Tarantino fans will recall the iconic scene when Uma Thurman (the Bride, code name Black Mamba) takes on the Crazy 88s and Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii, code name Cottonmouth) in a place that looks a lot like Gonpachi in Kill Bill Volume 1. Folks say that Tarantino was directly inspired by the much-loved Tokyo restaurant and recreated the look and feel for that famous ‘House of Blue Leaves’ scene (which was actually filmed on a sound stage in China).
Think dark wood, bamboo pergolas, little flashes of golden light, twinkling Japanese lanterns, and beautiful Japanese wallpaper. The space also features a pretty outside area, and a bar and lounge area, as well as the main restaurant. There are ample seating options for small and large groups and it’s the ideal place to enjoy a romantic date night or celebrate a special occasion like a birthday. Plus the service is outstanding and Gonpachi nails that perfect mixture of being fancy without being intimidating.
Cinematic inspiration and chill vibes aside, the food at Gonpachi is next-level good. The menu is simple and well-edited, featuring an array of Japanese favourites. Whilst the bar is fully licensed.
The HUNTR started our dinner experience with Yellow Tail Jalapeños (75AED) – salty, sweet, and acidic. The melt-in-your-mouth Tuna & Avocado Tartare (90AED) and the fresh and flavourful Gonpachi Crab & Kale Caesar Salad (55AED). The Popcorn Shrimp (75AED) is also a must-order.
Next, we tried two traditional Japanese BBQ creations – the Chicken Thigh Skewer (42AED for 2 pieces) and the Japanese Kuroge Beef Sirloin (195AED for 2 pieces). Both were tender and juicy and had a rich charcoal-grill flavour.
From the sushi and sashimi offering, we sampled the California Roll (75AED) with snow crab, avocado, and cucumber the Dragon Roll (85AED) with sea eel, avocado, cucumber, and salmon roe, the Sweet Shrimp Nigiri (50AED), Wagyu Beef Nigiri (85AED) and the Fatty Tuna Belly (96AED). They were arranged on a cute little sushi boat, which pleased our eyes almost as much as they pleased our mouths and stomachs. The Tuna Belly and Wagyu Beef were particularly delicious.
Then, for the ‘main event’, we decided to share the Lamb Chop Robata (195AED), which are charcoal grilled with grilled veggies and a tasty jus and served in a very theatrical manner – as the server brought his Katana (Japanese Sword) and sliced the chops in front of us, which were tender and Juicy and beautifully charcoaled. Plus the Unagi Meshi (125AED) rice with grilled eel served in a hot stone bowl and the Kamonanban (80AED) – a very flavourful duck and leek soba soup with tender sweet roasted sliced of duck meat and chicken balls, perfectly cooked soba noodles, and charred leeks.
To end one of the nicest dinner experiences we’ve enjoyed of late on a sweet note, we opted to share two desserts. The Chocolate Fondant with Black Sesame Ice Cream (45AED) and the Tiramisu flavoured Mochi Ice Cream (35AED). Divine.
Insider tips: Open daily from 12noon until 12midnight.