Tuesday, 29 September 2009

bincho yakitori: japanese in soho

us two foodinista’s had a girly dinner at bincho to catch up on each other’s lives. because bincho is all about skewers and grilled things both and i had to spend considerable time navigating the menu. we picked a mix and match – there was the traditional sake teriyaki of salmon with a sticky sweet glaze, skewers of a beef tongue is a dark glaze, eringi mushroom that had a deep meaty flavour and akadashi which is red miso soup with nameko mushrooms and sancho pepper. it was a burst of flavours!

we were slightly unsuccessful with one of our shared entrees. a whole salt grilled sardine, which was a challenge to eat not only on account of its tiny bones but the double challenge of chopsticks. the grilled aubergine with miso was curiously comforting. the miso paste that formed a layer onto of aubergine whose flesh had been grilled to softened was not salty like in miso soup. it was slightly sweet and paired well with the soft and yet deep flavour of the aubergine. then there was the fried tofu with chilli and kimchee. here the mellowness of the tofu was broken by a thin gelatinous coating with a hint of chilli and the garlic-laden punch of kimchee.

dessert turned out to be a real gem. although i and i agreed that we have had much better green tea ice cream it was the layered and slightly warmed banana cake, which really shone. the contrast of warm and cold and mild and slightly strong green tea made dessert a real winner.