Michelin. And a three star on top of that. How much sweetness did that word have? It wasn’t pleasant thinking about Hugo’s Team that had to do the disqualifying mission, but even so, he felt more flustered rather than disappointment.
Alan said with a dry voice.
“The winning team shall move immediately. You will have food already waiting for you. Enjoy tonight comfortably. You have the right to.”
Jo Minjoon glanced at Hugo’s Team. They were forcing themselves to put on a calm face, but nobody could hide the disappointment. He wanted to cheer for them, but honestly even if he did, he wouldn’t stop feeling uneasy. Jo Minjoon turned his back without saying anything and walked back, his team members slowly following his back.
When he got out to the parking, the food truck they have come with had already disappeared. Anderson mumbled with a helpless voice.
“It’s gone. The truck.”
“Weird. Why do I keep feeling regret?”
It felt the same as graduating from school. Looking at the empty parking lot, a familiar voice was heard.
“Congratulations. Honestly, I wasn’t certain when I heard that it was norimaki, but in the end you did it.”
“…Why are you here? Don’t you have to be together with the disqualifying mission’s team?”
“The main PD should always be in the most important places. And the place I have to be right now…”
Martin slowly extended the index finger from his fist. And what that finger was pointing was Jo Minjoon.
“Is this place.”
Jo Minjoon didn’t refute. He could vaguely tell what Martin was thinking about. And the restaurant they were going to was no other than Rose Island. And the owner of that Rose Island had already come to look for him yesterday. The young chef receiving the expectations of Rachel Rose, the one that had an absolute sense of taste.
That chef was going to Rose Island right now. Martin thinking that the picture was good wasn’t overdoing it. Joanne said with her voice shaking.
“Wasn’t this a reward? When we eat there, do we also have to be surrounded by cameras? I would feel so burdened that I won’t feel like eating at all.”
“If that’s the case, you can remain and rest in your room.”
“No, who said that I would be resting? Why are you acting like this? So scary.”
Joanne pouted her lips and grumbled. Ivanna looked at Joanne and asked.
“Should I bring some food for you?”
“No, I said that I was going. Why are you also like this?”
At Joanne’s grumbling, Ivanna’s corner of the mouth raised and laughed. Martin coughed. A van that was coated in black slowly approached them.
“It will take at least 30-40 minutes to get to the restaurant. Be prepared.”
“Prepared for what?”
“To face the best dish in your lives.”
Martin said that the meal in Rose Island would be an unforgettable experience, and Jo Minjoon too agreed with that. However, could it get to become the best of his life? He wasn’t sure. Of course, getting three Michelin stars was the last step a restaurant could reach. However, just because there’s nothing higher than that, means that it could really become perfect? Was a perfect dish like that really possible? He wasn’t as confident as before in front of that question.
However, could it really become the best of his life?
“………What are you going to choose for the menus?”
“Obviously the recommended one. If you didn’t come much, that’s the best option.”
Anderson replied as if there was nothing else to think about. Peter, that was searching in the internet, said.
“I looked for it and it says that there are two representing courses, a plant-oriented course and an animal-oriented course.”
“This is obviously animal.”
“I also like meat.”
At Joanne’s and Ivanna’s words, Jo Minjoon too nodded without saying anything. He wasn’t particularly attached to meat, but even so, the abundant flavor between a dish that had meat and one that didn’t had too big of a difference. But of course, thinking of the reputation, the dishes that used vegetables should also be outstanding, but they thought that it wouldn’t be the best. Jo Minjoon asked.
“What do customers react to more?”
“It’s obviously the animal one. A course cooking with no meat is too boring.”
“Then I will go with that.”
As they were talking expectantly like kids, soon, Rose Island’s building was right in front of them. It was a building that was made by piled light brown bricks. There were five floors, but the height of each floor was so high it made it look like a 7-floor building. Jo Minjoon mumbled as he got out of the van.
“…….All of those floors shouldn’t be restaurants, right?”
“Thinking about things like serving, it would be difficult to do so in this kind of building. But you wouldn’t know if you had an elevator for the dishes. In the first place, in a building this big, it’s really difficult to even take the orders.”
