TRAVEL: Gonpachi Restaurant @ Nishi Azabu (西麻布), Tokyo

Kill Bill!

That was what was told to me on my first visit upon description. An American movie filmed at the restaurant on set.

The movie didn’t register. But what amused me was, passing by it almost everyday during my daily walk to work.

Clueless to it’s popularity or existence.

Sometimes noticing it for the pastel paint of the building yet not really.

The pastel yellow and green of Gonpachi always looked really nice on sunny afternoons and cozy in the evenings when it lights up subtly.

1-13-11 Nishi-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture 106-0031, Japan

Food was really good, and value for money.

1000Yen lunches seems to be the regular norm, although you can go cheaper at around 800Yen or even lower at the Combini (Convenience Store) for maybe 500Yen for a Bento.

I went twice. The second time, to fully take in the atmosphere and surroundings on my own.

The interior reminded me of a Ninja Film.

A loud welcoming chorus from the staff on the busy floor once you confirmed your entrance.

I think the best seat of the restaurant (If you are a tourist) would be at the bar area. Where you can observe the chefs in action (It really is a busy place during lunch hour).

The buzzing atmosphere obvious, the constant lunch hour chatter, the calm reception (almost), the staff alternating between choruses of “Welcome!” in Japanese of course and serving your food and drinks and finally the chefs seemingly dancing around ninja style going about their tasks.

If you are a single diner like me, you will never feel alone. And the food was enough to keep you busy.

There is a free buffet table for appetizers as you wait for food.

Set meals comes with a free drink.

The first time I visited, I chose the Edomae Ebisu Ten-Don (Shrimp Tempura served over rice). Which when served piping hot, was pleasantly crispy and not overtly oily. Pretty much a normal Japanese lunch I guess. But enjoyable.

No photos of the food because I was with colleagues.

The second time I went, I chose an  Unagi Meshi (Rice with Fresh Water Eel and Avocado served in a Hot Stone Pot) meal.

Which when I was served, was told to mix up everything in the bowl, akin to a Bibimbap.

And of course the buffet table! I loved the battered fish cakes, so soft and tender not really the chewy, bouncy sort we get here in Singapore. Again, not oily but crisp. Also, some steamed fish cake balls with chestnut in sauce. Light in taste but substantially filling.

A side of mixed greens and assorted condiments (I chose Corn for the sweetness).

You will be walking out of the restaurant very full. I did.

Tokyo Subway Map, Nishi Azabu Approximate Location


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