Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Restaurant Review: Gonpachi, Tokyo

I went for dinner on Monday night to Gonpachi in Nishi Azabu with my friends Yuki, Wendy and James. Gonpachi is a famous Tokyo restaurant, where former Prime Minister Koizumi entertained George Bush when he visited Japan.

The restaurant is in a very cool double height building, whose interior inspired the Kill Bill movies. Running round the outside of the upper level are traditional Japanese individually screened booths, where you have to remove your shoes and sit on the floor. On the ground floor there is a large open kitchen and western dark wooden tables.

Every time news guests entered the restaurant there was a load welcoming cry from the waiters and chefs.

The drinks menu has a large section of Saki and Shochu cocktails. I started with the lovely Yuzu and Apple Sour. A smooth cocktail that it would have been easy to drink quite a lot of!

The food is mainly yakitori (grilled skewered meats and fish), with a section of soba noodles which they make fresh daily. We ordered far too much of the excellent food and had a wide selection of grilled chicken, beef, tuna and prawns. The meats were either served simply grilled, marinated or with dipping sauces. Faultlessly tender and succulent. In accompaniment we had some vegetable tempura and the all time Japanese classic; a Ceasar salad (which you oddly see on quite a few menus).

We rounded the evening off with some neat saki from their extensive selection. I highly recommend a visit if you are in Tokyo. A fantastic restaurant and Ganjin friendly if your Japanese is as limited as mine.

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