“That’s also true. Anderson, how was your restaurant? Looking at how you are talking it seems to be single floored, but how many tables were there?”
“Fifty. As they shared the work between them, it was the limit they could do.”
“And who’s the head chef among them?”
“That’s a company’s secret.”
Anderson smirked and replied. Looking at Anderson acting like that, Jo Minjoon could only get more curious. There couldn’t be two head chefs in one kitchen. It was normally like that. So a married couple had to avoid being a superior of the other. What kind of relationship could that couple have?
He couldn’t know the answer to that right now. Rather than being more curious about Anderson’s parents, he was much more curious about the dishes they were going to see and try.
“Welcome. I will guide you.”
Even at first glance, a server so pretty it brightened the surrounding was taking them into their table. Ignoring an ugly person would be falling low, but feeling well-disposed to someone pretty was an unavoidable instinct.
After the server guided them to their round table, she took the orders and left. Jo Minjoon looked at her back dumbfoundedly. If the servers that were walking looked this good, he felt that the status of the dish he didn’t try yet had already risen. Jo Minjoon mumbled.
“What are the employees doing here instead of being models?”
“They also talked about that a lot. That the employees here seemed to be all mo…….dels.
The voice of Peter that was replying shook. Five servers approached, and after exchanging glances, they put down the five dishes almost at the same time. This was the service of a luxurious restaurant. Although they didn’t know what meaning it had, they clearly felt that they were getting treated.
But what they cared more rather than the service was in the dish, no, in the plate. The four kinds of amuse bouche that was on the dish seemed excellent, but even so, it took their attention. It was unavoidable. That plate… was so special that it made you wonder if it should be called a plate. It was a piece of wood. A piece of wood with the exterior a little burnt. Jo Minjoon asked to the server in charge of them. It was a woman server with a dense blonde hair and a hooked nose. Her name was Elly.
“The plate is really peculiar?”
“We took out a plank of a whisky barrel and burnt it a little.”
“Oh…… It’s good.”
Jo Minjoon lifted the plate and sniffed it. It certainly had the aroma of whisky, and the burn aroma that came from the plank also made him feel good. Elly served champagne henriot in his cup. It was dry white wine. He opened his mouth again.
“There are four kinds here, so is there a order to eat?”
“You can eat it however you please.”
Elly smiled gently and replied. Jo Minjoon, too, smiled brightly and turned his sight to the dish. There were people who were embarrassed to ask things in a restaurant. For example, thinking that it was ignorance asking about the characteristic of the part of the steak. However, Jo Minjoon thought that there was no way to be like that. Even more if he was suppressing the curiousness in front of these peculiar things, then that person couldn’t enjoy the culture of the restaurant properly.
“Minjoon. Are you confident in getting all of the ingredients right this time too?”
At Joanne’s question, Jo Minjoon’s corner of his mouth raised. It wasn’t because he was confident, but he felt that it was funny that maybe the chefs of this place wouldn’t even care about his evaluation.
Jo Minjoon looked at the amuse bouche that was on the plate. It wasn’t the name of the dish. But the name of the role. It had the role to raise the flavor in one’s mouth by making it bite size, and it was a different thing to appetizer. First, amuse bouche wasn’t included in the menu. It was a service by the decision of the chefs, and to call it appetizer, it’s size was too small.
But just because of that it didn’t mean that amuse bouche was just any dish. Jo Minjoon gulped. The first thing that caught his attention was a yellow gougère. It’s appearance was the simplest of the four. At first glance, it seemed to be a chou cream bread, but this thing the size of a marble had a coriander leaf on top. However, the reason that it attracted his attention was because the cooking score was 9. He felt thirsty just by looking at that score.
Jo Minjoon didn’t hesitate and put the gougère on his mouth. Its exterior was soft but at the same time rough, and as it exploded the cheese that was inside flowed. The cheese wasn’t so salty and was tasty. After that, the aroma of the coriander flowed through his tongue and directed to his throat. And unexpectedly, in that thin exterior, a banana’s aroma could be felt. It wasn’t that it had a banana syrup, probably they had put in dried banana powder in the dough.
