「Apologies, it looks like I’ve kept you waiting.」
A middle aged man, Hasta’s father and the chef of The Satisfied Stomach, gave a bow as he entered the dining area.
「It seems Hasta has caused you various troubles this time, so please let me thank you. I’m Dishot.」
While shaking the hand that was presented, Rei observed the man standing before him.
He was in his early forties, but probably because he cooked in the kitchen of the eatery every day, his arms were well built and he looked more suited for combat than a H rank adventurer. The way he grasped Rei’s hand like he was holding an ingredient showed that he was a natural chef.
Maybe because it had just past the busiest time of the day, he had a silent but calm expression. When Rei looked at him, he had the impression that he was『a craftsman rather than a chef』.
The time was about 7:30pm. If it was a bar, it would still be open for some time into the night, but The Satisfied Stomach was a eatery and there were no longer any customers. After Dishot finished washing up along with Enedra and the other employees, the work for the day had been finished. In addition, Hasta’s younger sister, Arka had already fallen asleep and had been brought to her room by Enedra.
「I’m Rei. Now then, we can get to the main subject. At Hasta’s request, we have been able to secure more than enough Gamelion meat. There is one regular sized one and one rare species. Especially considering the rare species is over 8m in size, there shouldn’t be a problem with the amount of meat.……」
「……Larger than 8m, is it.」
He understood what Rei was trying to say. Dishot frowned his eyes slightly.
「There is a room to dismantle monsters that Hasta can bring you to, but this will be close to its maximum capacity.」
「Ah, the blood has already been drained though, so it just needs to be dismantled.」
At Hasta’s words, Dishot relaxed slightly.
Beside him, Enedra was drinking tea with a smile.
「Well, dismantling it is not something we can manage today. It will be fine to do it tomorrow. ……Unfortunately, I’m not that good at dismantling so I will leave it to Hasta.」
「No problems, leave it to me. I’ve been doing it since I was small so I’m good at dismantling monsters.」
「I will help as well, we’ll manage the dismantling one way or another.」
As Dishot nodded in agreement……Rei interjected.
「Regarding that, Hasta has asked me to suggest an idea for a new dish. So I would like Dishot to hear me out if that is okay.」
「……A new dish?」
Dishot looked towards Rei doubtfully. However, that was understandable. Rei looked to be a 15 year old kid. Dishot was already a respectable adult while Rei was just a child. What would a child know about cooking? Even if he didn’t say that aloud, it could be read on his expression.
「I’ve been learning magic from my master all this time. Because of that, I’ve read various books. There were a lot of possibly lost recipes.」
「Hey, father. Have you heard that Zeno from the skewer stall got some advice from Rei and increased his sales?」
Being told by Hasta, Dishot remembered his acquaintance’s face. He gave a small nod.
「You’ve reminded me now that you mention it. I see, so it was you……」
He gave a small nod. If his acquaintance actually increased his sales after listening to the boy in front of him, he should hear him out as well.
Seeing that, Rei spoke while drinking the tea in his cup and gathering his thoughts.
「The dish I would like to tell you about is called『Udon』. ……No, rather than a dish, I should call it an ingredient.」
「Udon? I don’t recall hearing about that before. What kind of food is it specifically?」
It was an ingredient that he was unfamiliar with as a chef. At Dishot’s question that was stimulated by curiosity, Rei looked towards the kitchen.
「I see. Well first of all, since you provide bread here, you have flour of course?」
「Ah? Ahh. Of course. I naturally use it to cook as well.」
「Then bring me some of that wheat flour.」
「I understand. I’ll bring some right away.」
After saying that, Rei thought to himself as he saw Dishot going into the kitchen.
(If I’m not mistaken, there are several types of flour such as bread flour and plain flour……is the same flour used to make bread and udon? Well, if I can’t figure it out, I’ll have to leave it to the chef.)
As he thought like that, Dishot returned to the dining area with a paper bag holding flour in hand.
「Here, this is the flour we use at our place. That said, since we purchase our bread from the bakery, I don’t know if it is the quality you want.」
「You don’t make your own bread?」
「……Is that a problem?」
Hasta asked at Rei’s words but Rei shook his head.
「No, according to the book I read, it was made with flour used to make bread. Well, wheat flour is wheat flour so there shouldn’t be any issues.」
「……I hope so.」
「As I said earlier, all I know is the knowledge. I haven’t actually made the ingredient before, so I can only tell you how to make the ingredient from what I read in the book. Also, as to how to eat the ingredient, I would like hear your opinions.」
「In other words, that means I can make some small adjustments?」
「That’s right. I have expectations of your skills as a chef. Well, this is how it’s made. the ingredients are simple. Wheat flour, salt, water. That is it.」
「……Eh? That is it?」
Simply put, the ingredients were too simple. Enedra, who had been listening in next to Dishot, mumbled in surprise.
Although they didn’t say it out, Hasta and Dishot were similarly surprised.
「Ahh. The method of making it is to dissolve the salt into the water and then mix it with the flour before kneading it. Then……」
That said, Rei could only explain how to make udon as much as he remembered.
At first, Dishot was somewhat in doubt about the few ingredients used, but he started mumbling with small nods as he made his own judgements as he listened.
「……So, cut it into long pieces and boil it in hot water. At this point, you need to pay attention to the boiling time. It depends on how thick you cut the dough……」
Looking around while explaining, Rei looked as his own hands. To be precise, he looked as his fingernails.
