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Bincho Boss

A modern izakaya heroing chargrilled dishes, hot pot and clever cocktails.
By Libby Curran
June 14, 2019
By Libby Curran
June 14, 2019

This modern Melbourne izakaya takes both its name and its culinary inspiration from bincho-tan – a top-quality white charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking. Bincho Boss has landed on Little Bourke Street, and it's teaming contemporary Japanese flavours with seasonal Aussie ingredients. Here, much of the menu is brought to life by the kitchen's konro grill, promising big flavours and plenty of heady aromas.

A modern, neon-splashed space is the backdrop for fun, casual dining, for both lunch and dinner. Sure-fire hits include salt-crusted, charcoal-grilled wagyu beef matched with soy wasabi ($36), a two-person turkey hot pot starring meatballs in an aromatic broth ($26), and a pan-fried udon loaded with scallops, calamari and prawn ($18.50). Fresh, house-made tofu is reminiscent of the kind you'll find in Tokyo ($7), while a signature dessert teams espresso-flavoured creme caramel with a rich chestnut sauce. You can grab the seven-course 'bincho' set menu for $55, or drop $85 each to settle in with ten courses of 'The Boss'.

In true izakaya style, the drinks offering has a little something for everyone, featuring imported brews, Asahi on tap, a largely local wine list and a strong selection of sake, including the smooth, umami-rich Kiku-Masamune koujo junmai-shu ($15.50). Meanwhile, a crafty cocktail list will see you sipping on clever concoctions like the Shimanchu Fizz blend of black sugar umeshu, grapefruit and prosecco ($17).

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