Title: Restaurant to Another World Vol. 1 Author: Junpei Inuzaka (Story), Takaaki Kugatsu (Art), Katsumi Enami (Characters) Publisher: Yen Press Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 144 Genre: Isekai, Food Publication Date: June 23, 2020
This is going to be the shortest story section of my life. You ready?
Restaurant to Another World is about a door appearing every Saturday in another world and those inhabitants enter the door into a restaurant called Nekoya to eat food.
There you have it. That’s the entire story.
Well… almost. There is obviously more to it than that but this is the overall premise of the series. If Food Wars was an isekai, this would be it… without the exploding clothes and cooking competitions. Instead, what drives this series is that each chapter is its own mini tale with a slightly larger over-arching story involving a girl named Aletta who was hungry and starving when, on a fateful Saturday, she discovers the door, helps herself to some food in the kitchen, falls asleep, and ends up working there are a waitress.
The formula for the stories are pretty simple. Each chapter focuses on one character. We get to know them a little bit, their story, and they get to enjoy a meal. Nekoya servers all kinds from elves to dragon queens and everything else in between. So far, this series is the epitome of “sit a spell, have some food, and listen to a tale.” While the formula is simple and repetitive, it works and works well as some of the character stories are pretty enjoyable.
Aletta is our main character who is of a devil race (hence her horns). She simply stumbles in, helps herself to some food, and wishes to pay back the chef’s kindness by working there as a waitress. She has a pretty innocent personality that is pretty infectious, making her quite adorable!
Speaking of the chef, here we have Tenshu. He inherited Nekoya from his grandfather and now he manages the restaurant. His cooking, as well as his name, has become quite legendary amongst the denizens of the other world. Tenshu is a pretty level-headed character. He wasn’t really angry that Aletta came in and ate his food. He is the type of person who is happy as long as they enjoy the meal that he cooks. He doesn’t really show much emotion but you can tell through his actions and motives just how deeply he cares. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have hired Aletta.
Fardania is our first guest that gets highlighted. She’s an elf looking for intruders and stumbles into Nekoya. Upon seeing Aletta as a demon, she thinks the place has a terrible atmosphere. She figures that while she’s there, she might as well eat… her only demand is that her dish contains zero meat in it. Tenshu gets to work and makes her a Tofu Steak that changes her entire life. She couldn’t believe a mere human would be able to make a dish like that, comparing the meal equivalent to the high-class cuisine of the elves themselves!
The next guest is a repeat customer that orders the same thing every time… beef stew. They don’t really state her name but she bursts through the door completely naked! (Your clothes can’t explode if you’re not wearing any!) Of course, she returns and makes the same entrance with some articles of clothing. She is an established customer that even dealt with Tenshu’s grandfather. I’ll leave the reveal of this mystery woman up for you to read but she does end up buying a MASSIVE pot of beef stew to bring back to her part of the world. Poor Balrog, having to put up with his “queen” like that.
Quaint. That’s exactly how I would summarize Restaurant to Another World (Isekai Shokudou for those who prefer the Japanese title). If you want to read some quick stories about a myriad of different characters all while salivating over the fact that food in anime and manga looks a thousand times better than anything you would find in the real world, then this is the series for you. It’s not really a deep series you need to think about… it’s just about sitting back, reading some character tales, and possibly learning some new recipes.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that but this is a series that proves simplicity can add a lot of depth and enjoyment to a story.
Dare I say that a full course of this volume will leave you satisfied? Oh, come now… you didn’t expect me to pass up on a terrible pun like that in a cooking manga, would you?