Monday, 13 December 2010

Tokyo: Gonpachi

Note: I just got myself a new laptop last Saturday, it is MacBook Pro and being a window user for almost 15 years of my life. This is very new to me. Still trying to figure out how to use it so I may be absent from blogging for a bit.

The first meal in Tokyo was a place I found some tourists recommended called "Gonpachi". It is a restaurant which ex-Prime Minister Koizumi invited ex-President Bush for some soba and charcoal grilled skewers when he visited Japan. I made an appointment with J, a girl I know from my other blog who came from USA for a trip in Tokyo, for a dinner at Gonpachi, Shibuya. I know some people have grey area about "online friend". I am actually fine with meeting up in person with internet friends (as long as we're not doing dodgy stuff) since some of the people I met 10 or 12 years ago are still my friends and some are even my good friend even we live in different countries. However, I have a bit of hard time when introducing them to people who didn't share the background the same as me and my friend. I guess I was afraid of getting judged and being questioned like 'why did you trust them?','aren't you afraid?' etc. I don't know if others feel the same way or it's just me.

Anyway, I met up with J and we got lost trying to locate the street which restaurant is on and crowded people didn't help as well! Once we were able to find the building which restaurant is located on, we took the elevator for floor 14. We didn't make any reservation but since we were super early for dinner (5pm), the staff let us sit in the private room with some amazing view of Shibuya. I would recommend anyone who consider to go there to make reservation as when were leaving at 7pm (they want the table back by 7pm), it was very crowded at the restaurant and only private room gets the window-view.

We ordered drinks first which I instantly called out for ume-shu (plum wine) with soda as I have been craving it for a long time. The rest also went for ume-shu but different types (don't ask me for the difference). It was very refreshing after a long tired day of sitting in the train from Hakodate down to Tokyo.

best Age-dashi Tofu

wasabigamo, jyaga butter and tsukene

We ordered some appetizers to snack with our drink which are age-dashi tofu and some skewers; wasabigamo (duck breast with wasabi), jyaga butter (potato with butter) and tsukene (minced chicken). Their Age-dashi tofu (fried tofu with sauce) turned out to be the best age-dashi tofu I ever had in my entire life. The sauce they put on top tasted fantastic, they even have crab meat in it! For the skewer, I like the wasabigamo the best. Wasabi wasn't too strong and it went very well with duck breast. Really enjoy these appetizers a lot.

duck breast soba

T's tempura soba

For the main dish, all of us chose different type of Soba. I went for duck breast in hot soba, J went for kake soba (no picture) and T went for tempura soba. My duck soba smell quite pleasant with a hint of chacoal of grilling the duck meat. The soup was mild and easy to drink.

We finished off our meal with the tea. I don't know what it's called but it seems like a strong tea, a mixture of tea and coffee with some aroma of cooked rice-grain (if that is the right verb for it).

It was a pleasant meal; aside from good food and good drink, it is good company. To be able to meet friend you have been talking for a long time in person in nice setting like this. It is priceless.

(Anyhow, I learned that the branch which Bush was taken to is the one in Nishi-Azabu, not this Shibuya one!)

14F. E.Space Tower
3-6, Maruyama-cho Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel. 03-5784-2011

View Food in Tokyo in a larger map


  1. Another great post! I need to get myself to a real Japanese restaurant soon (and not Fuji). I've been wanting to convert to a mac for a while now. I'll see how you're doing ;)

  2. Hmmmm...the duck soba sounds particularly interesting.
    Have fun with your new MacBook pro. I switched over a few years ago, and am now definitely a Mac fan.

  3. Oh. I went to this restaurant before :o It has great view yah!? but I thought the food was so so only..maybe I ordered the wrong thing :o I think their menu was quite limited when I was there...hmmm..

  4. Re: your comment...I've never baked an apple whole. But I have an article advising what types of apples are best for baking (this one...
    O, and I heard that stuffing a few cloves into baking apples makes your whole place smell lovely.