Restaurant to Another World Season 2
Episodes 1-3

by Mercedez Clewis,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Restaurant to Another World (TV 2) ?

How would you rate episode 2 of
Restaurant to Another World (TV 2) ?

How would you rate episode 3 of
Restaurant to Another World (TV 2) ?

Episodes 1-2:

I'd like to start off this review with a statement. Full transparency: I've yet to see Restaurant to Another World's first season. So… hey, hey, hey! Don't close that tab yet, I promise I'm in the know. I've been a fan since Seven Seas first dropped book 1, and currently own all five of the volumes, plus all of the manga that's been out in English. And honestly, the novels are genuinely some of my favorite books in translation and localization.

As such, I'm going to approach my coverage of Restaurant to Another World 2 from a slightly unique angle: I'm going to be comparing and contrasting episodes with their in-book stories. This may include sharing slight differences for context, adding additional context, or even highlighting the significance of some aspects that may be lost in the adaptation. Hopefully, this will add a bit of spice to my reviews, pun fully intended.

For the sake of this initial review, however, I'll just be giving you the book and chapter each story can be found in in order not to turn this decadent two-course review into an absolute gut-buster. Expect deeper dives starting with episode 4: that'll give me enough time to get my reading done, and allow me to give context on these first three episodes as well.

Episode 1 is split into two parts: “Cheesecake” and “Breakfast Again”. The former comes from Book 2, Chapter 23, and the latter from Book 4, Chapter 76. In fact, all the episodes so far have focused on two different dishes, which is a delight! We start “Cheesecake” with a bit of cleaning as the Master prepares for yet another day of otherworldly guests, right before a grand OP packed full of fantastic flavor rolls. It's perfectly soothing for a series centered around food, comfort, and the pleasure of a satisfying meal.

The follwoing sequence, with Hilda the mercenary as the viewer's POV character, makes for a really good (re)introduction to some of the characters in season 1, especially since this second season comes about four years after the first. And while it's not necessarily new viewer friendly, it won't alienate those diving in for the first time either.

However, it's the second part, “Breakfast Again”, that I consider the stronger of the two parts. While it centers around Aletta and, well, breakfast (my favorite meal of the day), it's really about Aletta helping the mistress of the home she works in, Sarah, and giving care to her through food. That, in and of itself, is essentially the heart of Restaurant to Another World, and it's great to see the show get that message across so clearly here. The back and forth between Sarah and Aletta is genuine and sweet, showing them to be close friends, and of course, the food is a treat.

Episode 2, too, is in two parts: “Beefsteak” (Book 1, Chapter 12) and “Cream Puff” (Book 3, Chapter 48), the first of which starts off with Romero and Julietta, two lovers on the run. Much like the characters they clearly draw from, their love is not meant to be: thank goodness they happened upon the door to Nekoya together, only to find… Beefsteak.

Like so many meals at Nekoya, the food shared by our star-crossed lovers becomes a reprieve: the beefsteak is immediately comforting and a restorative balm for the harrowing night before. It's a miracle, and honestly, that's what good food is: miracles that emerge from baking, braising, broiling, grilling, sauteing, and whatever else we do to raw ingredients. And, in the case of Romero and Julietta, it gives them enough strength to help them avoid capture for yet another day.

“Cream Puff” is decidedly less serious, but is once again my favorite of the two parts because of how simple and sweet it is. Princess Adelheid, the Imperial Princess who's also bound to her estate, meets Prince Shareef and Princess Renner of the Land of Sand at Nekoya, who present her with some kaffa (coffee) beans. However, this creates a particularly delicious conundrum: What do you pair with a hot cup of kaffa?

I'm sure, by now, you know exactly what the answer is, and while I'm not a cream puff fan because of the texture of the cream, gosh darn it if coffee and a nice, cream puff don't sound really good. Adelheid snags two: one for herself and one for her maid Hannah, allowing Hannah to enjoy the sweets of another realm and savor a moment with her mistress where class boundaries temporarily cease to exist – just two people sitting down and break bread… er, cream puff, together. That's truly why I love Resturant to Another World so much: it's all about the little moments, about enjoying good food, great company, and the simplicity of a new culinary experience.

