Isekai Izakaya Nobu – Chapter 101

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Daily Special (Part 2)

「Taisho, these are… 」  

「Yeah, these are soybeans.」

In the kitchen at night, Taisho bit on a bean before returning it to the water, satisfied. Soybeans were foreign here, so they had to procure it from a traveling merchant who came here from the United Kingdom.

「There are similar ingredients on the other side of the back entrance. Why are you so surprised this time? 」

There were some things in that world that did not exist in this one, some for which the opposite held true, and some that existed in both worlds. While Taisho was examining the various ingredients, Hans was watching off to the side, he didn’t understand what was so special about the soybeans.

「Hans, soybeans are the main ingredient for miso and soy sauce.」

Shinobu muttered while staring into the pot containing the soybeans.

Miso and soy sauce: Hans was troubled by these two ingredients.

Hans had continuously researched about the other world’s cuisine while working at Izakaya Nobu in hopes of branching out someday.

When he did so, he wanted to forge ahead with only the ingredients of this world.

When he thought about it, miso and soy sauce were his first obstacles.

Although he couldn’t get the same ingredients like kelp and katsuobushi, there were other alternatives that were pretty good.

However, he could do nothing about miso and soy sauce.

「Then… that means… you can get miso and shoyu if you cook the soybeans?」 

「It’s very difficult to make them, but it’s not impossible, I guess…」 

Taisho looked grim as he scratched his chin with his index finger.

Hans had heard from Taisho that fermentation was necessary to make miso and soy sauce.

Unlike miso, which was relatively easy to make, making soy sauce would need a lot of research. 

It was also necessary to find out if it could be produced in Aitheria’s climate.

「The main problem is whether or not we can obtain soybeans on a consistent and regular basis.」 

Leontaine sighed with her hands on her hips. They happened to obtain it by chance this time, but if they did not have a way to procure it later, attempting to make soy sauce and miso was futile.

「Ara?」

「What’s wrong, Shinobu-chan?」

「Taisho, this pot… I can smell soy sauce from it.」

「Soy sauce?」

The soybeans were transferred to another container, and everyone took a whiff from the pot.

Certainly, Hans recognized the distinctive smell of soy sauce. There was no doubt about it.

「There’s soy sauce… in this world?」

As far as Hans knew, there was no condiment similar to soy sauce in the Empire. Even the closest one, a type of fish sauce (Fischsoße), had a significantly different taste.

However, there might be soy sauce in the United Kingdom.

Hans had heard that the culture of the United Kingdom, which was on the other side of the sea, was slightly different from the Empire and the Eastern Kingdom. Perhaps, there were people who used seasoning similar to miso and soy sauce there.

「It’s still too early to draw a conclusion, Hans. We still have to prepare for tomorrow’s lunch business.」

「You’re right.」

Hans nodded at Leontaine’s words, and the discussion about the soy sauce halted.

The soybeans that were submerged in water overnight were first boiled until they became soft, and then boiled again with dashi and kelp. When the dashi had been reduced, it was finished. 

This dish that took a long time to cook would be packed with flavor. 

Hans did not like beans much because he would get tired of eating them, but he liked this specific bean dish. 

The strong flavor of soy sauce pleased the palate of workers who were tired from physical labor. It was still spring for now, but when it got hotter from here on out, more and more dishes with stronger flavors would be served. 

Soy sauce. 

This black liquid captured Hans’s heart. 

If he went to the United Kingdom, could he get soybeans there? Has wanted to go and confirm it immediately, but as he was still in training, such selfishness was not allowed. 

「Hans-san, there’s too little salad on that plate.」 

「Hm? Oh, sorry Eva-chan.」 

Eva, who was washing dishes, pointed the mistake out to Hans and he came back to his senses. 

Concentrate, concentrate. Today was the important first day of the daytime business. When he looked carefully, the servings on the set meals were clearly uneven. This should not happen. 

He adjusted his mindset to focus back on his task. 

「So, why did fried chicken breast become the daily special?」 

「Well, that’s because… the day changes when the rooster crows.」 

「No wayyyy.」

The trio of workers chatting at the table were not faces seen at night. All three of them were drinking ‘Toriaezu Nama’ while blithely nibbling on the tatsuta-age. 

Whenever Hans saw a customer who could not come to Nobu before now enjoying a meal, he felt just a tiny bit more motivated. 

「Hey, this is a good thing, isn’t it? These daytime sales.」

Leontaine asked him if he was enjoying taking the orders. 

