「クレープ/納豆スパ」 (Kurepu/Natto Supa)
The fairies as a group were fun and cute, but the Queen herself presided on a whole other level. Graceful in form, and expressing a fair regality befitting of her status, she exudes an utterly charming presence that completely dominated the screen. Though I’m pretty tired of new customers exhibiting caution regarding the unknown, seeing how it’s been done do death by this point, I quite liked how the Fairy Queen sought out the customer with the highest magical aptitude as if that alone was enough to warrant some trust. Mutual cooperation between races in a fantasy setting never fails to put a smile on my face, and it was great to see the Fairy Queen and Victoria helping each other out. In exchange for magical fairy seeds which cannot be ordinarily obtained, Victoria agrees to buy the fairies crepes every week. Sounds like an extremely good deal, because I would exploit the gap in the economy to generate a lucrative black market for fairy seeds.
I see Christian as a parallel for travellers reinventing a great experience they had abroad, to fit in a context of their own cultural tastes. Through the ages, we’ve seen this occur multiple times in ways that have even altered the course of human history. One particular example that comes to mind, is the common thought that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy in the 13th Century, having been inspired by the noodles he ate during his travels in China. People might cry about culinary appropriation, and it’s true we all have our own preferences. But I think pitting foods against each other ignores centuries of complex developments, uniquely defining either cuisines in ways that cannot be compared. In short, I’m simply just grateful that we get a variety of great foods with their unique twists, and appreciate the diversity of culinary riches available to me in a country that actively benefits from globalisation.
Fardania shows what’s so fun about trying new combinations with food that others might not imagine. Potentially not applicable in this scenario, since Natto and Rice is a de facto combination, but my point being that she considered a great possibility beyond what the menu stipulated. At university, I might get laughed at by my friends for suggesting certain kind of substitutes for recipe ingredients that we are short on. Most notably, people were hugely skeptical when I used a litre of coca cola to stew some pork belly in the absence of sugar and fragrant spices. But hey, it worked, and everyone ended up agreeing that it tasted fabulous!
You may be wondering what Tenshu meant, when he displayed a reluctance to serve the Natto on Rice, citing it as something traditionally Japanese. After all, considering certain items on his menu (teriyaki, Omurice, Katsudon, Tempura, etc), hasn’t he already been doing it for most of the series? Some quick research showed the word ‘Yoshoku‘ doesn’t literally mean Western food, rather it means Western-inspired food. Such a crucial distinction is very important concerning the identify of Isekai Shokudou, because I think that the fusion of different cuisines is microcosmic in regards to the overlap between the human and fantasy worlds. Two different things come together, creating something new and wonderful, and in my contrived opinion, this is exactly a part of what defines Nekoya.
Zaiden’s Homemade Deep Fried Seafood Platter
Ika-Musume, noooo-de geso!
You see everything in this picture? It was all made from scratch. Most of it started off as fresh seafood from the fishmongers, which I battered and deep fried. Sounds easy, but it was so much effort. The moisture of the squid significantly lowered the temperature, so the scallops and cod fillet fried in a soggy manner, struggling to achieve the crisp Nirvana I was striving for. I just about managed, though I had to sacrifice my golden brown for a bit of charcoal around the edges, but it was worth it. The dwarves tricked me into thinking that I could have a massive plate for myself. Unfortunately, I fell very short of finishing the whole plate, and had to store the rest in the fridge for a later date.
One things for sure. After making that tartar sauce, and getting hands on experience with the ridiculous quantities of oil, I think mayonnaise is now ruined for me.
Final Rating: 3.8/10 – Everything tasted fantastic, but using an electric stove (due to lacking a deep fat fryer) proved to be a significant limitation. The calamari was spot on, but the scallops and cod ended up being slightly burnt, and the tartar sauce really could have used some more capers and pickle juice.