After reading good reviews about Le Binchotan, I was excited to be able to get the opportunity to check out Le Binchotan a couple of weeks back. Le Binchotan is a French-Japanese tapas bar and restaurant, helmed by Chef Atsuhiko Hagiwara from Ginza Tokyo restaurant en.terrible, together with Singapore Head Chef Jeremmy Chiam. At first glance, the dishes appear to be predominantly French/Western, but you soon realise where the Japanese bit is : Japanese ingredients like uni, daikon and miso being infused into the dishes.
The selling point about Le Binchotan is that their meats and seafood are smoked over bincho-tan (aka white charcoal made from oak). Done well, this imparts to the food a nice smoky flavour, elevating the food to a different dimension. Bincho-tan is the preferred choice of Japanese chefs as the charcoal burns at a lower temperature for a longer period of time compared to ordinary charcoal. I read that some people find the smoky flavour at Le Binchotan to be on the heavy side, however I on the other hand thought it was hardly noticeable. What impressed me though were the innovative dishes, surprising us with ingredient parings that you don’t normally see together, or presenting the ingredients in a new way.