「ミートソース/チョコレートパフェ」 (Miito Sousu/Chokoreto Pafe)
“Spaghetti with Meat Sauce/Chocolate Parfait”
Beyond a focus on food, the common theme between the plot threads in this episode of Isekai Shokudou revolved around grandfathers. I wouldn’t say the relationships were particularly explored in depth, rather an emotional impression in time bringing so much meaning to a singular experience. This unique take fits well with an episodic format, and deserves praise as well as examination. Without further ado, full steam ahead!
The grandfather made pasta and the sauce cheap and available for everybody, accruing incredible personal wealth as a result of completely ripping off the food technologies he witnessed from Earth. Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be crazy if some owner of a mega-corporation in our world was secretly an isekai protagonist from another world using life hacks? I thought it was really interesting that Isekai Shokudou explored sham coming from the other way. You could say the grandfather gained cheat powers by simply having the fortune of knowing Nekoya, in the same way many isekai protagonists are fortunate in carrying over useful abilities from a previous life (or gaining them in the process of reincarnation). If you ignore the wish fulfilment aspect and all the cynics who tell you it’s pointless, I think there is so much meaning to be gained in improving the lives of others, even if you are an inferior intermediary rather than the
source sauce itself.
A Memory of Grandfather
Adelheid’s story deals with bereavement. Considering how her parents were not particularly present in her life, it stands to reason that gramps would be the person she was closest too. He did what he could to make his granddaughter happy, including taking her to eat at Nekoya when she was very young and alone, which is why his passing hit her very hard. Tenshu’s sensitivity towards other people’s problems really warms the heart and soothes the soul. This week, we see how he understood Adelheid’s mere description of ‘clouds’ to be the chocolate parfait that she wanted to consume as comfort food. Mind you, he had only met her once, and was still able to remember. Fortunately, eating a chocolate parfait in Nekoya recuperates her spirits, bringing back nostalgic and good times for her. It’s true that precious memories of good times spent together really helps ease the process of dealing with grief. Think of visiting Nekoya as ongoing therapy for her loss, giving her a mechanism to cope with her difficulties.
We also get a confirmation that Tenshu inherited the restaurant from his own grandfather, who used to be the head chef in Nekoya himself. Hopefully, we’ll get some elaboration regarding this background later on in the series. From what we’ve seen, it’s clear that the man had a huge influence on shaping Tenshu to be the way he is today.
I thought it was really. awesome that Tenshu remembers his customers and their favourite foods. If a restaurant went that far for me, I’d be a surefire customer for life, as we could see from previous customers here in the omake. I thought it was nice to see all the customers seen so far in the series return, and perhaps it signifies the end of a particular arc. What I’m alluding to would be upcoming appearance of the moon girl, who I am absolutely curious about.
Judging by the previews, it doesn’t look like she’ll appear all too soon. However, I’ll be sticking around to cover Isekai Shokudou until the end, including that point. Too bad, dear readers. Not only will you be stuck with my random musings that sometimes make no sense, you will also have to endure witnessing my terrible attempts at replicating food items from this show. Followed by the subsequent rounds of pretentious critiquing. Bon appétit!
Friend’s Spaghetti Bolognese feat. Zaiden
My friend made a dinner of spaghetti bolognese where I acted as a sous chef, helping prepare stuff and providing suggestions regarding what to add. Lo and behold, it turns up in Isekai Shokudou! Good thing I can include that one here right now, though pictures will have to come later since I need to source them from this same friend I speak of, who is currently asleep.
No recipe, a lot of hands on improvisation. Who would have thunk that in addition to grated parmesan, the secret ingredient to making amazing pasta was Tabasco! Considering me and my friend added bell peppers, grounded peppercorns and lemon juice to our bolognese sauce, which greatly elevated the flavour, I’m actually not too surprised. The tartness of the tomato, the sourness of lemon, the natural sweetness from the onions and carrots, the bitterness of the bell peppers, all served to balance each other out. By the way, you should grab your Parmesan from over the cheese counter in a supermarket, because it’s a lot fresher and nuttier compared to the chilled section. Now that I think about it, Parmesan to Italian cooking is what Soy Sauce is to Asian cooking.
Final Verdict: 6/10 – Somewhat above average. Needed to stew longer for the vegetables to release more flavour, and possibly the use of white wine to impart a richer flavour to the mince. But tasted good, and I reckon I’m being harshly biased due to my preference for creamy sauce pasta.
Zaiden’s Menchi Katsu
Followed Cooking with Dog’s Recipe for the most part, and I imagine the result was above average, given the juiciness of the mince and the crispiness of the coating. Extra style points for successfully replicating the shredded cabbage garnish, but also lost because the katsu was slightly browned, as opposed to golden. But the lack of real tonkatsu sauce takes away from the authenticity – while trying to make it from scratch, my lack of Worcestershire Sauce meant I had to fall upon other less orthodox ingredients to work as a substitute.
Final Verdict: 6.5/10 – My best piece of work so far. Then again, actually expected since I have a great affinity for fried foods.
Hyper Japan’s Ebi Fry
While I didn’t make this dish myself, I visited a convention called Hyper Japan last weekend. Figured I didn’t have time to make my own Ebi Furai, so settled for the next best thing. Anyway, I bought three pieces of Ebi Furai for £3 ($4). I know, stupidly expensive, but I love my fried foods.
While the ebi furai tasted delicious, with the battering being exquisite, the prawn itself was pretty dry and lacked in succulence. No tartar sauce to complement the dish also means I have to lower the score.
Final Verdict: 4.5/10 – Needs better prawns and an actual inclusion of tartare sauce, but logistical limitations understandable given that food was being mass produced to feed the humungous queue of people.