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Chapter 20: The 5000 Yen Dish

The tavern operates from 7 PM to 12 AM!

This timing is crucial because most of the customers come to Zane's tavern after a long day of work, maybe after overtime or regular work, to have a few drinks and eat some appetizers to relieve the tiredness and stress of the day!

Although entering the tavern feels like coming home, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere that helps people relax completely.

The food and drinks provided have a homely feel, similar to what you'd find at home, allowing many to not only enjoy the food but also experience the taste of "home" while savoring delicious dishes.

However, most customers usually leave before midnight, as they need to get up early the next day to go to work.

Currently, due to the tavern's recent popularity, the number of customers daily is not that high.

So, Zane decided to "lie flat" and close up after midnight!

Perhaps in the future, as the tavern grows, he might consider extending the operating hours?

—---

Time flies by.

After finishing the beef burger, butterfish fries, and chocolate brownie, Erina didn't leave immediately.

She sat there, observing the customers coming and going.

Occasionally, she stole glances at Zane, observing how he used cooking to bring smiles of happiness to every customer who entered!

Previously, she believed that achieving noble cuisine required not only rare ingredients but also superb culinary skills from the chef.

And some culinary skills aren't something you can learn through sheer effort.

Sometimes, a chef's perspective, knowledge, and even talent are crucial to their skills!

A chef from a rural area who has never seen or tasted high-class black truffles, no matter how hard he tries or studies theory, won't be able to create authentic black truffle dishes.

Therefore, mastering culinary skills and talents that even many geniuses can't grasp is the essential requirement for an excellent chef!

Having the God Tongue ability, Erina naturally excelled in this aspect, and she took pride in it!

In contrast, Zane took a completely different path.

The scale and class of his tavern surely couldn't compare to a five-star hotel.

The dishes he served to his customers were typically appetizers, home-cooked dishes, late-night snacks, and desserts.

These dishes were not challenging in preparation, simple enough that even someone who couldn't cook could attempt to make them at home.

However, it was Zane's unique approach to these simple dishes that set him apart from others.

Especially his understanding and ideas about each dish always impressed Erina.

Different from chefs only seeking profit, Zane maintained a genuine love for cooking and food!

Perhaps?

A hot beef burger.

Whether it's made with toast bread doesn't matter!

Is it noble cuisine?

Is it common cuisine?

These concepts don't matter!

As Zane just said, a chef only needs to serve the best dishes to make customers satisfied.

After all, before coming to the tavern and tasting these dishes, not many customers cared about these things like Erina did.

Hisako, now facing the cozy atmosphere of the tavern, couldn't help but sigh.

In this world, there are two things that cannot be betrayed:

Love!

Good food!

Love is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful emotions in the world, bringing immense happiness and satisfaction to people.

And dishes that bring happiness naturally are full of love and emotion!

For example, she would cook some medicinal meals for Erina every day.

These medicinal meals were meant to nurture Erina's weak body, preventing exhaustion and the deterioration caused by the God Tongue curse.

And these emotionally-filled dishes were what Hisako enjoyed the most, hoping they would make Erina happy.

Even though preparing these medicinal dishes sometimes involved searching through various medical texts and herbs, the moment she saw Erina feel satisfied after tasting them, she felt it was all worth it.

Now, watching Zane stir the emotions of the customers with his cooking, comforting their souls, Hisako couldn't help but resonate deeply.

As if she could see her former self in Zane!

"This tavern."

"Indeed, it's not ordinary as Sonoka once said!"

Returning to her senses, Erina simply nodded, affirming Hisako's observation.

Later, seeing Zane seemingly free, she took the initiative to speak to him, "Zan... Zane, right?"

"Can I ask, how much are the beef burger, butterfish fries, and chocolate brownie altogether?"

"What price is this..."

After that, Zane stretched out one hand, opening all five fingers!

"5?"

"500,000 yen?"

"Huh?"

"Erina."

"Why did you think my dishes would be worth that amount?"

Looking at Erina, pondering for a moment, then directly saying "500,000 yen," Zane was stunned!

Possibly her noble background made her unsure about money matters.

Or maybe she genuinely thought that Zane's cooking skills and talent made his dishes worth that much,

Can it be that Erina, in front of me, was impressed so quickly?