「It should be about a third of the width of my fingernail. That should cook i about 10 minutes. As for the boiling conditions, I’m sorry, but you will have to experiment with that on your own.」
「You explained how to mix the wheat flour, water and salt, but how much should be used exactly?」
「Ah……the flour used is about half that paper bag, salt is just a small pinch. It should use about a glass of water. I’m sorry, but regarding that, please adjust as you need while cooking.」
「So, rinse the boiled udon quickly under cold water to remove the slime. After that, if you want to eat it warm, warm it with warm water, same thing if you want to eat it cold……」
Rei glanced outside the eatery.
The season was already getting close to winter and he judged that there probably wouldn’t be too many people would like like eating cold udon in this weather.
(Well, a broth can’t be made since there’s no soy sauce.)
「In the case that you warm it up to eat, is there any way to eat it in particular?」
「That’s right. For example, the vegetable soup you let me eat today. You could put it into that and eat it that way. It would be nice to put some seasoned meat on top as a topping. ……I guess that would be the meat of the Gamelion we brought today? There may be other ways to eat it like in a thick stew.」
As he thought of curry udon in his mind, Rei was slightly regretful that curry didn’t exist in this world.
「So, how is it. Can you make it?」
「……Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know……as far as I’ve heard, it can’t be preserved like bread, but I think its potential as a dish is high. It’s worth a try.」
Dishot said that to his wife, Enedra, but his face was full of curiosity and excitement that couldn’t be suppressed.
After all, as a chef, he was attracted to unknown foods and ingredients.
Rei spoke further to fan Dishot’s curiosity.
「There is another recipe called stir-fried udon noodles.」
「Ahh. It’s the same up until you rinse the udon in cold water, but after that you stir-fry it with meat and vegetables. As for seasoning……the book I read said it used a seasoning called soy sauce……have you heard of it?」
Rei asked with slight expectations.
Maybe, since Takumu Suzuno had been sent over from modern Japan at Zepairu’s time, he might have created soy sauce. It was a possibility he though of in his mind, but reality wasn’t that sweet as Dishot shook his head.
「No, I haven’t seen or heard of such a seasoning. At the very least, not in the city of Gilm. There’s a chance it might be found in the Imperial Capital.」
「I see. That’s regrettable but it can’t be helped. In that case, the seasoning of the stir-fried udon……」
Thinking up to that, Rei suddenly thought of something.
(Since there is salt fried yakisoba, maybe it’s possible to make salt fried udon? Well, salt fried yakisoba does contain various seasonings besides salt.)
「How about salt.」
「Is is fine with salt?」
「Ah. However, it’s not ordinary salt. It’s salt with various seasonings mixed in with it. ……I also know about it from the books, but there is a dish called yakisoba that is close to fried noodles. It seems that there is a type of yakisoba called salt fried yakisoba」
「Salt, is it. I understand. I will look into it. Well then, let’s start with the udon……」
As Dishot said that, Enedra grabbed his clothes as he tried to stand up.
「You, it’s not good to overwork yourself. And if you start making udon now, it will be midnight by the time you finish. In that case, I think it’s a good idea to make it tomorrow and taste it with everyone. ……Can Rei-san participate in the tasting?」
「Me too? No, I don’t mind but……」
Rei turned to look at Hasta, who had been silent all this time as he listened to the progressing story.
Hasta realised what Rei’s glance meant and spoke somewhat embarrassed.
「Ah, sorry mother. I would like to taste the new dishes but I have to dismantle the Gamelions as well.」
「That reminds me, you did say that. Mm, but can you do that by yourself?」
「No, if I said I can do it, I can do it. But that’s still quite a lot to do by myself.」
「But with regards to the udon, if Rei-san isn’t there, we won’t know if it’s successful or not right?」
「……Haa, it can’t be helped. Then Rei-san, please help my father tomorrow. When that is over, could you please come and help me?」
Having told his mother that, as part of his respect for his parents, he backed down. He asked Rei with a sigh.
Rei nodded at Hasta.
To be honest, if Rei had to chose between taste testing noodle dishes that had not been seen in this world and dismantling a Gamelion, which was a seasonal monster, he wouldn’t mind either way.
「I understand. Then, what time should I come in tomorrow?」
「After the morning peak but before lunch……about 9 in the morning. Because I’ll finish up the preparations for lunch tomorrow now, there shouldn’t be a problem.」
「There’s also the matter of tasting, so you should have a light breakfast.」
「That’s right, I’ll do that then.」
Giving a small nod, Rei stood up to head back to the inn.
「Well then, I’ll head back to my inn to get ready for tomorrow. ……Hasta, we’ve been moving about for almost an entire day, you’re tired right?」
After leaving the city of Gilm early in the morning, aside from fighting the small fry on the way to the plains where the Gamelions could be found, Hasta had pushed himself to the limit fighting a Gamelion himself. After that, he hadn’t fought it himself but they had also encountered a rare species Gamelion. He had then guarded the rare species from other monsters as they drained its blood before hurrying back to the Gilm.
Even though adventurers were confident in their physical fitness, as expected, he was quite tired.
「Ahahaha. That is certainly true, but strangely I don’t feel tired at all.」
「It’s because your body is still tense. You know that yourself.」
He was older than Rei and had been an adventurer for a long time. Hasta knew his own physical condition and gave a slightly awkward smile.
Seeing that, Rei said goodbye to the three of them as he left the eatery.