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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.
16 Old Compton Street
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