After some thought, Zane just shook his head, smiling, and said, "Take off two zeros, 5000 yen!"

"What did you say?"

"Such great dishes are only worth 5000 yen?"

Upon hearing this, Erina was shocked again.

She suddenly remembered what Sonoka once said, that a skewer costing less than 100 yen at this tavern was worth more than a 100,000 yen French foie gras at Shunkatei! 

----------

The price of a dish.

It's closely related to the ingredients, production cost, and the chef's skills and experience.

A dish certainly needs multiple steps, and each step requires careful handling and control by the chef.

Therefore, the chef's culinary skills directly determine the quality and taste of the dish!

In short, good ingredients, without good cooking by the chef, would be a waste of their value.

Even ordinary ingredients, in the hands of an excellent chef, can transform into something amazing, and that's admirable!

Yes!

You can't deny it.

The ingredients used in Zane's dishes are very ordinary!

By rights, the prices shouldn't be so high.

But in Erina's view, based on his excellent culinary skills, the dishes he makes can be considered "luxury dishes."

"I really don't understand what you're thinking."

Seeing Zane earnestly, without a hint of joking, Erina felt puzzled!

But, he's the owner, and how to price his dishes is his business. As an outsider, she couldn't say anything.

Moreover, even if she argued with him about this matter, would she have any ground to stand on?

"Hisako, can you help me pay this 5000 yen."

"I'm a little tired, and I just want to get back to Totsuki Academy quickly and rest!"

After calming down a bit, Erina turned to Hisako and said casually.

"Sure, Miss Erina."

Hisako was taken aback for a moment, then quickly reacted, following Erina's wishes, took out 5000 yen from her pocket and handed it to Zane.

"Zane, although your dishes satisfied me, they didn't impress me."

"Because your insistence on cooking is completely different from mine. You and I are destined to be on different paths."

"I will use my actions to prove that in the future of the culinary world, only noble cuisine can lead everything. And your cooking will be completely eliminated and vanquished by the tides of time!"

After speaking, Erina left the tavern with a determined look.

This trip unexpectedly brought her a lot.

She never expected that she would meet Zane by inadvertently trying dishes at the Shunkatei Western Restaurant tonight.

Even more surprising was that in this world, there are dishes that can conquer the God Tongue.

Moreover, these dishes are the very common ones that she has always despised!

"Thank you."

"Our Miss."

"I haven't enjoyed eating so happily for a long time!"

Seeing Erina get up and leave, Hisako quickly thanked Zane.

Then she hurriedly followed Erina, leaving the tavern together.

...

"Making a beef patty directly with beef is much easier, right?"

"But you didn't choose to do that. Instead, you used the cheaper toast bread to make the beef patty."

"And the ingredients for the fries are very simple, just potatoes, yet you used the remnants of tofu to make them."

Once or twice, I could understand!

"However"

"Even that chocolate brownie."

"You made it with rice bran that even dogs would shake their heads at."

"Then it's hard for me not to suspect that you did this on purpose?"

Now that Erina has left, Rindo, who had not left, said thoughtfully to Zane.

"What do you think?" Zane, hearing this, just smiled mysteriously.

"I just knew that with your ability, you could completely use more rare ingredients to make noble cuisine."

" Although at first, I felt quite unsure whether you could conquer the God Tongue with your cooking."

"But I firmly believed that you could make dishes that would amaze everyone."

"After making these three Western fast food items"

"Although they ultimately satisfied Erina, it still makes me feel a bit disappointed!"

"Clearly... you can do better..."

Seeing Zane's carefree demeanor, Rindo couldn't help but give him an exasperated look.

She really couldn't understand, and didn't know why Zane would go to such lengths to make these dishes in front of Erina!

...

"Anything."

"Is about winning or losing."

"And the difference between noble and common cuisine is often about the ingredients."

For Erina, even the simplest ingredients couldn't make her satisfied with the dish.

But to Zane, her noble cuisine seemed tedious because he sought perfection in both the ingredients and the cooking method.

But no matter how perfect the dish is, what difference could it make?

Only dishes that everyone can enjoy are real dishes!

Perhaps in this controversial matter, there is no right or wrong.

But today's encounter will completely change Erina's future, and that is an undeniable fact!


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