With the weather we’ve been having, I’ve been looking for any excuse to dine al fresco. If you’re in the Shibuya area, look no further than Daylight Kitchen.
Located behind the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel and just a quick walk from Shibuya Station, Daylight Kitchen is a breath of fresh air amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
Airy and bright, with wood paneling and sliding glass doors that are left open in warmer weather, it invites you to forget the madness that is Shibuya. It also happens to be one of the most kid- and baby-friendly restaurants in the area.
Unlike many Tokyo establishments where dining outside means breathing in exhaust and hoping your child doesn’t decide to run out into the middle of the street, this restaurant’s elevated deck surrounded by an abundance of greenery makes for a pleasant (and safe) meal.
The restaurant specializes in organic and natural food, and gets quite a lot of traffic at lunchtime. Having tried its lunch on several occasions, we decided to do something different and head over with the kids for an early dinner.
As we caught the last rays of the afternoon sunshine on the terrace, we perused the newly revamped menu, and decided on the dinner set (¥1,600). It comes with your choice of a chicken, fish or vegan main dish, and every meal is served with a bowl of half-milled rice and barley, three side dishes, miso soup and dried fruit.
We sampled the chicken and fish dishes, the chicken sauteed with tomatoes and crisp sugar snap peas, which the kids (much to our surprise) devoured. The fish was a tender slab of steamed mackerel seasoned with shio-koji (fermented rice malt and salt). Not being much of a health aficionado, I was a little unsure of what to do with the little bowl of vegetable oil containing omega-3 fatty acids (said to be beneficial in preventing heart disease, among other things) that was sitting on my plate, but I gamely sprinkled some on my salad. I was afraid that the dishes might be bland, as is often the case with healthy cuisine, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the dishes, while simple, were still packed with flavor.
For children, Daylight Kitchen offers a kid’s omusubi (rice ball) (¥100), udon noodles with vegetables (¥500) and baby food (¥100), probably best for older babies and toddlers. The restaurant also encourages parents to bring their own home-cooked food with them for their children.
Families with crawlers and young toddlers can ask to be seated at the back of the restaurant, which has sofas, a few toys for the little ones and children’s chairs.
If all this healthy eating has you hungry for dessert, then head toward Matsunosuke NY, where the delectable Sour Cream Apple Pie makes for a satisfying end to any meal (¥520). Healthy desserts are an oxymoron, after all.
Daylight Kitchen, Visionary Arts 1F, 23-18 Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; call 03-5728-4528 for reservations (dinner only); www.daylightkitchen.jp. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Nearest station Shibuya; English on the menu, some English spoken. High chairs and changing table available. Matsunosuke NY is located at Hillside Terrace D-11, 29-9 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-5728-3868; www.matsunosukepie.com. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Mondays. English on the menu, some English spoken.
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