As someone who loves to try new restaurants and eats out quite often, one of the major things I look for in an eatery is the concept of value.
A good value dining experience means a returning customer, i.e: me.
Good value doesn’t mean cheap. It means, the quality of my experience matches what I paid for it.
I did not feel that my meal or experience at newly opened Bincho Boss was good value, which is a shame, because I was excited to see a new Japanese restaurant open in the CBD (because as you know, I seriously love Japanese food).
Let me explain why.
I went in for lunch, and saw they had some lunch ‘gozen’ sets, with prices ranging from $28 to $20.
As you can see on their menu below (screenshot from Zomato page), the gozen sets include small side dishes, so splashing out 25 dollars on an udon lunch set (including coffee and cake) sounded like an awesome deal.
There are so many great Japanese restaurants and cafes in Melbourne who do great value lunch sets for around the $25 mark.
For example,nearby Torissong has this spectacular quality feast for $25 dollars:
Shimbashi Soba & Sake bar ( in Fitzroy & CBD) has a similar deals featuring soba from $20-$28.
Plus, my local fave Namoo has a weekend deal of entree, main and drink for $19, and to span out into Korean: Diner on Franklin’s $15 Babsang lunch set is delicious.
These places have top quality ingredients, beautiful interiors and great service too.
Look, I wasn’t too disappointed when the gozen set was placed in front of me. There was a nice bowl of udon, some tofu salad and some…potato wedges?
The tofu salad was really nice, as the tofu really silky and soft. It tasted fresh. The waiter said it was made on premises, which is awesome.
The wedges were a really weird addition. No sauce, crispy but boring. I didn’t finish them.
The udon was nicely chewy, the veggies were a bit overcooked and the sauce was very light. Gotta say, there wasn’t much flavour. Very expensive bowl of udon.
I asked if the udon noodles were made on premises, trying to find a reason behind the pricing. Nope, from the packet. Interesting…
Okay I thought: maybe dessert will save this.
Coffee and cake for an extra $5. I asked for a soy latte. This is Melbourne, if they screw up coffee….
I laughed out loud when I took a sip of this latte, thought it tasted very bitter and then saw that the milk had curdled. You can even see it in the photo above.
I even heard the staff member banging the milk jug as he was making it, and I thought, he is having trouble steaming the milk. Nope, he was just trying to get the milk right to pour into my cup. How he served it to me like that, seeing that it was so curdled: I have no idea.
Of course I told them. They tried to make another and he came back to me saying that he couldn’t get it to work. I politely said not to worry about it. He said he would deduct it from the cost of my meal.
So, dessert. A tiny slither of cheese cake, a bit of white wine jelly and a grape.
If you think it looks kinda big in this photo, think about the size of your average grape, and that should give you an idea. It was a small plate and a very small slice.
I thought: what a strange dessert to serve with coffee.
It was a very savoury cheese cake, almost unpleasantly so. It tasted a bit like off milk, though, that might have been the taste of that coffee still on my mind. The wine jelly tasted exactly like white wine, and the grape tasted okay too. Not a memorable or good value dessert sadly.
In the end, the waiter deducted $2.50 for the coffee, which made me laugh a bit : “exactly half of $5” he said.
Truthly, it was a pretty dismal lunch. Not a good value experience, especially when, (as you know, because I’ve reviewed them for you) there are so many amazing Japanese cafes and restaurants nearby.
After visiting so many Japanese restaurants, this is one of the few that I have been truly disappointed by. However, they did open quite recently. I hope that when or if you visit, you have a better experience.