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Food Wars: Tavern

In the bustling city, there is a tavern that operates only between 7 PM and 12 AM. The food here is fancy and delicious, but surprisingly not expensive! Any ordinary ingredient, when in the hands of the owner Zane, shines brightly. Many people go crazy and become obsessed with his cooking! ----------- This novel is a chill, slice-of-life novel. 10 advance chapters: patreon.com/angelictranslating

AngelicTL · Anime & Comics
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241 Chs

Erina's First Time

The night wind was very cool.

In a northeastern port city of Japan, there was an inn. 

This exquisite Japanese-style building was like "home" to many travelers stopping in this city. 

Tatami rooms adorned with calligraphy, flower arrangements in alcoves, sliding paper doors, and futons... 

Here, you could enjoy delicious food and even relax in a hot bath, easing your mind. 

This place, like a paradise on earth, was Megumi's hometown: Tōhoku!

...

At this moment, the faint moonlight was shining on the quiet garden and gently illuminating a mature woman. 

Her face showed the passage of time, but her clear eyes were still full of passion for life and a touch of innocence. 

She wore a deep blue kimono with exquisite floral patterns, matching her blue hair perfectly. Her demeanor was elegant, and she exuded confidence. 

The flowers and plants around her seemed to be deeply attracted by her aura!

"Sigh, I wonder how Megumi is doing at Totsuki Academy?" 

She sighed, took a sip of tea, and continued enjoying the night view. 

"Mom, I'm back." 

"I missed you so much!" 

Suddenly, a sweet and clear voice sounded beside her. 

Though she hadn't heard this voice in a long time, the woman was startled and quickly turned around. "Megumi, is that you? No, it really is you! You're back home?"

The beautiful night continued, and Megumi, who had suddenly returned home, finally got to see her mother!

...

The next morning.

Zane woke up from his dream, rubbed his eyes helplessly, and got out of bed. 

After washing up a bit, he went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. 

Although the tavern was undergoing its second upgrade, everything could still be used, though it couldn't be open for business. 

When he got to the kitchen on the first floor, Zane was stunned and couldn't believe what he saw. 

Erina, dressed in a white chef's uniform, looked like a piece of shining jade. She gave off an aura of coldness, nobility, and purity, showing off her perfectly proportioned figure!

"Zane, how did you sleep last night?" 

Erina looked up at Zane and asked softly. 

"Not bad. But why are you here in the kitchen so early instead of resting?" 

Zane asked, pulling himself out of his surprise. 

"Making breakfast." 

"I... I wanted to make breakfast for you myself!" 

Erina blushed slightly as she continued working, her face slowly turning red.

Seeing this, Zane smiled knowingly and left the kitchen. 

...

It is said that during the Nara period, a type of pastry called "konpeito" was introduced to Japan from China. 

This pastry was made of processed wheat flour and stuffed dumplings. People would cook "konpeito" in soup, calling it "udon" once cooked. 

Over time, it evolved into the udon noodles we know today!

Udon noodles formed during the Muromachi period and entered Japanese households during the Edo period. 

After the Genroku period, large-scale production of soy sauce began in Japan, making soy sauce noodles popular. 

In modern times, various ways to enjoy udon noodles have been developed, such as tempura udon, egg udon, and duck nanban udon. 

Today, udon noodles are still a popular food in Japan. 

Erina was making udon noodles for breakfast. 

She used two burners: one for cooking the udon and the other for boiling okra and egg yolks with a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil. 

She boiled the okra quickly and used a fine strainer to cook the egg to a semi-solid state. 

Then, she put the udon, okra, and half-cooked egg in a bowl and poured a prepared dipping sauce over it. 

This simple breakfast udon was now ready. 

...

Looking closely, each udon noodle was about 4.8 mm in diameter, roughly the thickness of a chopstick tip. After cooking, they shone like white jade. 

The soup was clear, and anyone might think it was just simple broth with soy sauce. 

But Zane could tell by smell alone that the clear broth was made from a combination of bonito, sardines, mackerel, and kelp. 

"Is this breakfast?" 

Zane's mouth curved into a slight smile as he asked. 

"Yes, I wanted to make Western-style bread, sandwiches, or pancakes, but the ingredients at the tavern were not suitable. So, I made udon instead!"

Erina nervously played with her fingers, her eyes darting around, clearly anxious and hoping her breakfast would please Zane. 

It was surprising to see Erina, usually confident and skilled, acting so humble in front of Zane. 

Perhaps it was due to his impressive cooking skills that had conquered her God's Tongue. 

It might also be because she rarely cooked for Zane. 

