Restauranteer Report: 45 Bis あわ When
By Gavin Binge
I was younger, I never thought I’d get older. I mean, I knew I would of course, but I could never really picture it. Imagine my surprise, then, when it happened!
The first sign was when I discovered that, rather than crazy all-night parties, I really enjoy sitting down, chatting, and connecting with people. I also found that I loved getting to know someone, talking with them, and (gasp!) learning things from them. Learning on a weekend? My past party self would be shocked!
So, by my new (old!) criteria, the maiden meal of our newly formed Restauranteer Club was a great success. Initially, our party had wanted to eat at the dangerously delicious smelling yakitori grill bar below, but they were full, so we opted to try the place upstairs on a whim. I definitely don’t regret it!
We thus found ourselves in a very fancy, atmospheric, and charming Italian place called 45 Bis あわ (or 45 Quarante-cinq as printed on the menu). The décor was tasteful and elegant and the soft lights in the walls and open-air chandelier glistening in the evening rain really added a magic spark to the place. It looked excellent.
The meat pasta was also a deliciously welcome taste of the Italian places back home, albeit in slightly smaller portions (even the “large”). Some of the non-pasta dishes were a little on the sparse side and were served in unusual ways (not quite as we’re used to back home) but on the whole, all the food was good and the prices were not unreasonable. Beer and wine were ¥500 a glass, and the meals were roughly priced between ¥1200 and ¥2500. Not the cheapest, but given its atmosphere and style, definitely not bad. Also, while they didn’t speak much English, the service was very friendly, happy to muddle through with us foreigners, and graciously offered an English menu.
I was also very impressed at their bravery! They had an excellent wine selection and encouraged us to enjoy a wide range of saucy pastas and deep red drinks while relaxing comfortably on their pristine white couches. Courageous souls! If they don’t yet have shares in the local cleaning business, I’d highly recommend it.
The night passed quickly and happily with a good meal and great friends, and it was a fantastic chance to catch up with some and meet others. Even though we didn’t end up in our first choice of restaurant, 45 Bis あわ was a reasonably priced, delicious taste of Italy, and, given its stunning ambiance, it would make a great spot for a small group or couples on a date. And, what some dishes may have lacked in portion size, the restaurant more than made up for with its wide wine selection and friendliness. Definitely worth a visit. Thanks to everyone for the night out. Here’s hoping that we’ll all see each other at the next one!