|Industry||Food & Beverage|
|Number of locations||OXO Tower, Soho, St. Giles|
|Key people||Hidenori Ohata, Malcolm Simpson|
|Services||Japanese Izakaya-style dining|
|Owners||David Miney, Dominic Ford, Ronnie Truss|
Bincho, also known as Bincho Yakitori, is a London-based Japanese restaurant styled on the traditional izakayas found throughout Japan. Yakitori, literally translated as "grilled bird", is prepared on skewers and cooked over dense coals known as Bincho-tan made from Oak. True to the izakaya theme, food is served as it is ready and a variety of dishes can be ordered and are served continuously throughout the meal.
Chef David Miney, formerly of OXO Tower Restaurant and Rick Stein, first entertained the idea of opening an izakaya in London whilst he was living in Tokyo in the late 1990s. Miney spent several years delving into the dingy late night izakaya scene, usually the traditional haunt of drunken salarymen and young Japanese hostesses. In 2007 he teamed up with Dominic Ford opened the flagship Bincho Yakitori at OXO Tower near Blackfriars on the banks of the River Thames. Experienced Yakitori Chef and Bincho Head Chef Hidenori Ohata was brought over from Japan in 2009 to help with the menu and expansion of the Bincho chain. Malcolm Simpson, originally from Australia who had been working in Tokyo restaurants for many years, was also brought over from Japan to manage the expanding chain. Simpson has been known to host informative and creative Sake tastings within the Bincho restaurant group.
Awards & reputation
UK Telegraph Newspaper review
Bincho OXO has a massive open-floor plan and seats around 140 covers. Opening to positive reviews, Bincho OXO was noted as one of the hottest new openings in London of 2007. Their OXO Tower flagship restaurant closed in early 2008, no doubt a victim to the economic climate and its sheer size and its slightly "off the beaten track" location.
Opening in 2008, Bincho opened a second location in the heart of London's theatre-land on Old Compton Street in Soho. Set out over two floors and seating around 100 covers, the shop front is deceptively small opening up into a large Sake bar, dining room and separate basement area once inside. The interior decorations are very similar to the glamorous flagship OXO Tower location but overall seems a little more grungy which is in tune with the Old Compton Street atmosphere and the worn look of authentic Izakayas in Tokyo.
- Restaurants (25 August 2007). "Restaurant reviews: Bincho Yakitori, London". Telegraph.
- Jay Rayner (11 August 2007). "Jay Rayner reviews Bincho Yakitori, Oxo Tower, London | Life and style | The Observer". Guardian.