「オムライス/豆腐ステーキ」 (Omuraisu/Tofu Suteki)
“Omelette Rice/Tofu Steak”
Parsing through some David Attenborough clips, one of which involved hedgehogs mating, I realised that it’s difficult to bring descriptions of nature into the context of sentient interactions. Especially when it came to the behaviour of animals. Thus, I will make do by improvising some excerpts carrying trademarks of my written style too.
Lizardmen & Omurice
If you happen to be passing by a riverside settlement, you may be lucky to witness an astonishing sight. Hundreds of lizardmen thumping their tails on the ground in great excitement. An alpha male, chosen through a systematic selection involving combat, is granted the right to carry out a peculiar but most important ritual. This accolade is carried by the current hero of the tribe, Gaganpo. He is tasked with travelling to the door’s other side in order to obtain omelettes for the entire tribe. These omelettes hold significant value because the lizardmen cannot replicate its production using crocodile eggs. As a result, the weekly ritual conducted is met with extraordinary anticipation.
After privately enjoying a meal of two omurice in the restaurant, Gaganpo pays his due in stacks of coins the lizardmen presumably use for the specific purpose of obtaining food from Nekoya. He returns triumphantly to the resounding cheers of salivating lizardmen, who cannot wait to devour their delicious meal.
Elf & Tofu Steak
Here, we can observe Fardania healing a wounded fawn while foraging for mushrooms in the forest. The Elves are a species that have a high affinity with the natural world. As such, their bodies are conditioned in a way that prevents meat and other animal products from being enjoyed upon consumption. ‘Vegan’ is a human term that can be used to describe this particular lifestyle. For Fardania, this poses an issue when stumbling across the restaurant Nekoya, since the menu mainly comprises of animal products.
However, Tenshu is a fine specimen of human well-versed in the culinary arts. As you can see, he has no qualms whipping up a treat for his troublesome customer. Invigorated by her sumptuous meal of Tofu Steak but prideful as an elf, our young elf girl sets out, determined to hone her vegan craft to the point where it surpasses Nekoya.
I personally found it very interesting to learn about the lizardmen and their way of life. While I enjoy the usual format of a random person stumbling across the wonders of Nekoya, these other kind of stories help keep the series refreshing. As for the elf, she helped keep that aspect of things going, while adding in the nuance of specific dietary requirements. I will need help deciphering this random breastfeeding picture that shows up towards the end of the episode. So strange and completely out of context, but presumably relevant to Fardania and the meal she ate.
To be honest, I also couldn’t find the unifying theme in this episode, so I’m hoping that one of you readers can point it out to me in the comments below. My hunch tells me it may have something to do with individuals representing their respective species in different ways. In that case, the nature segment formatting should do a good job of showcasing the theme apparent. Nevertheless, some minor explanations would really help going the whole way. Here’s hoping for some insight on these matters!
Eating Profiteroles in Paris
Chocolate Profiteroles from ‘Le Vache et Le Cuisinier‘
Close enough. For the past few days I was in Paris, and the restaurants I happened to visit did not seem to serve chocolate parfait. So I will have to make do with the homemade chocolate profiteroles I shared with my friend at a restaurant called ‘Le Vache et Le Cuisinier‘. In fact, the same friend who made this spaghetti bolognese with me last week!
The presentation was absolutely impeccable and I will let this picture speak for itself. Moving on to taste, the dark chocolate sauce was delightfully rich, contrasting the vanilla ice cream to find an exquisite balance. All the while, the cream offered a light yet sweet addition without overpowering the dessert. The choux pastry acted as a magnificent centrepiece, bringing everything together under a smooth and buttery ensemble. In terms of texture, it was slightly chewy and provided a delicate bed for the melange of cream, chocolate sauce, ice cream.
Final Rating: 9.2/10 – If you put this into a dessert glass, the chocolate profiteroles could easily pass for a chocolate parfait. I believe better profiteroles must exist out there, but so far, these may as well be the best I’ve eaten in my life.
I very much enjoy how contrasting the two customers are this week. In the first part, we see a primarily savage yet honorable tribe of lizardmen who revere and practically worship the restaurant (omurice specifically) to the point that members of their tribe would compete with each other to become the hero just to be able to savor more than just a bite of omurice every week. Even with how Gaganpo carried himself in the restaurant, he had the utmost respect and appreciation for the chance he had to eat there.
We then look at the elf whose common characterization in vast amounts of fantasy stories to be haughty and proud. Pair that with her natural veganism, we see a more aggressive almost antagonistic feel from her compared to how the lizards practiced their weekly ritual. And even until the very end despite conceding to the tofu steak before her, she chooses to brave the outside world beyond the forests to actually challenge the restaurant’s cooking.
It’s a very simple theme but an extremely poignant one because of a smart use of contrast.
