Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Enjoy Old-Style Japan at Gonpachi G-Zone Ginza
Written by yohei matsui
Here we'll introduce Gonpachi G-Zone Ginza, a creative Japanese restaurant in Ginza, with a unique interior design.
There is a restaurant in Ginza where tourists from abroad can enjoy Japanese cuisine in an exotic atmosphere. Gonpachi G-Zone Ginza is a creative Japanese-style restaurant that has the atmosphere of old-style Japan, the days of Samurais and when people wore kimonos.
An Exotic World in the Middle of a Metroplis
The restaurant is located at five-minutes walking distance from the Tokyo Metro Ginza station. It is inside the G-Zone building on Ginza Chuo Dori, alongside various world-famous fashion brand shops.
Gonpachi is one of the several restaurants in the G-Zone.
At the Gonpachi entrance, a long corridor that resembles a bridge greets customers. The chochin*-like illuminations, the gravel-covered floor on both sides, and the bamboos lit up by the dim lighting, make customers feel like they are walking in the Japanese nighttime of 400 years ago.
*An old-styled Japanese lantern.
The bar is on the first floor, and the main dining is on the second floor. Customers can also watch the staff make soba* noodles on the first floor.
*Japanese noodles made from buckwheat.
A Warm Interior Created by Japanese Timber
Customers can watch the chef make sushi sitting at the counter made from unvarnished, fine-grained wood.
Or they can order yakitori (skewered chicken) from the ingredients displayed in the case. The yakitori is broiled over charcoal, and the pleasant scent stirs up the customers' appetites.
The large tables are made from Japanese timber, and customers can enjoy a meal in a quiet atmosphere.
There are also private rooms. This room, with a capacity of 20 seats, has a taiko, a traditional Japanese drum.
This is a smaller room, and customers are asked to take their shoes off upon entrance. The space under the table is called a hori-gotatsu. Not only can the customers stretch their legs, but warm air fills this space in the wintertime. This is a popular room, as customers can experience a conventional Japanese way of living.
Large Shrimp Tempura and Fresh Soba
At Gonpachi, customers can enjoy not only sushi and yakitori, but teppan-yaki [meat and vegetables roasted on a hot iron plate], fresh tempura and soba, as well. Japanese food which has been arranged overseas, such as the California Roll, is also included in the menu.
We ordered an Edomae Ebi-Tenjyu [Shrimp Tempura] priced at 950 yen, and small soba noodles, which can be added for an additional charge of 200 yen.
*These menus are available only during lunchtime, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tempura is Japanese-style fritter. The shrimp, coated with a mix of flour, egg and water, is fried and laced with salty-sweet sauce. The Ebi-Tenjyu, with four tempura placed on top of the rice, is a volumnious dish.
The coating is soft, while the shrimp is firm. The mixed taste of shrimp, salty-sweet sauce, and the coating is superb. The acromatic sauce on the tempura drips onto the rice, which makes it another treat. The tempura is fried carefully so that the shrimp doesn't roll up. That kind of attention improves the appearance of the Ebi-Tenjyu.
This is the small soba noodle. Freshness is important to soba, and the most delicious moment is said to be right after the freshly made noodles are boiled. At Gonpachi, carefully selected buckwheat is ground in a stone hand mill before they are made into noodles. The staff makes sure that the timing is just right for the serving.
A soba connoisseur first tastes the noodles, to enjoy its fragrance and texture. Then they dip the noodles into the sauce, as shown in the photograph, adding wasabi [Japanese horse raddish] and negi [Japanese green onion].
Special Service for Tourists
A large number of tourists from overseas come to Gonpachi, so the restaurant plans to have a multilingual menu with photographs in the future. Also, the ingredients in the menu can be changed upon requests from vegan and vegetarian customers. If you have a specific request, it would be best to make a reservation.
Gonpachi G-Zone Ginza offers both traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine, in a unique old-time Japan setting. This restaurant is definitely worth the visit.
Gonpachi G-Zone Ginza
Address: 1-2-3, Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Open year round
Wi-Fi: Available, with a limit of 15 minutes.
Credit Cards: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, and Diners Club are accepted.
Language: Japanese and English
Menus Available In: English
Station: Kyobashi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)
Access: Three-minute walk from Kyobashi Station.
Lunchtime 1,000 to 2,000 yen/ Dinner 4,000 to 5,000 yen
Official HP: ：Gonpachi G-Zone Ginza