Popular among celebrities: Vegan Nigiri sushi "Gonpachi"
Even though there are more and more kinds of vegetarian food available in Japan now, what the most you want to eat should be the most iconic Japanese cuisine: Sushi! The vegan sushi of Gonpachi is nigiri sushi made of Japanese ingredients and is made according to the most orthodox Japanese style.

PhotoAnita Lin

TextAnita Lin

Countless gourmets are captured by Japanese sushi around the world. Many people are willing to spend a large amount of money on authentic Itamae Sushi or spend hours in line in front of famous restaurants in the Tsukiji Market at the break of dawn. However, it seems that sushi, which emphasizes the freshness of fish and seafood and how rare it is, has nothing to do with vegetarians. The only one that can be considered vegetarian is Tamagoyaki.

Gonpachi, the sushi restaurant where President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi have both been has announced a series of vegan menus as if it were a sumptuous feast specially designed for vegetarians. Not just sushi, but even vegan dishes such as skewer and tempura are served!

Creative Japanese Food with a New Vegetarian Style
Gonpachi is a creative Japanese food restaurant under the GLOBAL-DINING catering group. Under the name of Gonpachi, there are seven branches in different fields, including soba noodles, skewer, sushi, tempura, and seaweed hand roll. And only the Nishiazabu branch and Shibuya branch serve both sushi Restaurant and izakaya simultaneously.
Nishiazabu’s store was also a significant location for former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to visit and write down the "Izakaya Talk" in Japanese history. The scene in the movie Kill Bill was built with reference to it, too. Madonna and Lady Gaga also has been to Gonpachi when they visited Japan, making Gonpachi shot to fame. However, this time I went to Gonpachi’s Shibuya branch for dinner. It is located on the 14th floor, facing the large glass windows, and the street view can be seen and the luxury of quieting down in the middle of chaos can be enjoyed.

Step out of the Shibuya Station, cross the intersection where 3000 people will pass at the same time at each green light, then walk along the landmark 109 department store for 10 minutes. Gonpachi hides in a commercial building. Upon taking the observation elevator upstairs, you can see the authentic Japanese-style restaurant entrance.

Gonpachi’s Shibuya branch is very fantastic. On the first layer is the izakaya-style soba noodles and skewer store, and the sushi restaurant is in the inner layer, which adopts the “in-shop” style. when making reservations, remember to book the "sushi restaurant" instead of the izakaya.
During lunchtime on weekdays, the izakaya is crowded with people. Although not every seat is occupied, the restaurant is also lively. When being ushered to the sushi area by the waiter, the ambiance is totally different from that outside — quiet and graceful. The decoration in the store is all wooden, making people immediately relax when perching themselves on the seat.

Abundant Choices on the Menu

In Japan, every restaurant provides two kinds of menus, one for drinks and one for cuisine, but Gonpachi offers four menus at one go. Apart from the above-mentioned two, vegetarian and set meals are also provided. If meat-eaters and vegetarians come to dine together, everyone can enjoy delicious food, and no one should compromise.

The vegetarian menu is divided into four parts, namely sushi, roast food, tempura, and appetizer. You can order 12 pieces of nigiri sushi directly or sushi rolls, etc. Roast foods and tempura can also be ordered in a fixed combination or a la carte. Those who are allergic can also ask to change the oil used when frying tempura. I ordered 5 kinds of nigiri sushi and a roast combo to enjoy more diversified meals.
The Most Original Delicacy
The five pieces of sushi are with avocado, sprout, vinegar Japanese ginger, okra, and vegetarian caviar. They are so eye-catching although most of them are green plants. Except for avocado and okra, I am not familiar with other flavors so they are like a breath of refreshing air. The green onion sprout looks like a bunch of grass, but its taste is very delicate and tender, which makes me want more. Japanese ginger is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine which is mostly pickled. It's slightly sour paired with vinegar rice well. “Fish roe" on Gunkan-maki are vegetarian caviar. While biting it, just as biting bubbles when eating fish roe as usual. These ingredients are already very eye-catching, and vinegar rice is also remarkable, which makes the flavor and feel of this vegetarian sushi as satisfying as ordinary sushi.

The roast food platter is a combo of five kinds of vegetables, green pepper, tomato, king oyster mushroom, ginkgo, and green onion. Unexpectedly, these seemingly ordinary ingredients can become so delicious with the expert's wonderful barbecue skills! Usually, no matter what kind of skewer you eat, inevitably, their surface will be slightly burned. But these vegetable skewers are not burned at all. Instead, they remain moist, making the taste juicy. The green onion, which is usually tied with the chicken skewer, is only eaten alone this time. Surprisingly, the green onion was not the supporting role of the chicken, it can also play the leading role by itself! Among them, my favorite is roast tomatoes, which are very soft and tender in appearance, and I have the pleasure of juice exploding in my mouth.

Whether it's nigiri sushi or skewer, the most simplified way is adopted to make the most of the ingredients, just like culinary magic. Come to experience vegetarian Japanese cuisine and you can feel the essence of it!


Gonpachi Shibuya
Address: 3-6 Maruyamacho E Space Tower 14F, Shibuya 150-0044 Tokyo
Bussiness Hours:11:30~14:30(Lunch) / 17:00~26:00(Dinner)

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Anita Lin

A contradictory person who is lazy in nature but always has a high level of action for what I like. The biggest action in my life is to come to my favorite country, Japan. In the third year of living in Tokyo, I go out with my camera to eat, walk, and travel whenever I want to record every bit of my life in this amazing country.

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