AIWON Mall Isekai Store, Grand Opening Today! - Chapter 38
I managed to calm Anna and the skeletons down and get them to help me out. I continued cooking, although the skeletons ended up doing most of the work in the later stages. We started in the afternoon and worked through the evening, night, and early morning.
After working on the finishing touches since morning, the third dish following the cutlets and hamburgers was finally completed. The skeletons seemed relieved that it was finally finished.
There are shortcuts you can take by using store-bought ingredients, but making things from scratch takes a lot of time and effort.
“Alright, let’s have Chloe, Barbera, and Anna-san try it!”
Anna-san was nowhere to be found in the kitchen. She was in charge of closing up the register after closing time last night, and left the rest to me and the apron-wearing skeletons. Apparently, Anna-san had something to do in the middle of the night.
I didn’t ask what it was. Sometimes, it’s better not to know things in this world. No, I believe Anna-san is pretty normal, so it’s nothing ominous. I trust her.
I scooped the finished prototype onto four deep plates and left the kitchen.
“You finally finished, Naoya! I was getting tired of waiting! Is it meat?! A new meat dish?!”
“Calm down, Elf. I thought it might be heavy since morning, but it seems to be alright.”
“Naoya-san, you finished it! I’m relieved that even the skeletons seem to be reacting less!”
“You can tell from a distance, can’t you. As expected of the master of the skeletons, Lich. And I won’t use any human bones. I wouldn’t sell such dark dishes.”
“…it smells good.”
Chloe, Anna-san, Barbera, are the employees of the Aion Mall otherworld shop and show their own reactions.
Barbera, the humanoid dragon, seems the most normal reaction, as one of the employees who have strong quirks.
Well, it’s too late for that now.
Ignoring their reactions, I presented the plates on the tray.
“Now, this is the last dish!”
Once again today, a table and chairs were brought out in front of the kitchen.
Enduring my sleepiness from the all-nighter, I lined up four deep dishes.
“N-Naoya, what is this…?”
“Um, did we do something that you didn’t like, Naoya-san? Is this revenge?”
The three of them were disgusted, or rather, took a step back.
Unlike the cutlets and hamburgers, they lost their appetite.
“Hey, this is my most confident work that took the most effort.”
This last dish was an eat-in take out meal, which was intended to be sold as a side dish or in a bento box.
It was beef stew.
Moreover, it was made from veal stock, or rather, beef stock since it was made from beef, although it’s unclear if it was made from ordinary beef or monster beef.
Making it was laborious, but with a commercial kitchen and cooking equipment, a large amount can be made at once.
When making cutlets or hamburgers, a large amount of bones and sinews are produced, and if you make veal stock, you can also make demi-glace sauce.
Hamburgers definitely need demi-glace sauce!
I learned how to make beef stew from a middle-aged woman who worked part-time and secretly brought home bones and scrap meat. It’s my specialty dish now.
But I really wish she wouldn’t bring back waste food. It’s now a nostalgic memory to convince the middle-aged woman who insisted it’s okay to take it home since it was going to be thrown away. I don’t want to experience that again.
And not using store-bought roux, I made something similar using bones and meat, aromatic vegetables, and alcohol that I could find here.
I thought about making curry, but the stock of the imported roux is limited, and making it from scratch is too difficult with spice blending.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you want to eat?”
“Ah, Anna, you should eat first. Come on, Anna can revive even if something happens, right?”
“Eh? That is so mean, Chloe-san. I’ll leave it to the former store manager.”
“………… I’m good.”
The three of them gradually drifted apart.
While thinking that this might be tough in another world, I took a bite.
“Mmm, it’s really delicious. The meat is so tender and juicy, it falls apart with just a touch. If you simmer it too long, it becomes dry.”
I tasted my own beef stew and was satisfied with the result.
Using plenty of bones and tough cuts of meat, I condensed the flavor of the meat and vegetables into a deep, rich taste.
The simmered meat was also very tender.
