Monday, March 5, 2007

26. Cafe Review: Gopal

I walk by Gopal all the time; it always has a healthy number of patrons inside. Upon reading that one of its lunch specials was grilled chicken in a gorgonzola sauce, I decided to give it a try. Glad that I did.

Gopal is street level, with two walls of glass overlooking the crowds walking by outside. Another good place to 'Shimokita fashion' watch. The interior is all earth tones, with sienna colored leather chairs and wood grain tables (seating for 36). Toward the front, next to the cash register, is a DJ booth. During my lunch, the music was great; the Beatles and a mix of American oldies.

There are about 6 lunch specials that change daily. On the day I visited, the choices included the grilled chicken, pasta in tomato sauce with bacon and eggplant, BLT sandwich,... The lunch specials include a mini appetizer, soup, a drink, and dessert (choice of three). All for under 1000 yen.
I was given a slice of potato croquette and vegetable & bacon soup. Small, but tasty portions. The chicken in gorgonzola sauce was delicious and was served with a salad and choice of rice or bread. It was as good sized main dish.

There are a number of drinks to choose from, I was happy to see that a small glass of wine was one of the options. For dessert I had a piece of cinnamon chiffon cake topped with whip cream. I paid an extra 600 yen for some iced chai.

I felt that I really got my moneys worth. Everything was delicious, and the staff was friendly. The only problem with Gopal has to do with smoking. There is no 'non-smoking' section, so if you get a heavy smoker nearby, you are out of luck.

Gopal's menu is the same all day, except for the lunch specials that run from 11:00 - 16:00. There are soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, rice dishes, 'bread' items (hamburger, hot dog, roasted chicken sandwich), and some main dishes. There is also a selection of side items that can be ordered while drinking (cheese plate, chicken wings, french fries,...).

Desserts are homemade and there is a different selections daily. They also serve pancakes and waffles (plain, banana & chocolate, fruit topped, smoked meat & egg) and french toast.

Gopal is a popular evening hangout, and there is a full bar. Most mixed drinks are around 650 yen, with specialty cocktails around 800 yen. They also have beer - draft and bottles, and wine - by the glass, carafe, or bottle.

There is also a large selection of non-alcoholic drinks. Espresso, lattes, almost 20 different teas, juices, and soft drinks. Some interesting choices include: iced tomato spice tea, apple mint soda, orange latte, Oriental smoothie,...

The entire Gopal menu is translated into English, including the lunch specials.

Hours of Operation: 11:00 - 12 midnight, Fri. & Sat. until 3:00 am.
*A 10% surcharge is added after 11pm in the evening.

Address: 2-14-16 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku
Phone: 03-5433-2351
This website focuses on the company that runs Gopal, there is little information about the restaurant itself.