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Isekai Shokudou – 03 »« Isekai Shokudou – 01

Isekai Shokudou – 02

「メンチカツ/エビフライ」 (Menchi Katsu/Ebi Furai)
“Minced Meat Cutlet/Fried Shrimp”

For those wondering, the Day of Satur they speak of in this show is nothing more than another way of saying Saturday. Too bad this show doesn’t air on Saturday, right? Moving on, if we take out all the fancy stuff that cannot be afforded on a daily basis like pufferfish and wagyu beef, deep fried foods are pretty much my de facto guilty pleasure. This week, deep fried foods form our culinary focus, accompanied by two new guests. One adventurous treasure hunter and one gallant knight. Can I just take a moment to say that their endeavours were certainly fruitful – Nekoya is both the ultimate treasure and a holy grail that heals the soul.

Treasure Hunter

I especially like how Sarah is straight up a mature female character, something modern anime sorely lacks following on from fantastic examples like Balsa from Serei no Moribito. Her adventuring attire looked cool and practical without needing overt sexualisation to be charming. Presumably following the footsteps of her grandfather, our feisty treasure hunter proceeds onwards to discover the last great secret left to her. What should our heroine be expecting, when she ends up finding a door to another world? Why, a restaurant of course! If we ignore the fact it stoked my jealousy, seeing Sarah enjoy the fried mince cutlet was quite satisfying. Even luckier for her is how she could order plate upon plate without a care in the world. She might want to watch out though, because some flab might start developing around her midriff! It might make the difference between her survival in a tight situation where she’s ambushed by monsters, and maybe she won’t be so lucky the next time. Speaking of altercations, good thing the Dragon Queen didn’t catch Sarah casually dismissing the beef stew, otherwise we may have had some violence on our hands! Nothing Tenshu can’t stop, his threat of withdrawing culinary services making even the mightiest of warriors tremble for fear of missing out on their favourite past-time. But that’s not to say our iron-willed chef has a heart of stone, since he generously employs Aletta and gave a free cutlet sandwich to Sarah. Rather, the respect and discipline he holds regarding his trade is honestly admirable.

Knight

Heinrich sounded like he had discovered an oasis in the desert, when Tatsugoro informed him the details of how he could revisit the restaurant. Not surprising, giving the circumstances upon which he comes to Nekoya’s door, dying of starvation on a journey to save his people from the mothmen. These mothmen sound like they would need a lot more than pest control to subjugate, and if Terraformars is anything to go by, it’s no wonder reinforcements were desperately required. Anyway, it did seem pretty odd to me that Heinrich’s people were in need of saving, yet he took the time to sit down and eat Fried Shrimp. He didn’t seem to have his priorities straight, seeing how he ordered more food instead of rushing ahead on his journey. That said, I can understand the temptation, given how so many people have highly praised Tenshu’s cooking, alongside the fact that Tempura Prawns is one of my favourites even among other fried foods. I also wouldn’t know the jubilant feeling of coming back to enjoy home food, because apart from the fact that I have never lived abroad, English food is usually downright rubbish. Nonetheless, seeing Heinrich enjoy his fried shrimp made me feel really happy, because I really relate to that joy. Naturally, Heinrich must have made it back in time if he was awarded a castle for his efforts, so I doubt his delay caused anything of significant consequence.

Concluding Thoughts

My thoughts are that Nekoya is a comfortable paradise for those seeking good food. If every customer shed light on their back stories, tying in to the fantasy elements of the other world, we could have a truly wonderful series on our hands. Hopefully we will get more than a formulaic new customer of the week, but I understand there’s a limit to what the series can do if it has already established an easy-going tone, with the Dragon Queen declaring her protection of the restaurant. An interesting thing to note is that both Sarah and Heinrich intruded upon Nekoya with a hostile state of mind. However, Tenshu expertly diffuses the situation every single time, his no nonsense and professional attitude certainly playing a part when it came to instilling calm. This demonstrates his capacity as an owner, in addition to his skills as a chef, hallmarks I’m hoping to see more of throughout the progression of the series. A quick peek at next week tells us we will get our first dessert, and I highly anticipate what other stories it might bring.

Preview

Zaiden’s Beef Stew

A small segment that I thought would be a fun thing to do for shows like this, but here’s my attempt at the beef stew from last week! The recipe I followed was this Japanese one, for people interested. After stewing on low heat for a couple of hours, here is the result. Not going to mince my words, the beef had a strange texture ergo it was a failure. I should have gone for a more gelatinous cut, which would have yielded a much more tender result. Everything else was delicious, the potatoes and carrots having a soft but not flimsy texture, while being infused with the essence of beef . I also topped things off with my own improvisation of rice vermicelli! A delicious addition if I may say so myself and a hidden gem beneath the potato, carrots and beef.