It was the first time he tried gougère. However, if all of the gougères had this flavor, he felt that he wouldn’t be able to endure it if he didn’t eat this everyday. The flavor was so deep and clear it made you think like this, and at the same time it was light. It was a flavor that made you think that this dish didn’t have cheese in it.
Jo Minjoon looked down at the dish dumbfoundedly. Why was this little thing so delicious? It was to the point that he regretted having tried it. It was so delicious it made you feel despair because it ended with just one bite. Jo Minjoon glanced at Anderson’s dish that was next to him. In his dish, it still had the gougère left. Anderson slightly put his arm between them.
“Your sight is dangerous.”
“…You are mistaken.”
Jo Minjoon grumbled and looked again at his dish. There were still three pieces left in his amuse bouche. He directed his spoon to a slice of orange that had a half transparent orange coating. Even if he didn’t eat it, he could know what it was wrapped with. It was dried paprika coating. Simply put, it was wrapping caramelized dried paprika on the orange.
Because it was 8 points, it lacked flavor compared to the 9 points. He thought like that. The moment it entered his mouth, the first thing he felt was the aroma of the burn plank. But the moment he took a bite of it, Jo Minjoon moaned unconsciously. It was delicious, even more so than before. Actually, even if it was a 9-point dish, basically, he didn’t like a dish that had cheese as its main point. But, this slice of orange was different. The coating crumbled and from it he could feel the sweet and clear flavor of dried paprika, and after that, the juice of it followed.
And at that moment, he had his eyes tear up unconsciously. The flavor was wonderful. If you saw some comic books, when people ate something delicious they tended to think of the back of a lady wearing a straw hat, or a plain or a cliff. It was a flavor that made him understand what that meant. He felt that it was too charming and perfect to express the flavor simply as the orange’s flavor and paprika’s flavor sweet and sour flavor. It didn’t make you doubt even if it got 9 points. It was that much.
Jo Minjoon let out a breath and leaned his back on the chair. He was exhausted. It was only two bites, but the flavor those two bites left was too strong and shocking. However, he couldn’t back out like this. There were still two enemies left. Ivanna asked.
“Minjoon, if you aren’t going to eat that……….”
Jo Minjoon replied with determination and fixed his posture. Ivanna bit her fingers as if it was regretful. Jo Minjoon looked at the third dish.
“………Is it black lime?”
Black lime was famous as a dish from the middle east. You slightly simmered lime in salt, and dry it in the sun until it became brown, and inside the dried texture, the original sour flavor was condensed to the maximum. The flavor in itself was good, but it was also an ingredient that was used in many dishes.
On top of the thinly sliced black lime, there was a saffron purée and a kind of anise hyssop herb. He hesitated for a moment because he thought that the sour flavor was going to be strong, but the previous two dishes made him have courage. And that courage wasn’t brute at all. Until it got inside of his mouth he didn’t feel much, but once he chewed it the sour flavor of the lime, and the saffron’s and anise hyssop’s refreshing flavor filled his mouth. Compared to the slice of orange he ate before, he got less moved, but he felt like the flavor that was roaming in his mouth couldn’t get better. Because right now, his salivary glands were excreting abundant amounts of saliva.
It was a bit regretful that he had to erase the faint aroma in his mouth, but just because of that he couldn’t leave alone the next dish. Jo Minjoon looked at the last adversary. On top of the roll snack that had a crunchy texture was placed a beautiful green cream. He didn’t even need to look at the system, and put it on his mouth. And the apple’s flavor, along with the aroma of a unfamiliar herb came into his mouth. According to the system, it seemed to be a leaf from a ‘hierba santa’, but it was the first time he had heard of it.
But there was no need to point out that it was unfamiliar. The flavor was excellent. Along the crunchy wheat snack, the cream’s flavor and aroma that was on top of it made him not able to stand it anymore. It was a dish which you could feel the status in it. Jo Minjoon looked absentmindedly at the empty plate, the wood plank. It was so delicious that it made you happy, so rather he felt uneasy. If a cooking can be this delicious, and if it could reach this state. However, it wasn’t the time to worry about that.
Because the appetizer didn’t even start yet.
< Temptation of a three star (1) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak Proofreader : Saihikawa