Not just rarely—this was her first time. So, facing this important "first," nervousness and fear were inevitable. 

"Hehe, udon is great too." 

"If people knew I got to taste your cooking, they'd be so jealous!"

Zane joked as he picked up a bowl of steaming udon. 

"Of course! Many people would dream of eating my cooking."

Hearing this, Erina's proud demeanor returned. 

"Oh, you're serious about this, huh?"

Seeing Erina's adorable reaction, Zane could barely hold back his laughter. 

"Hey!" 

"Are you making fun of me again?" 

Erina pouted, her face turning red as she lightly slapped the table in protest. 

"Alright, alright, no more jokes. I need to eat this udon before it gets soggy."

Zane said as he picked up the noodles with chopsticks and started slurping them.

...

The chewy texture of the noodles was flawless and perfectly balanced. 

Udon is thick and firm, with a pleasant wheat flavor that comes out with each bite. 

If an ordinary person had this udon, they might think of it as the "God of Udon."

Wonderful! 

Absolutely wonderful!

Besides the perfect texture and taste of the noodles, the dipping sauce deserves special mention. 

Made from bonito, sardines, mackerel, and kelp, the sauce had a rich fish flavor. 

No additional ingredients were needed; the sauce alone was enough to make the udon delicious. 

This demonstrated the true potential of a simple dish like udon. 

Drinking the broth, Zane noted its lightness, different from the heavy broth of ramen, with a subtle seafood flavor and a hint of sweetness.

Overall, this bowl of udon gave Zane a sense of refined simplicity, much like white-cut chicken:

Simple seasoning, keeping the original flavors intact.

...

At this moment, savoring the udon, Zane was somewhat entranced. 

Though he rarely tasted Erina's cooking, he knew from the original storyline that her dishes were always elegant and stunning. 

Like her background, talents, and gifts, her cooking was always exceptional.

This was evident in her ingredient choices, always selecting high-quality and rare items. 

She looked down on cheaper, common ingredients. 

Perhaps her life's mantra was:

Perfection!

But pursuing perfection could create a sense of distance. 

It was like an eagle soaring high to prove its dominance but becoming increasingly distant and hard to see from the ground.

Erina would never approach cooking from a diner's perspective, unlike Megumi. 

Her cooking initially seemed like self-indulgence to Zane, much like Kuga, Ikumi, and Rindo. 

But this bowl of udon showed Zane her growth!

Maybe because she made it for Zane, she considered his perspective while cooking. 

Regardless, being able to consider others' perspectives in cooking marked her transformation. 

...

"So, how is it? Is my udon not good?"

Seeing Zane deep in thought, Erina grew more anxious and asked nervously.

"Erina, your cooking is great, really delicious."

Opening his eyes, Zane took another bite and smiled at Erina.

"Huh?"

"Well..."

"I just threw it together, nothing fancy."

"I usually wouldn't bother making such a simple dish, thinking you wouldn't like it. But I'm glad you do!"

Hearing Zane's approval, Erina was excited, her eyes sparkling with a hint of shyness.

She propped her chin on her hands, her eyes glued to Zane as he ate, her heart racing. 

Cooking for someone she loved was a new experience, but now she understood the joy it brought.

"Simple ingredients can create surprising flavors."

"Erina, you truly have endless potential."

Zane smiled again, continuing to eat the delicious udon.

Erina, lost in her own thoughts, didn't catch everything Zane said. She only felt immense happiness and joy.

...

The curse of the God's Tongue could make life unbearable.

But this ability allowed for precise and detailed control and analysis of flavors. 

In the original story, Erina appeared sparingly, keeping a low profile during the training camp, even more so than Soma and Alice. 

In the autumn elections, as part of the Elite Ten, she almost vanished. 

Thus, her culinary skills were rarely showcased, keeping her aura of mystery intact among students.

Even so, no one at Totsuki Academy dared to underestimate her, not even higher-ranked Elite Ten members.

People feared her because of her God's Tongue.

This ability made her cooking speed and proficiency far superior to others.

Soma, known for experimenting with odd food combinations, often created terrible dishes.

But when Erina learned about these combinations, she quickly turned them into a delicious oyakodon, surpassing even Tsukasa and Rindo.

Indeed, her skill was unmatched.

Even chefs like Senzaemon, Gin, and Soma were impressed.

Thus, Zane saw Erina as a rare culinary genius.

Unless something unexpected happened, no chef could surpass her, except maybe himself.

To beat her, one had to innovate in culinary theory and creativity, and only once. After tasting it, her God's Tongue would render the trick ineffective.

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For 10 advance chapters: patreon.com/angelictranslating