The deal: At Bincho’s lunch service, you pick from roughly 10 set meals ($20-30), mostly donburi like oyako [chicken and egg] and negitoro [raw tuna] plus the occasional ramen. Predictable stuff, but solid and thoughtfully put-together (we loved the sea grapes in the neigtoro don). The accompanying sides are forgettable, with the notable exceptions of the karaage (well, it’s fried chicken) and the soup—a viscous, fatty, love-or-loathe chicken broth. Be warned, though, that lunch here feels like lunch at any other hole-in-the-wall Japanese eatery. It’s missing a little extra something. (Could it be the “Japeritifs”? There was no one manning the bar when we visited.)
Why it’s worth it: Yes, Bincho by night is all sexy steampunk and yakitori off-cuts and the hair-flipping Loh Lik Peng crowd—but sometimes you just want decent Japanese food without the hipster trappings. It’s also a much more affordable meal than the regular yakitori dinner (which we all know doesn’t fill you up).