People looking for a unique dining experience should head to Bincho, which combines the contemporary and the traditional. Inspired by the yakitori-ya in Osaka, this hip bistro operates in an old-school kopitiam. In the day, you’ll find them hawking unassuming local favourites, such as mee pok and kopi roti. Come nightfall, the space transforms into a modern open-concept yakitori bar headed by Chef Asai Masashi, with the bar featuring progressive and playful Japanese-inspired cocktails, hard liquor, sake, and more. If your date’s a sucker for Japanese food, bring them here to indulge in some skewer-less meats that are full of smoky, meaty goodness!
Head down the Moh Guan Terrace alley and around the back of the unassuming Hua Bee stand to find a metal door with small Bincho lettering. Then down the rabbit hole you go, transitioning briskly from the traditional neighbourhood feel to a hipster atmosphere, complete with rough edges, shady lighting, and oxidized copper tones. Take a seat at the marbled bar for a front row seat to all the grilling action, or the domed booths to get your drink on, like the restaurant’s most notable fruit, herb and sake-centric cocktails from the resident barkeep. With both food and drink menus largely in-flux at the whim of the chef and bartender, it’s best to go with the daily recommendations.
Food-wise, skewer-less yakitori is just the smoky, meaty goodness you’re accustomed to. Chicken parts are especially tasty, while the Miyabi hot pot offers an alternative to the grill. As with most hyper-cool gastrobars, both portions and elbowroom are limited, while prices tend to be upmarket. However, with an underground vibe this cool, and a contrasting concept this daring, both the search and cost are certainly worth it!