I make a point of never reviewing a restaurant in its first week, or even month of opening. I may include it in a favourite things post, or sometimes do an overview piece, but I just don’t think it’s fair to scrutinise a place to my usual standards, when it’s still finding its feet…..
…. until now. You know that bit in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts is at the opera and says to that old lady ‘it was so good I almost peed my pants’? THAT. Rave review incoming.
A month or so ago an old friend of mine sent me a link to a blog called ‘blood and wasabi’ which had a post announcing a new premises for Bincho Yakitori in Brighton. The link came with the accompanying message of ‘one for you’, and how right he was!
I went back to peruse the blog in advance of my visit and it had gone- SAD FACE (it was a goodun) and their approach to wording and info on their website, is minimal to say the least. As a result of this I can’t tell you the background story to the restaurant, but what I do know is that they started up in London with a premises in Soho which has now closed, something a few foodies I know are totally gutted about.
However, what they are lacking in website/blog they more than make up for it with their food. Trust me when I say, these guys know what they are doing in that department. Big time. My only concern for them is that people get to know about them and they don’t suffer from ‘The Preston Street effect’. Something tells me they won’t though.
A mission statement I can get behind
In a nutshell; these guys do not fuck about. Simple, effective and no nonsense or frills- my favourite.
We were the only table when I visited at 8pm on a Friday but as mentioned above it was their first week of opening so was to be expected. However, the music was great and the incredibly friendly waitress and encouraging cooking noises coming from the grill ensured the 22 seater (plus 8 at the bar) restaurant wasn’t devoid of atmosphere, despite the lack of customers.
Now THAT is a good looking menu
Seaweed salad with sashimi- £5.50
Mixed leaves with ample amount of seaweed, sashimi and fish roe stirred throughout, this was an absolute treat. I loved that they didn’t skimp on ingredients and the whole thing was brought together beautifully by a sesame oil dressing and a scattering of various types of seeds. Great value and a lovely variety of flavours and textures, definitely order this.
Chicken heart skewers- £3
These were absolutely gorgeous. Small dark nuggets of meat, which, texture-wise were like a firm but not tough cut of pork. The taste is very much that of chicken though, in a very concentrated form. I’m sure some people will cringe at the thought of eating chicken hearts… to them I’d say- do you eat chicken nuggets? Well shut up then.
Kara-Age, Japanese style fried chicken- £4.50
The only other experience I’ve had of Japanese fried chicken was at Goemon Ramen, just down the road on the other side from Bincho Yakitori, and as much as I enjoyed that, this was even better. The de-boned wings were coated in a batter which was dense but still light and crispy and it came with a tangy ponzu sauce to dip. I dilly dallied over this or the Korean fried chicken so got the waitress to choose for me- and I’m glad I did.
Kimchi rice- £3.90
I’ve had a very on off love affair with kimchi, my Dad once described some at Yum Yum Ninja as tasting like veg scrapings in bin juice and I’ve never felt quite the same about it since. However, after eating a life-changing cheese toastie that was filled with it, I’ve been back in the kimchi game!
The tangy veg weren’t even remotely bin scraping-y, the rice was perfectly cooked and the sliced sugar snap peas freshened it up and gave it a nice crunch too.
Charred sweet potato- £4
This was sensational. So simple yet so many things to like about it. The charred outside gave a pleasant smokiness to the smooth and fluffy innards, and the miso butter it was daubed with was almost cheese like in tastse. For me it was everything I could have wanted in a side dish.
Pork Belly cubes and Quail egg & bacon skewers- £3.20
The pork belly cubes were meltingly tender with a pleasing smokiness from the grill which left the outside sticky, charred and ‘finger lickin’ good. The quail eggs wrapped in bacon were lovely but didn’t get full marks from me as the yolks weren’t runny or even soft, but I still happily ate them.
Green tea ice-cream- £3
I really dislike green tea. I’ve tried, really I have, but the taste is not for me and would certainly never replace Yorkshire Gold in my daily line up of 6 cups… however, in ice-cream form, is a totally different thing, creamy but fresh tasting, if that makes any sense at all. The perfect end to an outstanding meal.
#toiletcam- spotless and they made the loo roll a triangle too <3
To me, this seems ludicrously cheap, we both left with full, happy bellys and had a couple of beers as well. Being the type of gal who likes to share her gastronomical experiences, I tweeted about it immediately, and so effusively that one of my friends referred to it as a ‘Twitter orgasm’- LOLs. I’d call it more of a multiple orgasm, as multiple tweets and days later, my dinner date and I are still texting each other about how amazing it was.
Have you been to Bincho Yakitori? Any other Japanese restaurants in Brighton that you’d like to see me review? Please do comment below or tweet me, I always love hearing your recommendations for places to eat x