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Light Novel / Restaurant to Another World

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Restaurant to Another World (Japanese title: Isekai Shokudou) is a fantasy light novel series by Inuzuka Junpei. It received an anime adaptation as part of the Summer 2017 anime season. It is available for legal streaming with subtitles on Crunchyroll here, and with an English Dub on Funimation here. The light novels were licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment with the first English-translated volume released on June 18, 2019.

Hidden away in a poor corner of a city shopping district lies "Yōshoku no Nekoya", the Western Cuisine Cat Restaurant. At first glance, it's a small and unremarkable place, albeit with very good food, courtesy of the hard-working chef, known only as Tenshu (another word for "Master", a common thing to call chefs, bartenders and the like in Japan). On Saturdays, however, it caters to a very unusual clientele: the denizens of a fantasy world.

One evening, Aletta, a starving and homeless young demon girl, wanders into Nekoya after it's closed for the night and helps herself to some food. When Tenshu finds her the following morning, however, he's not at all angry. In fact, he offers her a weekly job as a waitress.


Restaurant to Another World contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Because the Light Novel has so many chapters, only a few were chosen for the anime. Of those that made appearances, notably the introductions for Flying Puppy Patisserie and Tatsugoro (Teriyaki) are absent. Aletta, who appeared in Chapter 20, is also retroactively inserted into all of the episodes.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Almost every patron is referred to by their Trademark Favorite Food.
  • Aliens Love Human Food: While the restaurant is located in a human town run by a human chef called Tenshu by the patrons of the restaurant, every Saturday makes a The Lonely Door appear across the land where its various denizens (from elves and dwarves to dragons and demons) can go to eat human food, which they all find delicious.
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  • Bar Full of Aliens: A fantasy version of this, since it also has alcohol as part of the menu.
  • Beast Man: Lionel is a bipedal lion.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Surprisingly, the Door itself had some, namely dine-and-dashing and trying to harm (or forcing the master to serve them exclusively) is a big no-no on the restaurant. A halfing who tried not paying can't enter the restaurant by himself anymore and needs someone to enter the establishment mainly by accompanying them so they can open the door for him.
    • Trying to kidnap the Master or forcing him to serve exclusively for yourself? Prepare to meet the Red Queen who considers the restaurant as a part of her treasure. The Child of White (a child blessed by the Dragon of White) tried to kidnap the Master to serve only him, but the Dragon of Red appeared suddenly and threw him out of the establishment, with the addition of being banned by the door itself.
  • Big Eater: Kuro and to a lesser extent, most of the customers, who most of the time will order seconds, sometimes even thirds, of their favorite dish.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Befitting the nature of several characters as inhabitants of a fantasy world, they have different names for common Earth ingredients. For example, Thomas calls shrimp "shripe", whole onions are knows as "oranie". However, this is a bit justified as besides potatoes, these common ingredients have enough of a taste difference that it affects how a recipe needs to be prepared. The reason potatoes taste the same as "cobblers' tubers" is that potatoes are not native to the other world; the Emperor brought them over after buying some from the Master, who was a child at the time, so he could harvest them to make his favorite dish, potato croquettes, anytime, with the added effect that the harvests proved so plentiful that they saved his country from famine.
  • Declaration of Protection: When Aletta becomes a waitress at the restaurant, the Red Queen takes notice. As she considers Nekoya to be part of her "treasure", employees and all, Aletta is now under her protection as well.
  • Deface of the Moon: The moon of the other world is missing a huge chunk, with the debris orbiting it like makeshift rings.
  • Depending on the Artist: There a few design differences between the Manga adaptation and the Light Novel (which the anime takes more after). While most are the same, others are quite noticeable (such as Artorius being bald and shaven, and Victoria being a Dark Elf).
  • Dragon Hoard: The Red Queen has quite a large hoard in her mountain lair. Since a portal to Nekoya is part of that collection, she is rather protective of the restaurant and the people in it.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: While Gaganpo the Lizardman speaks in a guttural and coarse voice when talking to humans, he speaks perfectly normal among his fellow Lizardmen.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "Tenshu" is not a name but rather a title. Specifically, it is how one addresses the owner of a restaurant in Japanese. The Light Novel, stated in one chapter that Tenshu's real name is Mako, and his grandfather's is Daiki.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Tatsugoro.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: A culinary version. Thomas Alfade is famous in his native land for making pasta into a dish enjoyed by nobles with plenty of innovations in both the noodles and sauce to the point where he is hailed as a genius chef. All Thomas was really doing was trying to recreate the taste of Nekoya's pasta so that he could have it anytime he likes.