Honestly, it turned out better than when I made it at home.
I worked hard all night, but I mostly left it to the skeleton. It doesn’t get tired and doesn’t need sleep.
“Hey, hold on, Barbera!”
“No, Barbera-chan, don’t eat that dirty water!”
“What do you mean by dirty water? Well, it looks brown, but…”
Apparently, the three of them were taken aback by the unfamiliar color.
Barbera, who was interested in the meat, ignored Chloe and Anna-san’s objections and took a bite.
“Gasp!,” she opened her eyes wide.
She threw away her spoon, gouged the plate, and ate like a dog with a wicked grin.
Her mouth seemed to change slightly, making her look like a dragon. The fantasy race is dangerous.
“Huh? Is it really you, Barbera-chan?”
“Hey, Barbera, are you okay? Is your stomach okay?”
“Did you appreciate the deliciousness? Alright then, let me give you more meat.”
Baubera seemed to have calmed down and used a spoon to eat her second serving.
Her hands didn’t stop moving.
Seeing Barbera wolfing down the food, Chloe and Anna-san gulped nervously.
“Alright, courage for women! Endurance for elves!”
“That doesn’t make sense. Courage and endurance don’t really go together for elves.”
“Don’t worry, it’s okay. Even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be fine. I mean, compared to when I was washing myself in the mud, I’m doing great.”
“That wasn’t mud. And please don’t casually allude to your heavy past.”
The two of them cautiously tasted the beef stew.
They opened their eyes wide, moved their mouths, and swallowed.
“W-What is this?! It’s delicious! I’ve never had anything like it!”
“Ugh, uwaah! It looks like mud but tastes completely different!”
After taking the first bite, they couldn’t stop themselves from eating more.
Chloe and Anna-san ate with as much enthusiasm as Barbera.
However, I hoped that the comparison to mud would stop. Anna-san, in particular, knew what mud tasted like.
Ignoring Anna’s past, I also ate the beef stew.
Oh, I want some bread.
Since both cutlets and hamburgers require breadcrumbs, I should probably stock up on bread as well. And considering how the three of them were put off by appearance alone, I think taste testing is necessary. If we’re thinking about side dishes or bento boxes, we’ll also need disposable containers.
Also, we should try to see if the skeletons wearing aprons and taught the recipe can make them properly. If we can make bouillon from only bones, these tireless, sleepless skeletons could make everything easily. …I wonder if bones can really make broth. We should be careful not to mix anything in. But at least we don’t have to worry about their hair or nails! They’re only bones, after all!
“Also, we need to think about our advertising strategy. Taste testing alone won’t bring in new customers, right?”
Both the cutlets and hamburgers, as well as the beef stew, received good feedback from the three of them.
We need to achieve monthly sales of 100 million yen by five months from now, which is an average of 3.34 million yen per day.
Just wait, people from other worlds, we’ll show you the power of Aion Mall’s otherworldly store! First, we’ll focus on brunch meals, side dishes, and bento boxes!
…Wait, isn’t this unrelated to Aion Mall?
No, no, Aion Mall will purchase it, cook it in their kitchen, and sell the side dishes themselves!
It’s all good, this is still the power of Aion Mall’s otherworldly store!
“Naoya, can I have seconds?…Hey, wouldn’t it be delicious if we added hamburgers to this?”
“Chloe, are you a genius!? Naoya-san, I want some more too!”
“…We’re drinking only this for now. I’m never drinking water again.”
By the way, yesterday was the sixth day since I became the store manager of Ion Mall’s otherworldly store. The results of the business were as follows:
Number of customers: 48
Sales: 34,000 yen
There were even some customers who came for the first time because of the taste testing or the scent that drifted all the way to the road. It was the highest number of customers since I became the store manager, but it was still only 48 people. Even though it’s Aion Mall.
The gardening supplies didn’t sell very well, but it seems that many people bought vegetables that could be eaten raw because they were not satisfied with just the taste testing. Steady, steady.
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