Final Verdict: 3/10 – While the ‘stew’ aspect tasted pretty good, this dish failed because beef is the centrepiece. It is simply not allowed to fall short. The rice vermicelli doesn’t count towards the score weighting because it didn’t feature in the original depiction.

July 12, 2017 at 9:37 am
32 comments »
  • July 12, 2017 at 10:31 amChoya

    The knight’s story was very heart-warming with how excited he was about discovering this hidden restaurant that serves the shripe he’d been anticipating for years.

    It was also nice how Tenshu aimed to give Sarah the same hospitality as another guest who was fond of the cutlet. Really brings insight on how significant and long-lasting the restaurant has on the universe.

    Good luck on the recipe idea. It sounds like a fun way to add to the reviews

    • July 12, 2017 at 10:40 amZaiden

      Hey Choya, thanks for your thoughts on the recipe idea! I’ll definitely be looking to continue it depending on what the rest of the feedback looks like.

      I personally found the Treasure Hunter’s story even more heart-warming, due to the twist at the end revealing she knew William Gold all along (the reason why I presume he’s her grandfather too). Imagine the final thing your treasure hunting grandfather leaves you being the door to his favourite restaurant of all time. Really brings a smile to my face.

      But Heinrich’s story was also pretty heart-warming too, mainly because the strong nostalgia he had for home is one that people can universally relate to.

  • July 12, 2017 at 10:36 ambassgs435

    About Heinrich not seeming in much of a hurry. Keep in mind the man had almost collapsed from starvation and thirst before finding Nekoya. Hurrying up is important, but so is eating enough food to replenish his energy and make sure he could give his report and not die from starvation on the way to request reinforcements.

    • July 12, 2017 at 10:47 amZaiden

      bassgs435, point conceded. My original thoughts were mainly embellished due in part to my writing style. While it is important not to die of starvation, I thought it would be a lot more practical to order takeaway, and eat on the go if he really wanted to request reinforcements without dying of starvation.

  • July 12, 2017 at 10:50 amAngelus

    This second episode serves up yet another portion of completely unremarkable-looking food being adored by other-worlders – you have to wonder what kind of hell-holes these people come from that they think it’s so great!

    English food is usually downright rubbish

    Only because English people are either brought up on rubbish and so don’t know any better or because they’re too timid to complain when something is bad. The UK is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, but the main restaurant chains are indeed downright rubbish.

    Zaiden’s Beef Stew

    You can see from the picture in the recipe that it’s designed for thin-cut meat, probably something well-marbled, so the beef will be cooked well before the potatoes start disintegrating. To make this with a Western-style cut of stewing beef (maybe flank or skirt), don’t add the potatoes until the meat is getting tender.

    • July 12, 2017 at 10:55 amZaiden

      Hey Angelus, unfortunately I am but a poor university student who cannot afford to wine and dine. The UK might be home to some of the best restaurants in the world, but they are way out of my price bracket. Not to mention, I refer to English cuisine in general rather than the restaurants available. A Michelin star French restaurant in London can hardly be called English food.

      As for the beef stew, thanks for the advice. I wish I went for something well marbled, and will do so next time. Don’t know whereabouts you eat, and I must belong to a hell-hole of poverty if you put it that way, because I thought the food looked pretty good this episode! Small joke aside, I’d imagine that these other worlders live in a fantasy world where deep fat frying and other cooking technologies don’t exist.

      • July 12, 2017 at 12:03 pmAngelus

        unfortunately I am but a poor university student who cannot afford to wine and dine.

        Which is one of the reasons I started cooking when I was a student.

        I refer to English cuisine in general rather than the restaurants available

        Having been brought up in a house where you could tell what day of the week it was by looking at your dinner plate, I can only agree that the current state of British food is pretty dire. It was quite sophisticated once, though, having ransacked a quarter of the globe for its flavours and ingredients, but things have changed a lot since then.

        A Michelin star French restaurant in London can hardly be called English food

        True, but there are still some very good “proper English” restaurants around the country.

        Don’t know whereabouts you eat

        At home, mainly. I tend to avoid eating out because it’s either expensive, bad or both at the same time.

        I’d imagine that these other worlders live in a fantasy world where deep fat frying and other cooking technologies don’t exist.

