I had a swell time at Bin 941 the other night, test driving a few new menu items. They’re now doing three “pinxos” style dishes for $5 each. These were spice-rubbed albacore with crisped salmon skin and kumquat pickled plum puree; crispy curried cauliflower with watermelon raita and watercress; and grilled beef short ribs marinaded in soy and mustard and dotted with little coconut pearls. We followed these with leg of lamb served with saffron-infused cannellini beans (really); cinnamon and chili-rubbed flank steak with chipotle and maple syrup wash; tons of frites; moules a plenty; baked brie; and a several other bits of awesomeness. Top marks all round, as per usual.
But taking the food aside for a moment, what struck me most was how incredibly busy it was. I’ve always known it to be a bit of a sardine can from opening to close, but that was when the good times rolled in a galaxy that now feels far, far away. Now we’re in a nasty recession and most restaurants that used to pack ’em in aren’t doing so hot (a tour post and prior of nearby rooms found most of them empty or nearly so). At Bin 941, mid-week and just after 6pm, there wasn’t a seat to be had, and they were turning and burning like it was going out of style. How?