- April 24, 2017
In a recent poll this small but, dare I say it, perfectly formed restaurant shot up to second place. Hardly surprising either in my view. I’ve been a few times now and I’m ashamed that I have never written about it . Maybe subconsciously I wanted to keep it secret, after all it is small and already booking is essential if you want a table, even early in the week.
So why so good? The answer lies in clarity of intent. This is a charcoal grill, Japanese style, and that is what they stick to. It is also great value, well priced dishes that give you the chance to dine on a budget or, should you wish, splurge. Well I was with my good friends Ms L and Mr B, food lovers to the core and my accomplices when making the series Cook It!. Neither had been so I was left to suggest what we ate. That was not a problem and I ploughed in with a portion of pickles and some kimchi. I love them and so did they, the pickles are amazing, crunchy and sour, the kimchi funky and pokey.
Next the belly pork, it has to be tasted to be believed and every place that has it on their menu should try this to see just how meltingly tender this meat can be. We started with one portion but in the end we had eaten three. Then aubergine, I know some people dislike it but I simply love the creamy texture of a well handled egg plant and at Bincho they handle it with skill, choosing the long thin variety and basting it in miso before grilling, utter perfection. So too was a tempura of fresh fish that we chose from the selection of daily specials, a generous portion too.
We left with very big smiles on our faces and full bellies
I love the skewers of chicken hearts but Ms L was not keen so I persuaded her that the skewers of chicken skin were a must, and she agreed, as good if not better than those bits that a cook will steal from a roast chicken before serving it. I did however get my way with the chicken livers which were simply amazing, how they grill them to that perfect pinkness is beyond me, but they do. I also insisted on the Korean chicken wings which are particularly good and very generous, too big when dining alone sadly. A plate of griddled lettuce was great too, refreshing and tasty
Kimchi rice was a new dish for me but one I would return to when dining with friends, alone I would always go back to the grilled rice cakes, they are a nutty delight that you could struggle to manage to make at home. In fact this is the kind of food one might struggle to replicate at home – and why bother when they do it so well. We drank sake, and beer, and white wine and we left with very big smiles on our faces and full bellies.
Bincho Yakitori, 63 Preston Street, Brighton BN1 2HE
01273 779021, binchoyakitori.com