        Sometimes I think our own world would be a better place if deep fat frying didn’t exist!

      • July 12, 2017 at 12:19 pmZaiden

        I cook a lot as a student, and definitely enjoy doing so. It’s mostly Italian and Japanese, but it all tastes pretty good. That said, I wouldn’t be able to confidently say that my cooking can weight up against that of a restaurants. And most importantly, none of it is British. Well, I refuse to count a medium rare rib eye steak with creamy mushroom sauce. A well seasoned, seared piece of meat is so ubiquitous, that an affront would be made to purely ascribe it as British!

      • July 12, 2017 at 2:17 pmAngelus

        Rib eye steak? No wonder you’re poor! I usually do keep a well-marbled Hereford rib eye steak in the freezer though for when my Wagyu craving gets too strong, it’s the nearest I can get to Wagyu at a reasonable price.

    • July 13, 2017 at 3:43 pmJerry

      I don’t wonder, I’ve seen it before.

      Modern food processing technology from sugar clarification to enhanced livestock wasn’t as wide-spread until the latter half of the 20th century. Production is only half the story; preservation, refrigeration, modern logistics, GPS, transportation to ensure the food is as fresh as if it were just picked or slaughtered (if you transported it even a mile from the butcher under primitive conditions like Afghanistan, it would start to spoil).

      After the Second World War, the Japanese were fed “bland” US military rations which were richer than anything their own domestic agriculture could produce. Korea’s history with SPAM is now legendary. Soviet defectors during the Cold War were be dumb-struck by the kinds of food found in modern groceries (not to mention the very existence of grocery markets) The processed sugar we now take for granted in everyone’s cupboard was once considered a powerful drug/narcotic. Etc, etc, etc, so this kind of culture shock is hardly unheard of if you’re old enough, or have traveled outside the tourist attractions of the world.

  • July 12, 2017 at 11:17 amIncognito

    “She might want to watch out though, because some flab might start developing around her midriff!”

    Well, with all the fighting, running, and other activities she does as a treasure hunter, I assume those are enough to constitute a full-body workout. XD

    http://randomc.net/image/Isekai%20Shokudou/Isekai%20Shokudou%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    http://randomc.net/image/Isekai%20Shokudou/Isekai%20Shokudou%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    Breaded and fried meat/seafood dishes. Mouth-watering AF.

    But good food reminding customers of family and home? That’s priceless.

    • July 12, 2017 at 11:22 amZaiden

      That’s exactly it, Incognito! I was struggling to find the right word, and what I had meant was family when I replied to Choya about how I found the treasure hunter’s story to be more compelling.

      The food does look really tasty, and I don’t care if some people find fried foods plebeian. I’d rather be a proletarian who enjoys, as opposed to a bourgeoisie who does not enjoy.

      As for doing ample exercise, the gains from my 5km run the other day were completely undone by eating good food. Foods, especially fried, can still be perilous!

  • July 12, 2017 at 11:38 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Sarah Goldman…instant love <3 lol

  • July 12, 2017 at 11:59 amBlue

    I haven’t seen the episode yet, but it seems like the anime is taking a slightly different take on events than the novel.

    For starters, the adventurer girl serves as the introduction to the restaurant, so we see events from her POV instead. We know Gold is her grandfather from the beginning, and she’s trying to find his secret treasure, following his journal. “To day is Satur’s Day. Curse this body which can no longer move right.” “Showed up the next day. A fool’s errand.”

    Also, rather than the chef just giving her the sandwich, it’s also kind of a tribute to her grandfather, who was a regular.

    As for Heinrich, the thing I’m guessing the anime glosses over is just how far Heinrich is planning to journey for reinforcements. Literally days of hard travel, IIRC. In the scheme of things, taking the time to rest and refresh would not likely have a large impact on the timeliness of the message delivery.

    • July 12, 2017 at 12:02 pmBlue

      Also, part of what will probably limit conflict in the series is that while technologically backwards, the otherworld is in fact, pretty well-versed in magic and is familiar with the concept of other worlds. Kind of a “oh, it’s another world. Life goes on.”

      It’s already sort of implied with how people have to enter a magic door that disappears to enter the place. Every one goes in already expecting the unusual (unlike the shop in Izakaya Nobu), so no one’s going to be freaked out.

    • July 13, 2017 at 4:43 amAex

      Most of what you noted was covered in the episode, so I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job. The exact distance Heinrich still had to go wasn’t said, but it was clearly a long way off.

