Gonpachi in Nishi-Azabu
The 'Kill Bill' restaurant
Otherwise known as "the Kill Bill restaurant", 'Gonpachi' is a notable tourist attraction. The main clientele are foreign tourists in pursuit of one of the great movie destinations of Tokyo (another one being the Karaoke-Kan in Shibuya where the karaoke scenes in 'Lost in Translation' were filmed). Though, upon saying that, whenever I have been to Gonpachi, myself and family have always been the only foreign diners.
The fact that Gonpachi is mainly a tourist spot means it definitely caters towards a foreign palette. This meaning that the dishes may not be as you would find them in a local soba or tempura restaurant. Nevertheless, the food is enjoyable. Upstairs is a sushi restaurant that again provides 'gaijin-friendly' cuisine.
The restaurant gave itself a name when its beautiful decor inspired director, Quentin Tarantino, for the set of his blockbuster 'Kill Bill'. Due to its big name it has been visited by many an important figure, notably Bill Clinton (though he visited the Odaiba branch) and George W. Bush. Upon entering, you are met with a wall of photos of some famous people that have graced the lantern canopied dining hall.
It is known for being an expensive dining experience, though at lunch time, without drinks (there was complimentary tea), the price was very reasonable- under ¥6,000 for 5 people (around 14 USD each). Most dishes are around ¥750-¥1,500, and in some cases, like that of the delicious Oyako Donburi (a rice dish topped with egg and chicken), you can supersize to an 'Extra Large Portion' for only ¥100. With this supersize option, you receive considerably more food, so for those who are big eaters- that is a trick worth remembering.
Some notable dishes were the Avocado and Camembert Cheese Tempura- "what's that?!" I hear you say. Now let me tell you one thing about this place, you must try this dish. This may seem like the oddest concoction of flavours known to man, but, it is honestly the best. Another enjoyable dish was the aforementioned Oyako Don, which- to be honest, unless you can eat as an Olympic sport, like myself, you may not want the extra large portion like I did. Though, when sharing, it is a more advisable size. For those who are perhaps not fancying Japanese food, or simply aren't that keen; Gonpachi does a marvelous Caesar Salad, which is a good size for sharing as a starting dish, or as a main meal.
Setting a great mood alongside some great food, dark wood and oriental music make the ambiance in this old-style, Japanese restaurant. The English speaking staff and menus make the restaurant ideal for those who wish to experience a cultural Japanese meal- without that ever embarrassing language barrier back-and-forth with the waiters.