You may remember, and may wish to forget, the bloody massacre in the movie Kill Bill where Uma Thurman goes against criminal members of the yakuza gang. The set of this famous fight scene was inspired by a Tokyo restaurant and while in Japan it was on the top of my fun things to do in Tokyo list.
Hopefully the gruesome scene will not be reenacted during my dining adventure.
Peter and I walked into Gonpachi, in the Roppongi district, and held up two fingers indicating the amount of diners in our party. As we were guided to our table, the staff hollered “irashai” in unison, meaning welcome. This same ritual took place for every customer that followed.
There were three levels to dine on and we were seated on the middle stage with a dozen other diners, though I may have been the only one with a camera around my neck.
Round lanterns were streaming down from the ceiling and the open kitchen could be seen from almost every seat in the house.
Though this eatery draws many tourists each year, today it appeared to be a place for the locals to have a good lunch. Business men in dress shirts were seen slurping their soba and women were expertly using chopsticks on tiny kernels of corn.
Peter ordered one prefix meal for 2,000 yen ($18.47 USD), which included six items: an assortment of tapas, salad, tempura, chicken-thigh skewers, soba and a dessert. I settled on the sizzling albacore steak for 1,100 ($10.16 USD) which included a drink, salad and soup.
Maybe we ordered too much food. Just maybe.
Peter’s six courses and my meal started immediately with a serve-yourself soup and salad located on the first floor. Afterwards, they served us the tempura, skewers and albacore. My fish came to the table on what I would consider a fajita cast iron plate, sizzling hot. The tempura was crisp, the chicken-thigh skewer tender and the albacore fresh.
The only massacre that was occurring on this day was what was being done to this meal.
All around us, diners were slurping their bowl of soba noodles and I was beginning to feel a bit left out. Then they placed a small bowl of the buckwheat noodles in front of Peter and we both had our first soba noodle slurping food experience.
The prefix meal came with dessert, which was placed right in front of Peter. But, when he saw my sad puppy dog eyes ogling it, he handed over the almond milk ice cream with caramel sauce. He never got it back.
Gonpachi | 1-13-11 Nishi-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture 106-0031, Japan | WEBSITE | Map
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