  • July 12, 2017 at 1:25 pmhmm

    Hi Zaiden,

    I’m a casual reader who usually doesn’t comment, but I just had to come out of hiding, seeing the result of your stew (which looks lovely btw, just different).

    What I saw from the recipe link you gave is that you made “Nikujaga”, a dish that is rumoured to have originated from the Meiji era, inspired by the English stew. As that would make the origins the same as beef stew, its understandable that it can get confusing, but here are some of the differences.

    Nikujaga is flavoured with soy sauce and sugar, and is usually accompanied by washoku sides such as a bowl of rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles etc.

    Japanese beef stew tends to be served with a topping of cream and parsley, with western veges and a side of white rice or a roll of bread with butter. Its soup base is bouillon, and is often cooked with a dash of red wine. You can also buy an instant rew for this, the same way you can buy Japanese curry sauce rew, so getting the flavour right wouldn’t be too difficult, as long as they have it at your local Asian store. Here’s a Japanese recipe in case you’re interested https://cookpad.com/recipe/1044730

    I always enjoy reading your reviews, so I’m really looking forward to you covering this series more!

    • July 13, 2017 at 7:04 pmZaiden

      Hey hmm. Sorry for the late reply, but thanks for coming out of hiding! I look forwards to trying your suggested recipe, since I have raw beef waiting to be used in the fridge. Though I have some Japanese curry roux, so that’s also a distinct possibility.

      Anyway, happy to hear you enjoy reading the posts I put out! I aim to pleas, and have a view to mind of committing for the long term, by picking up Isekai Shokudou for good. Stay tuned for further news on that next week! :P

  • July 12, 2017 at 3:09 pmdaikama

    Hmmm…. I’m not sure if this is going to be for me. As noted in Ep. 01, not into food anime so that part of the story does nothing for me. I did like the other world stuff. There was some of that this episode, but not as much meat for that part of the story this episode as I’d like. I also find the presentation a bit disjointed, too piecemeal with the focus going back and forth as it does.

    Giving this one more episode.

    • July 13, 2017 at 7:07 pmZaiden

      Hey daikama! Sorry to say, but you’ve probably come to the wrong show if you don’t really like food. On the upside, there are a lot of other shows in a season where at least one or two must tickle your fancy.

  • July 12, 2017 at 4:16 pmMaou

    Watching ep 1 and this again then just realized that the sage and the samurai calling another customer with food name…samurai teriyaki and tonkatsu sage haha

    • July 13, 2017 at 7:07 pmZaiden

      Oh no Maou, you said it. The forbidden word. Samurai, because I’m allergic to those pesky things. *achoo*

      Now, if you’ll use the term ‘Wandering Swordsman’, that would be much appreciated.

      • July 16, 2017 at 2:15 ammaou

        *noted :p

  • July 12, 2017 at 7:40 pmOne Pinch Man

    http://randomc.net/image/Isekai%20Shokudou/Isekai%20Shokudou%20-%2002%20-%2007.jpg
    It’s good that female adventurers’ outfit in fantasy world are proper and not skimpy. Sarah is so charming.

    • July 12, 2017 at 9:22 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Hmmmm, must not have been an adventurer for too long and her defense stats must be pretty low then…

      /s lol

    • July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pmWorldwidedepp

      Lucky they took more the “Indiana Jones” path, not the “Lara Croft” (with the AtomBoobs) path. But if they i would accept the modern version of “Lara Croft”

  • July 12, 2017 at 11:14 pmebi fried

  • July 13, 2017 at 6:29 amKling_Klang

    Is Tenshu really a mortal chef or is he a (demi)god doing this as a hobby? It really is unbelievable how completely unperturbed he is by whomever/whatever comes charging in through that door.

    • July 13, 2017 at 11:24 amAex

      From the picture on the refrigerator and the bit at the start of Ep.1 I’m guessing he inherited the restaurant, so he’s probably been seeing strange stuff like this most Saturdays of his life. At some point you just get used to it.

    • July 15, 2017 at 9:46 pmGrandier

      Surprise, Tenshu is actually Doctor Who and the restaurant is really the Tardis!

  • July 15, 2017 at 9:49 pmGrandier

    Probably my favorite anime this season, hands down! Finally, a modern person mixed in a fantasy setting seems to be done really well! No need for a needless pool of MP or over the top cheat abilities! Just being there and being able to serve a purpose and be a positive, productive influence – even if it’s only one a meal a week – is more than enough to make a good, solid plot!

  • July 16, 2017 at 1:46 amken

    It it just me or do those mothmen look like the Mass-produced EVAs from NGE?

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