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February 2019. Boy oh boy do I love myself a solid movie location when I’m on the road exploring new places. Like most movie buffs I’m a huge fan of director Quentin Tarantino and when I heard about Tokyo’s Kill Bill Restaurant I made sure to pencil in a dinner slot to go and see the place that inspired one of his most iconic scenes.
The restaurant in question is actually called Gonpachi Nishiazabu and legend has it that back in the day old Quentin came here one night for dinner and was absolutely fascinated by the design. And no wonder, as it’s quite a sight to behold, from its cavernous open-plan ground floor to the towering network of wooden balconies and dining booths accessed by four corner flights of wooden stairs.
February 2019. The Kill Bill Restaurant is insanely popular day in day out, so after some digging around online I decided to secure an early evening reservation for Wonderboy and myself. This proved to be a wise decision, as on arrival the place was heaving. Nevertheless we were picked up at reception and seamlessly guided to a spot at the lengthy ground floor bar where we had an excellent view of the kitchen action unfolding before us.
It literally felt like we’d been dropped right into the set of Kill Bill: Volume 1, such was Tarantino’s faithfulness to the Gonpachi Nishiazabu blueprint when he recreated it as The House of Blue Leaves. Having ordered a couple of beers, I set off on a walking tour to take everything in.
It was impossible not to think of Uma Thurman strutting around the place before embarking on one of the most stylish and bloodiest massacres in cinematic history. That Crazy 88 gang never stood a chance!
February 2019. Dig around through all the various Kill Bill Restaurant reviews and the general consensus is that Gonpachi Nishiazabu is a place to see rather than any kind of amazing dining experience. In fact, the food here receives very patchy reviews, so I certainly hadn’t come with high culinary expectations. But actually everything we had was that night was delicious (!), from the basket of assorted tempura and braised pork belly in sweet gravy to the skewered, beef-stuffed garlic mushrooms. A triple win!
February 2019. The Kill Bill Restaurant draws in a diverse crowd, from local families and groups of suited businessmen to tourists, tourists, tourists galore! Indeed this was probably the largest amount of westerners I’d seen in one place and the vibe was perfectly convivial in a huge melting pot of ages and nationalities.
The Kill Bill Restaurant isn’t much of a place to chill, so Wonderboy and I decided to swiftly move on once we’d finished eating. On the way out be sure to check out their hall of fame by reception. You’ll see a whole bunch of famous faces who’ve come to eat here, not least Tarantino himself who returned to add his official endorsement and secure Gonpachi Nishiazabu’s reputation as a major movie location landmark, even if the filming didn’t actually take place within its hallowed walls.
The Kill Bill Restaurant (Gonpachi Nishiazabu) is located in Tokyo’s Roppongi District, just a ten-minute walk from Exit 3 of Roppongi Subway Station . Opening hours are from 11:30-3:30AM daily. To reserve a table, pay a visit to their website: http://gonpachi.jp/?page_id=22/
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