The bizarre thing is Japanese people pride themselves on their service and dedication to their customers. Not so at Bincho. The person who wrote the 1 star review is unfortunately correct - the service is appalling. The French manager seems determined to be rude and so does the main Japanese waitress. Food is pretty good.
Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Jul 19 2012
Named after the charcoal used to stoke its fires, Bincho’s shtick is affordable skewers. This is a convivial spot, furnished in the style of an izakaya (Japanese pub) and with low lighting and a relaxed vibe. You’ll find safe options here, but also all the unusually textured authentic ingredients that westerners are less familiar (or comfortable) with. If you’re feeling adventurous, chicken gizzards make a good start – both crunchy and wobbly, they’re a big hitter in the Land of the Rising Sun. Or try the dinky boiled quail’s eggs, which offer just a little resistance as you bite into them. It’s not all offal and eggs, though: cubed pork belly had a tender interior and crisp coating, chicken wings were lip-smackingly juicy, and there are speared vegetables and seafood to choose from too. The perfect accompaniment to a plate of skewers has to be a cool, crisp beer, but Bincho also has an impressive range of Japanese whiskies, brought up from the bespoke basement bar. Round off your meal with a soy-glazed grilled rice ball, or bowl of ochazuke (soupy rice made with green tea) – the version produced here is excellent.
Bincho 16 Old Compton Street
- Venue phone:
020 7287 9111
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm Tue-Sat; 1-3.30pm Sun. Dinner served 5-11pm Mon-Sat; 5-10.30pm Sun
Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road tube
Dishes £1.50-£7. Set lunch £8.50-£9.50. Set dinner £25
- 16 Old Compton Street
- 020 7287 9111
- 16 Old Compton Street
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:7
A note of warning for the uninitiated. When they talk about skewers, forget the idea we have of the ones you think of on a barbecue, in the supermarket or at the kebab shop where several pieces of meat sit with bits of vegetable. They're idea of a skewer is one item. And remember that although they state the price per skewer, you must buy 2 skewers of each dish, so for example, a mushroom skewer priced £1.90 is one mushroom, cut in two and put on two skewers and costs £3.80. An eel skewer is a slice of eel, the two skewers costing £5.10. Having eaten last night in the Farringdon branch and, with no alcohol, walked away with a heft bill, an empty stomach and a rather joyless and tasteless exeperience, I would advise that you give this a miss. It's new, has a lack of customers and hopefully should close soon.
If you like paying obscene amounts of money for tiny amounts of mediocre food whilst having terrible japanese electro music blasted into your ears this is the place for you!
I agree with Matt and Jon - the portions are miniscule - the bill was excessive - we had to go to another restaurant afterwards to satiate our normal appetites!
great concept - disaster delivery and food ! couple points : 1) Price: food is overpriced and average - you think its cheap as the price for 2 skewers is like £2 or so but what you forget quickly is that it all adds up !! our bill landed up at £45 a head - absolutely crazy for a couple skewers ! 2) Food : totally average - nothing amazing about these skewers ! they came at random times to the table and were just thrown on the table without an explanation or anything ! - also we specifically ordered separate dishes because some people in our party dont eat meat - but this didnt stop them just throwing fish skewers, meat skewers seafood skewers all together !!! the food was average and skewers tiny tiny !!! 3) Service: shocking and rude - at some point it felt like the waitress was doing us a big favour - they would aggressively throw the dishes on the table and just run off - 4) Manager : when eventually i decided to complain the manager (who was also the barman) a young french guy just had no idea how to handle the situation - he blamed it on short of staff - which is the worst excuse you can use !!!! i told him i was going to write this review and he didnt seem to care - in summary if the concept is skewers they must focus on making them amazing and ensuring that when every skewer is delivered to the table the customer knows what it is and it looks presentable ! there so many cool places to eat in soho - dont waste your energy on this place !
Great joint, been there on a Thursday eve and the place was rocking! The staff have been great and find us space close to the kitchen area and we have absolute fun! Food was great, their specials written down on their blackboard were top, my favourite: hatsu- chicken heart. And all other bits, chicken oysters, aubergine miso, garlic rice, pork belly and kaiso salad... Sake is list is long and good too, a bit
Just arrived back in London after a two year stint in Japan. Great to see that London finally has an authentic Izakaya. Food just as tasty as in Japan but even cheaper that Tokyo. Very comprehensive list of Sake at half the price of other London joints. Ace Japanese staff who even borrowed me an umbrella for my walk home in the rain. Highly recommend.
I agree with the last bad reviews. Went there last evening. The service was ok but the food was really bad. Absolutely no taste and a very salty bill at the end. We paid £65 for four and we ate just a few things from the menu. Absolutely not recommended!!
This restaurant has on its menu a number of items labelled things like tomato bacon, or aspargusbacon, which means they've wrapped tomato and asparagus in bacon. It is a remarkable achievement to wrap some food in BACON and still make the resulting product taste of ABSOLUTELY nothing. It is even more remarkable that this restaurant has decided to sell the said tasteless foodstuff for absolutely obscene amounts of money for a tiny portion. I spent £30 on things wrapped in bacon, tasted nothing and left hungry.
The best non-sushi Japanese food ever! We found everything super fresh, tasty and so cheap! No fass serving and open plan kitchen really make you feel at home, something particulalry difficult in Soho these days. My favourite is the chicken oyster, not to be missed...
Most delicious JP grills I've ever tasted across London. Staffs are so nice with decent service. This is the best place for me to catch up with my friends, but the price to students are quite expensive.
The food was delicious - we had duck, beef tongue, eel and beef, could recommend all of them, except the latter one, so don't go for the traditional chicken/beef selection, try something more interesting (and more tasty). The rice with garlic bits was also very good, miso soup - one of the best ones that we tried in London. The service was very fast and we were looked after to the max. The environment is cosy, though the smell of grilling is the only irritating bit, as it was strong throughout the place and got into our clothes.