One train stop south of Tokyo's youth-obsessed fashion hub Shibuya is the capital's best-kept secret: Daikanyama. The upscale district draws an older and more sophisticated crowd to its warren of winding backstreets, packed with chic homegrown designer boutiques, lifestyle shops, galleries and outdoor cafes. The quirky, refreshingly label-free area has proved to be the perfect location for stylish newcomer Eataly, an Italian food and wine centre based on a hugely successful venture in Turin. The concept, the Italian owners say, is simple: to encourage visitors to 'buy, taste and learn' authentic Italian produce of the highest quality. Tokyoites are notoriously demanding when it comes to quality food, but it's slowly dawning on them that they've been eating a sad replica of the real stuff flying off the shelves at Eataly. The modern centre wraps around an unusual feature in space-starved Tokyo: a piazza with chairs, tables and, of course, the ubiquitous Vespa. But Eataly is no theme park. The owners are keen supporters of the Slow Food Italy movement, an independent non-profit organisation that defends food biodiversity and taste education. Products are well laid out with useful information about where they come from, their history and recommended use, and staff are knowledgeable about all things Italian and edible. The 'experiential supermarket' draws crowds tasting and buying from a range of more than 2,700 products. Think crusty breads freshly baked in a wood-fired oven (and made with natural 40-year-old Madre Vivo yeast), 400 Italian wines, a fresh pasta laboratory and a mind-boggling selection of cheeses, cured meats and organic vegetables. Informal pizza and pasta restaurants serve Neapolitan-style pizza with tomatoes from Campania and fior di latte mozzarella from Agerola, and Gragnano pasta with fresh meat, fish or vegetable sauces. Across the piazza is a chic espresso bar, patisserie and artisanal gelateria. Judging by the number of well-dressed Italians propping up the bar counter, already it seems to have the national seal of approval. Head upstairs for formal dining at Guido per Eataly, serving the same Michelin-starred cuisine as its renowned Italian sister, plus a cooking and tasting school. A five-course gourmet meal with wines is about Y11,000 (HK$967). Downstairs is another Tokyo surprise: a well-stocked winery with excellent but inexpensive wines by the glass. It has been a long time since locals saw a glass of quality wine for Y490 (HK$42). Eataly attracts a well-heeled clientele of families during the day and a mix of Italian expatriates and stylish Japanese at night. The lively atmosphere is what you would expect in Italy, with people-watching a popular pastime. Afterwards, shop in Daikanyama's treasure trove of unusual finds: Cla4ra with its quirky Japanese hats is just a few steps away, as is Loveless, which carries labels such as Mastermind Japan and Libertine. Eataly is at 20-23 Daikanyama, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0034, tel: [81 3] 5784 2736; eataly.co.jp.