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Bincho restaurant review

February 13, 2011

Had dinner with a friend the other night before heading to a ‘My Chemical Romance’ concert. ‘Bincho’ is a yakitori grill restaurant and was not our first choice to go, as my friend had her heart set  upon a handmade udon restaurant around the corner. Unfortunately for us, they were not opened (opening  hours were different but then we were eating quite early for dinner).

Anyways, as we walked into the restaurant we were immediately greeted by the smell and smoke of the grill…nice. Already I had concerns of how we would smell later at the concert. The menu consisted of mostly grilled skewers of meat, fish and vegetables with the prices reflecting that of only one skewer but it stated the order would be a minimum of 2 each.I find the logic in this just totally…pointless, why not just double the prices and say it’s two of each? You’re gonna be bound to notice this and if not, the waitress points it out to you. Eliminate the extra work and the customer having to subconciously double the price in their heads. I might sound harsh here but I figure when you eat, you shouldn’t have to do any extra work at all. Should be straightforward, clear and simple.

Having chosen our food, we signaled the waitress over and ordered.

She asks ‘Any drinks?’

I answer, ‘What are the drinks?’

Now, before I had noticed there were no drinks on the one sheet menu but thought maybe it had been because it was one of those places you had to ask about for drinks. Either that or you had to strain to see some on a board on the wall. She apologizes and hands us the drinks menu. Strike one.

Our saya salad arrived first which consisted of mixed leaves, avocado, salmon, shaved daikon (radish) and seasoned flakes with lemon dressing. This was…ok but consisted mostly of rocket, lettuce, some lambs lettuce and small amounts of the rest, despite appearances of a pretty generous pile up. We ate this for quite awhile before our eel and duck skewers came. Then the seven samurai, a dish recommended if you are not sure what to get and made up of seven of their ‘popular’ skewers which was salmon, asparagus, chicken wings, prawn, pork belly, chicken and spring onions and shitake mushrooms. Now…the skewers were ok, decent for what you expect them to be, nothing really special about them. Without the sauce we ordered, they would have been very plain. Something you could do yourself  using a home grill.

We also ordered an yakitori onigiri which is grilled rice ball with seaweed. It came as described but even I know that an onigiri means it should be seaweed wrapped. The seaweed was lying on the side unceremoniously folded. Also, the onigiri was more like the kind of rice you got at the bottom of a rice cooker, hard n crispy but just slightly seasoned with soy sauce. The seaweed strip I mentioned was also just half of what you’d find in packets of seaweed you buy for wrapping sushi. Safe to say, you could have done this at home and it would have cost you less.

Service was standard, awkward at times as both manager and waitress would randomly dip in to grab finished plates, and not in a good way. All in all, if you find no creativity in the food, feel you could have done this at home,then it wasn’t a great dinner out. Another thing you should be warned is while the place has a nice Japanese exterior, the place gets very smokey (because of the grill of course) so your clothes WILL end up smelling if you are near the front part of the restaurant.


Service 3/5
Food 3/5
Atmosphere 3/5
Pricing 2/5 (only a let down because food was disappointing)

Verdict: Average but below average in regards with the standard you normally get and expect in central London.

Just overly disappointing, would not go again.

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