Oh and regarding the breastfeeding, I think the adaptation tripped a bit over how they presented it but it’s still fairly obvious to get especially if one knows how tofu is made. To keep it simple — tofu is made from soy milk.
To an elf like Fardania, whose very being denies the concept of animal by-products and in this case dairy products as well, the last time she or any of her kin last tasted milk is from the loving breasts of their mothers. For a race with an absurdly long lifespan such as an elf they would almost certainly go by decades if not centuries even until death without knowing the taste of milk again and so one would assume that their very short time as an infant would be a very warming and nostalgic memory for their particular brand of vegan forest elves.
It’s a bit vague with how the anime did it but hopefully other people who knew what tofu is made out of got the connection as well.
PS. This episode also answers why Gaganpo joined the fight back in the first episode. He was eating egg AND rice. Which by the way I also argue is the best pairing.
I love how they emphasize the detailed shot. Omurice (or fried rice) is common in Asia and you can get it almost everywhere. It tastes salty or sweet even spicy, depends on the ingredients. I don’t always see cheese mixed in fried rice though.
Now we have elf and
lembasvegetables, will we have dwarf and ale or hobbit and potatoes?
Fried rice itself is common, but omurice in particular is a Japanese thing.
“Now we have elf and
lembasvegetables, will we have dwarf and ale or hobbit and potatoes?”
“PO-TA-TOES! Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew…” (*cue Stupid Statement Dance Mix*)
And speaking of dwarves, I thought they liked “red meat off the bone”? (Or salted pork?)
Not really bruh, you’re totally forgetting Pattaya Fried Rice. Exact same thing. But almost always without added tomato sauce on top of zhe egg coating
Do i see it right, 2 Elfs are meeting each other in the Preview? Well, from the Looks this one here is some kind of Forest Elf, and the other in the Preview some kind of High Elf or Half Elf? Because she is wearing more City like cloths, as if they are made from Human hands.. So, Hybrid (Half Elf and Half Human)
I think it’s a bit much to be expecting a unifying theme for an episode. (So far) each episode just takes two chapters from the book, and each chapter is just about how people from the fantasy world react to Nekoya.
That settles it. If I ever have a kid in future, and it turns out to be a guy, I’ll name him Gaganpo. He’ll single-headshot kill crocodiles and order omurice in the most bad-ass voice ever!!
My take for this episode, the connecting element for the two chapter(?) will be the constant and upcoming attempt of the two races to capture the taste of the food they’ve eaten to the point of their daily visit to Nekoya Resto.
I believe Isekai Shokudou is a metaphor for either two things.
1) Cultural Mix. As you have seen, there a wide array of races and they more or less getting along if only to ensure they could stay and enjoy the chef’s food. Despite that, they do discuss about what they love about the food and even compete a bit on which is the best dish. The Chef himself has an open mind that he hired a demon to be his waitress and the dragon herself also provided divine protection. It was at this point the demon realized that there are others like the chef who accept anyone regardless of race.
2) Second Chances. I think that all the customers are representation of those with regrets. They either felt like they lost something of value or unable to do anything due to their current status. The door to the restaurant could be the divine intervention, the restaurant itself is a sort of purgatory or more likely Heaven who has welcomed the customer or soul, the waitress represents nothing is what it seems informing them that they could do things they though they are unable to if they just push forward and the food is a reward from Heaven as they passed their judgement.
I think the unifying theme this time is “limited worldview”. The lizardmen never venture outside of the marshlands so they never know how food outside of their area taste like (until door to Nekoya appeared). The elf’s pride was very high (and also due to her vegan diet), therefore she look down on human (she called their food barbaric) and refuse to eat human’s food (until that tofu steak that is).
Now if only Aletta can do a cutesy chant while writing something cute on the omurice with ketchup… That said, having the ketchup be made out of fresh tomatoes (and actually seeing the process that goes into making it) must make it that much tastier.
I can no longer look at any tofu dish without remembering a certain panda-colored Toyota Sprinter Trueno/AE86. But I digress. Anyway, was that tofu grilled, or fried?
Ah, mushroom soup… Though I cook the canned version of the stuff (Campbell’s), then add milk to make the soup thicker and taste richer. Too bad it’s not to Fardania’s tastes. (Though is it possible to use soybean milk instead of cow’s milk?)
Also, was that Yoko Hikasa’s voice? The last time she played an elf was the dark elf Yao Ha Dushi (GATE), who also happened to request assistance from Junichi Suwabe’s character.
IIRC Shokudou and Knights have the better established thematic hooks, out of the 3 isekai adaptations airing this season.
At first I thought it was strange that the Lizardmen made such a big deal about the weekly omurice, after all they get it every week. But then looking bad it seems like the lifespan of Lizardmen is much shorter than for humans (possibly by a factor of 10?), so maybe a week really is quite a bit of time from their perspective.
That was very few food for so many lizardmen