Inspired by traditional small grilling stalls serving yakitori in Osaka, Bincho is an all-in-one unique dining concept by Unlisted Collection showcasing a neat mix of Singapore’s past, present and future. The charm of Bincho lies in its location; it is housed in the same building as a 70-year old traditional kopitiam (coffee shop) that sells mee pok during the daytime. But when dusk arrives, the space is transformed into a modern yet intimate yakitori-ya and swanky bar.
The menu comprises of three omakase sets: Sakura Seven ($60), Fuji ($80), Bincho ($120), and one hotpot set, Miyabi Hotpot ($65 each, minimum order of 2 pax) at Bincho. While the menus change frequently depending on what is available on the day, it always revolves around the main star of the restaurant, tori (chicken). An à la carte menu is also available.
I sampled both the Fuji and Sakura omakase sets, comprising of the following:
Japanese Crudite with Miso Paste
Sakura Ebi Karage
Mochi Mousse with Black Sugar Sauce and Soya Bean Powder
Wagyu, Lamb or Fish (I had the lamb)
Grilled Vegetables Platter
Tsukune and Egg Yolk
While browsing the photos below, please keep in mind that both sets were served simultaneously so I am not labeling each dish. But I will say this: the notable stand-outs from the two sets for me were the chicken liver paté from the assorted appetizers plate, the grilled lamb and the cockscomb yakitori. I had always pictured this crown part of a chicken to be feathery, so I was pretty excited when I first laid eyes on it and that it’s actually edible!
From the à la carte menu, shown below are Tontoro Aburi, Beef Tongue, Quail and Miso Cod.
I dig the ambiance of Bincho, but I felt let down by the food and the pace during which it was served. In a word: slo-o-o-o-w. I give credit to Chef Asai’s masterful handling of yakitori (the chicken breast in one of the sets was juicy with a really nice crispy skin layer over it, which I found to be unforgettable) and I appreciate the seasonal variety of what’s being served in the sets. I mean, cockscomb seriously?! That’s way cool. Aside from the ones I’ve highlighted above, the rest of the food was a-okay. I am a googly-eyed fan of Unlisted Collection properties and have enjoyed dining at the group’s other restaurants many times before. So when it comes to Bincho… a swanky new restaurant with a coolness index that’s off the charts and an awesome retro-meets-contemporary concept, I was looking to have my socks knocked off by the food but sadly that didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
While Bincho boasts an extensive selection of progressive and playful Japeritifs cocktails, I personally didn’t give a hoot the evening I was there. To be perfectly honest, I was way too hungry to pay attention to the cocktails. I was, however, happy with the bottle of chilled Yukishibori Sake and also the Swan Lake Beer – one of the many Japanese craft beers on the menu that’s worth investigating!
SO. If friends were to ask me what I think of Bincho, I’d say that it’s a hip place to enjoy some drinks while nibbling on the omakase bites in between sips. But I wouldn’t go there on an empty stomach because the food service was on the slow side and the portions served were more suitable for snacking. I’m not a big eater so an omakase set such as this one worked out pretty good for me to count as a meal, but those looking for something much more adequate with oomph may be left disappointed so do manage expectations accordingly.
78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-19
Tel: +65 6438 4567