April 10, 2016
Gonpachi is a Japanese restaurant in Nishiazabu, Tokyo. Gonpachi serves traditional Japanese food like yakitori, soba noodles and tempura. They also have creative menu items like foie gras yakitori. Gonpachi’s building and interior are to look like a combination of a Japanese-style warehouse (called kura) and an old-style Japanese house. In addition to customers from Tokyo, Gonpachi is popular among Japanese and foreign tourists to Tokyo. One Japanese businessman says that when he takes foreign guests there, they are always pleased. The restaurant is often used for business lunches and dinners.
Gonpachi became famous in 2002, when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi took President George W. Bush there while Bush was visiting Japan. When Koizumi took Bush to the restaurant, many in the Japanese media were surprised since Gonpachi is an unusually casual place for the prime minister to take the head of another foreign country. However, Bush enjoyed the casual atmosphere of the restaurant. Both Koizumi and Bush wore casual clothing to the restaurant (that is, a jacket and no necktie). The media was impressed by Koizumi’s diplomatic skill in inviting Bush to a casual restaurant to deepen the friendship of the two countries. Although, Koizumi and Bush ate food on the upper floor, Koizumi took Bush on a tour of the first floor, where many regular customers got to greet him and President Bush. Bush enjoyed eating the food there, including a Japanese beef steak and tempura. He also enjoyed the casual atmosphere.
Gonpachi is also known for being an inspiration for a scene from the Quentin Tarantino movie, Kill Bill. Other celebrities who have been to the restaurant are Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, Prince Albert of Monaco, Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and Norman Reedus.
Gonpachi has many staff who are fluent in English and the menu is both Japanese and English available.
Gonpachi Nishi Azabu Official Website in English http://www.gonpachi.jp/nishiazabu/?lang=en