Overall, these two episodes are the perfect aperitif to this new season of Restaurant to Another World. While a new viewer can't exactly jump in without the details, I certainly think it'll whet the appetite of foodies and cooking anime fans by enticing you to binge the first season on Funimation or Crunchyroll, which has a dub that makes listening in English an absolute breeze.

Restaurant to Another World truly exemplifies what reverse isekai slice-of-life can be, creating an experience that's the digital, visual version of a mug of hot chocolate. There's this amazing warmth underlying each of the vignettes that rivals the warmth of the food the Master cooks. Coupled with the charming animation, the atmospheric music, and the solid sound design, you get a show laser-focused at depicting the pleasures that good food can bring, and in that regard, it's as layered as a crepe cake with all the panache and grandeur of a ten-course feast.

Consider me all in on the vignettes we'll be spending time with this season; Restaurant to Another World has the spice of life I'm craving as Autumn settles in. I'm sure that this will be one of my picks for Fall 2021's best anime: I've been looking forward to it for quite a bit, so I'm glad I'll get the chance to cover it.

Rating:


Episode 3:

Episode 3, “Hamburger” (Book 1, Chapter 18) and “Beef Tendon Curry” (in later, still unreleased volumes, or at least, not in Volumes 1 -5) keep the delightfully delicious times rolling with two vignettes focused on two very good dishes: well… four, if you include the fact that we get to see three types of curry that we've never seen before.

“Hamburger” features three young folks: Jack, Kento, and Terry. They live a simple life in the imperial countryside, save for when on the Day of Satur (Saturday, in our world) they head to Nekoya via an old well for a rather all-American meal, complete with fizzy cola and some very yummy-looking fries.

The three boys then dig into their hamburger meals with all the gusto of your everyday teenager, and the whole scene feels almost like a high school slice-of-life anime, save for the Lizardman warrior the boys chat with, as well as the other demihuman sapients populating the bar.

And yet “Beef Tendon Curry” is the real standout to me, largely because it both revolves around curry rice, which I regard as one of the best food out of Japan, and features an excited Kuro, our Black Dragon cutie. I'm a big, big fan of curry rice myself, though I tend towards pork cutlet or cream cutlet curry with spinach and cheese. In this episode, we're treated to three kinds: Green Curry, Beef Tendon Curry, and Soup Curry. I've had the latter in Sapporo and can attest to how absolutely splendid it is, though that Green Curry also had me drooling at my desk. However, I'm personally not a fan of tendon so... no tendon curry for me ever.

And that's honestly the main thread of "Beef Tendon Curry", which really is a series of scenes in which Alphonse, an admiral who found the restaurant while shipwrecked on a deserted island for 20 years, Aletta, and Kuro trying a bunch of really good curry and ultimately, deciding that they (Alphonse and Kuro) like what they like. It's not necessarily groundbreaking, but it is well-executed, and still by and large enjoyable even if I don't have a lot to say about things other than... curry slaps. That's it.

As an episode, episode 3 is solid, but it's not necessarily compelling: it's loaded with plenty of solid food moments, but… doesn't necessarily rise to the top of the heap. It's early days yet though: it'll find its stride for sure. That said, simple as Restaurant to Another World 2 is, it's hard to deny its charms. There's something so nice about how it positions food as a full-bodied experience, and how it celebrates everyday, seemingly mundane foods through the lens of fantastical beings from another world. That's the secret sauce to this series, and what ultimately makes it the cream of the crop of isekai and cooking anime. That's the heart of Restaurant to Another World: it's certainly how I pitch the series to others because trust me: I shill this series like no one's business.

Now that these first few episodes are out of the way, look forward to the inclusion of some tidbits from the novels themselves starting with Episode 4, which will include “Children's Lunch” from Book 4, Chapter 68 and “Cream Croquette” from Book 1, Chapter 9. Consider that a tidbit to look forward to next review!

Rating:

Restaurant to Another World Season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization Editor & Proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, where she's a staff editor, and for But Why Tho?. She's also a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, she's devouring Restaurant to Another World bite by delicious bite. When she's not writing and reviewing, you can find her on her Twitter or on her Instagram where she's always up to something.


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