「It’s nice to see them eating with such relish.」 

「Right, right?」 

Leontaine’s beaming face was much brighter than when she had first started working for Nobu. The loneliness and sorrow that had occasionally punctuated her lively expressions seemed to have evaporated. 

「Hans… are you still bothered about the soy sauce?」 

「Well, a little. With soy sauce and miso, it’ll be a lot easier for Taisho to let me branch out.」 

「There’s still quite a way to go, isn’t it?」 

「The problems just need to be handled one by one.」 

「Well, you have a point. It’s the right idea at least.」

「Welcome!」Shinobu’s voice called out. 

Another customer seemed to have entered. The strategy to get more customers was a success. Even the dishwasher, Eva, was busy. 

Taisho cut the deep-fried tatsuta-age into smaller pieces for easier consumption while Hans arranged them on the plate. 

Even though he was just arranging them, his forehead was drenched in sweat. 

The work was endless and everything was busy. Still, it was a pleasant kind of busy. 

Business continued until the prepared chicken breasts were exhausted.

「Thank you for your hard work!」 

「Thank you as well!」

Once the shop’s sign curtain was taken down, a toast was made with non-alcoholic drinks. 

The first day was a smashing success. Although the shop was only open for a short time, the number of customers were almost the same as a weekday night. 

Eva immediately began suggesting new ideas on how to arrange customers and take their orders. 

From where she stood as a dishwasher, she seemed to have a surprisingly good view of the shop. 

 「By the way, where’s Leontaine-san?」

At Shinobu’s prompting, Hans looked around, but there was certainly no sign of her in the shop. Her glass of lemonade still sat on the counter. 

「Just now, she said she was heading out for a bit.」

Taisho said while already beginning to prepare for the evening. Hans also headed for the kitchen in a hurry. 

As the preparation time became shorter than usual, it was necessary for him to do so quickly. 

「It’s quite rare for Leontaine to rush out like that.」 

「Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll return.」 

Taisho comforted Shinobu who seemed to be worried. 

Hans was also concerned, but Leontaine was strong. He firmly believed she would be alright even if anything were to happen. 

「I wonder if she has something on her mind… 」 

Eva muttered while washing the remaining plates. If that were the case, what could be troubling her so much as to cause her to suddenly disappear? Hans tried to think of a scenario, but nothing came to mind. 

「Sorry, sorry. I’m really sorry for rushing out like that.」 

In the end, Leontaine returned just before the night business started, after the sun had set. 

「Leontaine-san, what happened to you?」 

Leontaine smiled wryly as she awkwardly scratched her head at Shinobu who was almost pouting. 

「Weeelll, I thought I’d try to find the merchant from the United Kingdom who brought the soybeans to the Grand Bazaar.」 

「Ohhh!」 

Certainly, that was the fastest way to find out. 

If she asked for information from the merchant, he might have an explanation for the soy sauce smell in the pot. 

「So, how did it go?」 

Leontaine shook her head helplessly at Hans, who braced himself for the answer. 

「I guess it didn’t go well, I suppose.」 

「Were you unable to find them?」 

「It’s not like that, Shinobu. I had found that Marco, the travelling merchant who ordered the sea urchins, was the one who had sold the soybeans. The problem is, he doesn’t know where the soybeans came from.」 

「What do you mean?」 

Leontaine patted Eva’s head and explained that the travelling merchant from the United Kingdom had bought the soy beans from another travelling merchant. 

「I’m certain that the travelling merchants, both buyer and seller, were from the United Kingdom. So, it’s good that we at least know there is likely a place in the United Kingdom that grows soybeans.」 

With that said, Leontaine winked at Hans. 

Since she had researched that much for him, he should work seriously now. Hans was really grateful for his coworker. 

However, the more he knew, the more curious he got about the origin of the soybeans. 

If it was really in the United Kingdom, he wanted to go there to look for it. If that was not possible, then at least he wanted to ask someone else to do it in his stead. 

Hans’ mind departed for the distant United Kingdom as he prepared the chicken karaage that was today’s recommended dish. 

He had finally found a clue to his dream. 

On that day, even after the business hours were over and he had returned home, Hans was still in a jubilant mood. 

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4 thoughts on “Isekai Izakaya Nobu – Chapter 101

  1. Philip

    This be nice. I guess this is the direction the novel’s story is headed for, establishing some sort of branch in this other world, using ingredients only from that world. Well, we might find out if either the translator starts again, another one comes, or we lower our standards and go for google translate.
    Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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