinners in Auckland was yakitori and kushiage at Tanuki’s Cave, so we’ve made it a priority to find yakitori in London too! I have to credit the boy for this find, after a call to him on the way home from work claiming ‘I could not cook again!!!’ He promptly called me back telling me to meet him at Oxford Circus tube station, there was a surprise in store!!!
It was under similar conditions we went back this Thursday evening.. So we hopped on the tube and headed to Old Compton St in Soho to Bincho, where through the window you can see the chefs deftly turning skewers over the skinny troughs of hot coals, always a good sign!
We had booked, and as always with london, would recommend you do too! We were promptly seated at a skinny table for two towards the back of the restaurant, where we began to pursue our table mat come menus, broken down into the different kind of morsels you can get on skewers!
We went straight in for one of Rory’s (ok, and mine!) favourites – the chicken wings with some sweet peppers and edamame to nibble, we opted for Japanese beer too (I’m not sure why but we often over look the sake).
The wings were served practically sizzling hot on skewers, finger licking good, with crispy skin and a smoky flavour from the coals. The peppers were blistered on the outside and sweet in the middle and the edamame nice and salty, perfect to pick at with the beer while we deliberated over what to order next!
The next round consisted of oily salmon with crunchy skin, skewers of steak (the least favourite of the evening) and whole tiger prawns, which the boy devoured before I got a look in! More beers ensued so we couldn’t resist the karagee chicken, with my favourite ponzu dressing, and another round of the crispy chicken wings. Heaven!
We skipped dessert the first time we went to Bincho, so we HAD to try it this time! We ordered the baked chocolate with hazelnut ice cream, not exactly Japanese but I had some the best french inspired baked goods in Japan so I’ll let them off! Boy, was I glad we did, this was a proper molten chocolate pudding, oozing in the center and the hazelnut ice cream was the perfect accompaniment.
Now for the damage, this is not a cheap friday night out, so it won’t be the perfect replacement to Tanuki’s, as we spent the equivalent in pounds as we would have in NZ dolleros with the the bill around £70.
My only bug bear with the place would be that the menu has the price per skewer yet the minimum order is two – why not just put the price for the two? That is a very minor issue though as it really is very, very good! I would highly recommend it if you’ve had yakitori before, and if you haven’t? Even more reason to give it a whirl!!Bincho 16 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TL T: 0207 287 9111 As with lots of places in London, there’s another one too! Bincho EC1 55 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QL T: 0207 837 000