Luscious smoky skewered morsels
Established as an Izakaya, Bincho is a traditional Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food. The basement is home to a Shoshu (Japanese whisky) bar, whilst food is prepared and consumed on the main ground floor. Skewers of yakitori (chicken; lean breast down to rich livers) and kushiyaki (red meat, fish and veg) are expertly seared in front of diners on a charcoal grill, and served with savoury yakitori and teriyaki sauces.
We arrive famished, take a cursory glance at the menu-cum-placemats and cherry pick a selection of skewers. Delicious morsels of smoked duck impaled on wooden spits are volunteered first, together with skewers of criss-crossed shiitake mushrooms. Next up, fleshy chicken liver skewers and speared lamb cutlets: tender meat, charcoal-blackened and curled at the edges. We make empty attempts to eat these with chopsticks but happily resort to fingers into mouths, tearing meat from bone. Skewers of asparagus, and chicken with spring onion come next, rounding off our carnal assault.
A slab of sweet soy glazed salmon is similarly devoured, along with the steamed rice which is presented in a bowl, laden with chicken, spring onions and velvety soft-cooked egg; silken yolk quivering under covetous eyes. To say the food is excellent is an understatement, service is fair and average price per person is £25.
Tube: Leicester Square