Dinner @ Bincho

July 3, 2014 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Having heard of Bincho for yakitori and its unique restaurant design (think underground-themed bar and subtly marked entrance), my friend and I decided to drop by one evening for dinner.

And indeed, one will not have guessed the real entrance to Bincho is actually the rear door that’s facing the car park. Wire letters spelling ‘Bincho’ was the only thing hinting of the restaurant’s presence. As we were a little comprehensive, my friend and I decided to enter from the main door of Hua Bee as that door was left ajar. Haha.

Because we entered through the entrance from Hua Bee side, we walked through the space of the 70-years old traditional coffee shop before going into the yakitori area which could house up to 12 people. So yes, if you are planning to catch up with friends over food and ain into the ambience, you may choose to sit within the coffee shop area or the bar area which is designed to resemble that of an underground tunnel (or some say alleyway bars in urban Japan) with its excessive usage of copper and wire mesh.

We were lucky to get counter seats despite having made no prior reservation. There’re only 6 of 8 counter seats with proper view of the chefs at work, although one may argue that there’s nothing much to see for yakitori as compared to omakase. But hey, I always say “One should go for counter seats when one goes (for) Japanese.” =)

The menus are hung on the wall in the form of chalkboards. Besides the a-la carte items, there’re 4 sets namely Saklira ($60, to order before 7pm), Bincho ($120), Fuji ($80) and Miyabi which is the chicken soup steamboat ($65 per person, minimum 2 pax).

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Bincho set, $120 comprised of:-

(A) Assorted appetizer (above) – Dish 1, we were served skin of chicken feet, chicken liver, potato salad and vegetables.

(B) Assorted sashimi (above) – Dish 2 from the Bincho set, I was a little surprised to see tuna belly. What a nice surprise!

(C) Lamb (above) – For dish 3 from the set, we were given the option of lamb, fish or beef (+ $30). We went with lamb and I must say it was grilled to perfection with the meat being slightly pinkish in the centre. Meat was juicy and tender. Yum!

(D) Fresh Japanese sweet corn (above) – Dish 4.

(E) Yakitori platter (above) – Dish 5 from the Bincho set, the platter comprises of (from left to right) thigh, wing, breast and neck. Thigh and wings were grilled with sauce while the other two were grilled with salt, which also explains the different condiments to go with the meat.

(F) Momotaro tomato (above) – Dish 6 of 9 from the Bincho set.

(G) Tsukune with egg yolk (above) – Dish 7, we were told to beat the yolk before pouring it onto the minced chicken ball. Meat was moist and tender, but it’s a personal preference that I din like it with the raw yolk.

(H) Uni yaki onigiri (above) – Dish 8, I liked this, although I thought they could do with less rice. Or maybe more uni. Keke.

(I) Deraware grape (above) – Dish 9 of 9.

2) Spicy cod roe wings, $15 (above) – From the a-la carte menu, this was definitely something special as recommended by the staff. The chicken bone was removed so that we could bite effortlessly into the wing stuffed with lots of roe. Very nice indeed.

3) Grill sea urchin, $60 (above) – This is my first eating urchin from the shell, and I must say it’s not too bad. Although with this, I concluded I very much prefer my urchin raw. And because we were sitting at the counter in full view of the chefs, I caught the chef poking his bare finger into the shell to check if our urchin was cooked. Of course, he saw me catching him red-handed. But still, I ate my urchin without complaints. o_O I would have second guessed myself, but when I next saw him using a metal chopstick to check on his flying fish (poking the meat before touching the chopstick to check the warmth), I guessed he really was not supposed to be checking our food with his finger.

4) Grill kurobuta, $20 (above) – We were not too impressed with this. My friend found some pieces a bit too fatty.

The dining experience was not too bad. We were advised to share the set if we were small eaters, and I am glad we took the staff’s advise by sharing one Bincho set, so that we can try more dishes from the a la-carte menu. But items from the a la-carte menu were a little pricey. Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself although it’s more of a been-there-done-that. Dont think I will be heading back again. Or at least, not anytime soon.

78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-19, Singapore
6438 4567
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Tues – Fri : 18:00 – 00:00
Ambience: 7
Sat – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Value: 6
Sat – Sun : 18:00 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon