A fresh taste of Japan at D47, Shibuya Hirakae

Unlike our lunch at Tsukiji yesterday, dinner  was more my sort of ‘discovery’. This was at a place called D47 where we went to thanks to a recommendation by my friend and fellow Foodie Hub city expert, Yukari Sakamoto, a food writer from Tokyo. This is located on the 8th floor of the Shibuya Hikarie building. Update: Yukari tells me that Japan has 47 prefectures and the restaurant showcases food from these and the menu changes every month.

We had gone to Shibuya to see what the Japanese call the ‘world’s busiest crossing’ and have made a tourist attraction of. We did go in non office hours no doubt, but I would like to respectfully submit that Mumbai’s Dadar Station bridge or Kolkata’s Esplanade More would be worthy contenders!

D47 had a long waiting period so we checked out the other restaurants there and even walked into one and then left without everything as everything seemed lost in translation there. Sorry, I had promised myself to not use a LIT PJ but I couldn’t stop myself. 

We went back to D47 and by 9.30 pm, which is well after the Japanese dining period, we found a places there. Unlike the the other restaurant that we tried going to earlier, D47 has an English menu and I was glad we ended up going there. The all woman staff there was very friendly and served some lovely food which represented food from across regions of Japan. It seemed attached to a design studio/ museum but I am not sure as everything was written in Japanese.

Fresh apple and orange juice  were a refreshing start. 

We then had a half plate of seasoned cod roe from the Fukuoka Prefecture which was soft textured and intense in taste and whose brilliance I will never forget. 

There was also a splendid Meiho ham with a lot of marbling from the Gifu prefecture which set the tone for the evening.

Emboldened, we ordered more and the fact that there was small plates helped. Next on was the Vinegary Nanban chicken. Fried chicken in a batter where the meat was so tender that K exclaimed that she never knew that chicken could be so tasty. 

The fried mackerel, a sort of a Japanese fish and chips without chips, served with tartare sauce was rather poetic in its flavours. Unrestrained in flavour and yet not intimidating.

We finished this with a cold potato salad with Kyoto styled chopped vegetables and pickled leaves which reminded me of the Assamese alu pitika.

We loved the warm service and the experience and the food and the view and the bill which converted to Rs 2,900 seemed a steal. The place and the concept and the plates reminded me a bit of the Bombay Canteen in Mumbai. Ethnic and yet not the same old.

Dessert was cold dark chocolate and dark chocolate macarons at a place that knows its chocolates, the Lindt Cafe at Shibuya, from where we could see the D47 say good night to us.

PS: To my docs who might be concerned about the mentions of ham, Wagyu and chocolate in my posts, let me assure you that the staircases of the Tokyo Metro ensure that I work it out!

Here’s a Tokyo Metro Tip: Elevators and escalators are scant here so beware if you have luggage to carry and consider cabs for the last mile to your hotels.