Address:4/F, Lee Gardens Ones, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay
Made famous by Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and sister restaurant of Gonpachi Tokyo, Gonpachi at Lee Gardens certainly lives up to its reputation. As you arrive, you are greeted by the delicious smell of yakitori (skewers) grilling on wood fire that made you immediately start salivating. You are then led into a modern-japanese styled dining room fit with both modern seating, and traditional tatami styled tables.
Gonpachi, foremost an Izakaya (skewer and sake restaurant bar) and hence known for its grilled skewers, we decided to sample some.
1) Grilled Japanese beef short-rib : Tender and had a smokey flavour that brought out the flavour of the beef, Tasty.
2) Foie gras/ duck liver with balsamic dressing: Well seared on both sides, paired with a very good balsamic dressing that gave sweetness and enhanced the flavours. The bread underneath, however, soaked up all the oil and was too greasy.
3) Signature ground chicken stick: Good, but was rather soft; I expected it to be more chewy in texture. I’ve had better ground chicken sticks elsewhere. This can be given a miss.
4) Smoked cheese: Nothing special for what it claims to be; could not taste the smokiness and was very salty.
We were still hungry after the sewers and decided to add on a few other items;
5) Lunch premium sushi set
There was a good selection of fish, including 2 pieces of chu-toro, uni, shrimp, scallop and 2 pieces of white fish. The sushi was fresh and didn’t have too much rice.
6) Uni Shiso Tempura (Deep fried Sea Urchin with Shiso leaf)
Highlight of our lunch; the batter was thin and there was a generous amount of sea urchin in the shiso leaf. Definitely can become addictive for uni lovers!
7) Dessert platter – Pumpkin & coconut zenzai, sweet corn mochi, red bean pudding and honey dew melon
Again, nothing special. The red bean pudding was tasteless and was the same pudding given as a set lunch dessert. The melon was fresh and the Pumpkin & coconut zenzai were good, the better 2 from the platter. The zenzai was simply ice cream with a sweet pumpkin puree and red bean sauce. The corn mochi didn’t have much taste, and was just too sweet.
Overall, the dining experience was good; good decor, great service and good food. The dishes were a bit expensive, but then again Gonpachi is located inside a premium shopping mall. I believe the food quality definitely justified the price, but maybe save it for a special occasion and come with more friends to have a good selection of skewers to try!