  • Famous Ancestor: Tenshu is the grandson of Yomi, one of the four heroes of the parallel world that was taken to another world by the Demon Lord and presumed dead. He's not aware of this though.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Due to the Demons' War of Conquest, humans don't like or trust demons. However, since 70 years have passed since the end of the war, the racism against demons has lessened when compared to the time demons were killed on sight. Still, getting outed as a demon is what lost Aletta her job in the human capital.
    • Fardania carries some disdain for humans and their cuisine, since elves are strictly vegan. She warms up to Nekoya after Tenshu serves up a delicious dish of tofu steak that fits her dietary requirements.
    • Victoria is a half-elf noble, despite both her parents being human. While it's made clear her family cares about her, this distinction means she will never marry and is generally kept inside her home. However, she doesn't share the elven dietary restriction. In fact, she enjoys being a half-elf as she was able to have the magical ability of an elf which allowed her to pull a Door to her room while still being able to eat animal based products like pudding like a human.
  • Food Porn: Oh so much.
  • Genius Loci: It's rather downplayed, since it never speaks or directly interacts with anybody, but the restaurant itself, especially its door, seems to have a mind of its own. Every place the door can be found is located where somebody who'll appreciate the food can enter, with it outright launching an entrance onto the moon's surface so that Kuro could come in and experience interaction with other people, and anybody who has wronged either the restaurant or its master will find themselves unable to open the door again, though it does leave a loophole where entering with somebody else will let them come in.
  • Hidden Depths: Through her deal with the manager, the Red Queen claims the restaurant as her treasure. Since she's an ancient dragon and essentially a deity in her world, it's unwise to disagree with her. However she will only ever go there when she is certain no other customers are around and claims this is for their benefit as well as her own for she does not want them to be unnerved by her presence. Furthermore when Aletta is made part of the restaurant staff, she receives Red Queen's blessing as well.
    • She also makes sure to wear clothes in her human guise whenever she goes. This is also shown to be for Nekoya's sake as she has no problem at all strutting around her hoard, naked as the day she was born, in the same humanoid form.
  • Horned Humanoid:
    • Aletta's distinguishing demonic characteristic is a pair of small, curved horns.
    • The Red Queen has a pair of large triangular horns in her humanoid form.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter of the anime is named after the meals featured for that story.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: After finishing their first two plates of fried seafood, one of the two dwarves orders three for their second round. And then the other dwarf orders three more for himself.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The food at the restaurant is this to every single customer, no matter their race or species. While it's pretty normal food, the denizens of the other world do live in a fantasy world with plenty of magic but also very limited technology, and though they are familiar with most or even all the ingredients used in the dishes, the cooking techniques, the restaurant's available cooking utensils and appliances, and Tenshu's culinary skills all combine to make food that the other world's denizens consider the height of gourmet.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Downplayed — Although Nekoya's doors only open to one fantasy world, it has multiple entries, all scattered about in distinct regions of that world, leading to a diverse range of regular customers.
  • Legacy Character:
    • The first half of episode 2 has Sarah Gold, an archaeologist, searching for her grandfather's secret treasure (which was a door to Nekoya). After she basically falls in love with her grandfather's usual order, a couple of other patrons suggest she's the second "Minced Meat Cutlet."
    • Possibly for Tenshu, because he's also the second generation chef. The first one is the chef who met Sarah's grandfather and knew many of the older regulars such as Lionel.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: To the inhabitants of the other world, the restaurant is this. Each doorway can magically appear without warning, disappears once the customer who entered through that doorway leaves again, and only shows up on Saturdays, making it hard to find again without knowing the secret.
  • Lizard Folk: Each year the Lizard people choose a champion to go to Nekoya each week and bring food back for the rest of the tribe. They have been doing this for 30 years and the current champion Gaganpo has been a regular for three years.
  • The Lonely Door: Nekoya's door seems to appear in random places waiting to be discovered. Those that discover them usually build homes or shrines around the doors to monopolize their use.
  • The Matchmaker: Shareef's sister is trying to help him be more brave in his romantic affairs, when she sees how shy and hesitant he is.
  • Mockumentary: Gaganpo the lizard man's segment has very little dialogue, and instead has a narrator detailing his culture's practices and rituals akin to a nature documentary.
