Restaurant to Another World (Isekai Shokudō) was originally a self-published light novel series from the fantasy genre, written by Junpei Inuzuka. The anime adaptation is being made by Silver Link studio and director, Masato Jinbo. When I saw this on the Summer line-up, I was immediately drawn to how beautiful the visuals were. After reading the snippet, I knew that I had to check it out.
In a poor corner of the local shopping district lies a Western-style restaurant called Yōshuku no Nekoya (Western Cuisine Cat Restaurant). During its business hours, Monday through Friday, it serves normal food to normal folks. The restaurant is normally closed on weekends and holidays. However, on Saturdays it secretly opens its doors to very unique and unusual clientele from some very unique and unusual locales.
The restaurant is called the Western Cuisine CAT Restaurant. I swear, no matter what the show is, so long as they even mention a kitty cat I’m there. In hindsight, this is probably not a wise thing, but hey, we’ve all got our obsessions.
My very first impression, legit my very first thought, was, “Holy shit, this is going to make me hungry as fuck.” I was not wrong. The animation quality, particularly when it comes to the food, is utterly scrumptious. In addition to seeing the glorious gourmet creations, we get a glimpse into how some of these meals are made. If the show ends up being of poor quality in regards to plot or execution, at least I will come away from it will an arsenal of new recipes to try out. As someone who takes great pleasure in cooking, this is a total win.
The rest of the anime isn’t too shabby either. I love the aesthetics that the anime has in regards to the small restaurant’s setting and fantastical creatures that frequently visit. The fantasy elements as it relates to world-building were quite miniscule in this introductory episode. We do get to meet a voluptuous lady who’s actually a dragon. I have a sneaking suspicion that she may have something to do with the restaurant’s very specialised services. But only time will tell.
Aside from hot dragon lady, we don’t get much plot progression, but pieces are being moved across the board to initiate it. There’s a young girl who shows up one evening, and her story is fascinating to me. The restaurant owner (an assumption since he’s the chef and lone resident) seems like a cool and compassionate dude. His persona creates an inviting atmosphere to the anime. Quite fitting actually.
Overall, I liked the first episode, even if it didn’t curl my toes with excitement. I expect to leave each and every week starving, no matter if I’ve eaten or not. I’m curious to see how the fantasy elements will unfold and affect the story, and if the story will outgrow the simple “let’s feed supernatural people delicious nom noms” it’s got going on so far.
You can watch Restaurant to Another World on CrunchyRoll on Mondays at 11:05am!