Not counting a couple of cheeky roasts and work-week lunches, I feel like it’s been an age since I went out for dinner in Brighton. Life changes like my imminent house move (plus a couple of cheeky weekends away) mean that the budget can’t stretch as easily as previously.
But I’ve been keeping a firm eye on the city’s newest additions and keeping a mental list of where I’m hoping to visit next.
I would never have even glanced twice at unassuming Bincho Yakitori, if I hadn’t read reviews on a few of my go-to Brighton food blogs (definitely check out Rosie’s review, as well as this piece from Suzanne at Places I Eat Brighton). Firstly, I’m not a huge seafood fan, and often associate Japanese food with sushi or soup, and secondly, it’s tucked quietly on Preston Street, a random mishmash of world foods and bright lights; this little eatery could easily have gone unnoticed.
But as it goes, I’ve been gearing up for a visit after reading these glowing reviews, plus some pretty astounding praise on Tripadvisor (at the time of writing Bincho Yakitori is currently positioned at #7 out of well over 800 Brighton restaurants).
Arriving fairly late at around 8.45pm on a Thursday, there were a few tables taken, but the restaurant was pretty quiet. With low lighting, a mixture of table and bar seating, and a fab Ibiza Lounge-style soundtrack, the atmosphere was intimate and laid back. Service was prompt and friendly and, having done my research before, I was able to order almost instantly, having been eyeing up a few dishes for days.
These tapas-style dishes were perfect for sharing. With just a quick glance at the menu we picked out:
- Pork belly skewers – melt-in-the-mouth bites of sumptuous pork, absolutely delicious
- Quail egg and bacon skewers – a breakfasty mouthful of hardboiled egg and bacon
- Chicken hearts – I tried so hard to love these, but something about them kept turning my stomach slightly. Nothing to do with taste or texture, as these were basically like dark chunks of flavourful sausage and I love a sausage as much as the next guy. But as much as I tried to get over it, I couldn’t quite love them. This is something I DEFINITELY intend to tackle – I shall not be creeped out by food! Luckily my dinner mate was more than happy to finish mine for me, thus assuaging my guilt immediately
- Kara-Age – Japanese fried chicken bites that were absolutely incredible. The batter was light, almost like tempura, but packed with flavour and coating moist chicken meat
- Korean chicken wings – sticky, crispy, flavoursome wings that went down an absolute treat – I feel like I could have eaten bucketloads, only by this time I was getting pretty full
- Charred sweet potato – in true tapas style, the dishes came out as and when they were ready. Sadly, this meant that by the time these soft, grilled sweet potatoes arrived, I was already stuffed and barely able to eat them. However, with one buttery taste, I knew they were instantly one of my favourite items on the menu. SO good. These came home with me in a doggy bag
With a bottle of Prosecco (£25), this just about hit the £50 mark, making this a delicious and reasonably priced meal.
With so many other dishes I want to try, like the aubergine and miso, chicken meatballs and chicken skin, no doubt I’ll be making a return visit before long.
I’d highly recommend a visit. Bincho Yakitori opened just last month and I’ll be passing the word on to anyone I can to help give this authentic Japanese a loving boost.
Address: 63 Preston Street, Brighton, BN12HE
Phone: 01273 779021