  • Oh, Crap!: Artorius (the wizard) has one when Kuro shows up. The others may just see an elf but he can tell exactly what she is. He also implies that he's aware of the Red Queen's identity as well. Alexander practically soils himself upon noticing Kuro.
  • Pals with Jesus:
    • One of Nekoya's regulars, the Red Queen, is one of the six ancient dragons, and is practically one of the other world's resident Physical Gods.
    • Episode 7 introduces the Black Queen, who is an ancient dragon like the Red Queen. She gets hired as a waitress at Nekoya.
  • Physical God: The elder dragons are apparently at this power level. Just the Black Queen flying over mortals is enough to kill them (though thankfully she's safe to be around in her elven form). Prayers to the Blue Dragon are attributed to allowing a mermaid to swap her tail for dragon-like legs. Many cultures also worship these dragons as deities.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The diversity of the parallel world in the novel allows you to show in the history of pirates, knights, samurai, Renaissance nobility and even cosmic monsters, inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • The Red Queen states she is over 100,000 years.
    • In the Light Novels, despite Aletta's youthful appearance, she is mentioned to be 50 years old.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: It would have made more sense to let Alphonse live on Earth instead of leaving him to starve on an island for the other six days of the week.
  • Secret Keeper: In the novel, the owner of the Flying Puppy Patisserie that provides many of Nekoya's baked goods is revealed to be aware of the existence of Nekoya's connection to another world because he and Tenshu are childhood friends. He owns a lot to the parallel world as medicine acquired from there saved him from being permanently crippled after a devastating accident. It's also revealed that the owner of a bar from the same building also knows of this conenction to the other world and benefits from it, providing Nekoya with a nice variety of liquors.
    • Artorius knew for years that Yomi was still alive on Earth, having encountered her in Nekoya. He kept this a secret for Yomi's sake.
  • Serious Business: The food. Several customers very nearly get into a brawl over which of the dishes they're enjoying goes best with rice. The fight is only stopped by Tenshu himself, who threatens not to cook for them anymore if they don't cool it. Appreciating the seriousness of the threat, they all back down immediately.
  • Shout-Out: The anime has several.
  • Title Drop: Courtesy of Thomas in Episode 3.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pretty much every regular has one, to the point where their fellow diners use these foods as nicknames, and it's rare for any of the regulars to stray from their favorites and try something else. Some examples are Teriyaki (Tatsugoro), Minced Meat Cutlet (William Gold and later Sarah Gold) and Croquette (Emperor Wilhelm).
  • Translator Microbes: There's magic built into the door that lets everyone in the restaurant understand each other.
  • Truce Zone: The restaurant itself is this. It's frequented by all manner of races, many of whom wouldn't get along or would outright hate and even try to kill one another, but the promise of delicious food to be eaten with the simple rule of no violence, combined with Tenshu's welcoming kindness, makes everyone lay down arms, and the worst things may get are simple arguments (often about which food is better) that are appeased easily enough. Rivals from different nations, humans, dwarves, elves, half elves, beastmen, fairies, priests, demons, vampires, among others, not only eating at the same restaurant, but at times even seated together, enjoying food, drink and pleasant conversation. It does help that the restaurant is under the Red Queen's protection, and anybody who causes real harm would be severely punished, but even so, she rarely, if ever needs to intervene.
  • Uncoffee: The people of the Sand Kingdom have a drink called cafa which can be drank hot or cooled with magic. The rest of the other world have never heard of coffee and visitors to the restaurant refer to it as a kind of tea.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Red Queen can shift from a massive dragon into a horned, red-headed human. Likewise the Black Queen can transform into a dark-haired elf.
  • Wham Line: Artorius told Alexander that one of their former comrades during the Demon War, a female warrior named Yomi, is still alive when they thought she was dead. Turns out Yomi was teleported into "another world" and married, and eventually had a grandson. The camera then pans to Tenshu, implying Nekoya's connection to the parallel world was a consequence of this magic.
  • Win Your Freedom: After his imprisonment, Lionel was bought by the demon lord to be used as a gladiator slave, forced to buy his freedom using the earnings from winning his battles. Not only does he succeed within a year, he goes on to be the arena's top combatant for the next twenty years.
  • World of Badass: The majority of the other world's guests are either accomplished adventurers, warriors, or mages; powerful demi-human beings; and even straight-up Physical Gods, the Red Queen and Kuro. One novel chapter involves a pair of ogres who discover the restaurant with the hope of raiding it, only to immediately realize how hopelessly outclassed they are by the diners, and sit down to order a meal.

Alternative Title(s): Isekai Shokudou


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