He couldn’t see the recipe, because the recipes the system showed you were only those which cooking levels were lower than his tasting level. And since all of the dishes were 8-9 points, it was still difficult for him to do so.
As he looked around him, the other four seemed to be feeling the same thing. If they had a normal sense of taste, it was a flavor they couldn’t hate at all. If the amuse bouche was this much, then how much would the dishes that were going to come next be? You could vaguely guess the level of a restaurant with its first dish. If it kept coming like this, then they would really be able to try the best meal of their lives. Joanne said with an absent-minded voice.
“Anderson, even so you should be accustomed to it?”
“Your parent’s restaurant, they say that it’s also a three star Michelin restaurant. Shouldn’t you at least be more trained with this kind of stimulation?”
“Wait, what are you talking about? Anderson’s parents were owners of a three star restaurant?”
Jo Minjoon said with a shocked expression and looked at Anderson. It was something he had never heard of before. However, the reply didn’t come back because the next dish was coming. Originally, these kind of restaurants focused on not cutting the flow. After eating the amuse bouche, it wasn’t surprising for the next dish to come.
The first thing they saw was a round caviar, Ossetra caviar. It was the kind that was normally eaten more. In the floor of the plate, there was mayo lemon custard spread, and on top of that a kumquat jam. And a soap berry that was simmered in sugar water, sea weed, and chive oil was placed on top of it.
Honestly speaking this dish moved him less than the previous dishes. The cooking score was 8, and the harmony of the seasoning was also bad, but it wasn’t the problem. The moment he ate the caviar, he wasn’t quite accustomed to the unique aroma that was spread. Honestly speaking, he felt it a little fishy.
‘……..Honestly, i’m not an epicurean yet.’
Jo Minjoon glanced at the others. In the case of Anderson and Peter they were eating it quite deliciously, but Joanne and Ivanna, after eating a little they started to eat the jam or the custard. Of course, as he was cleansing his mouth, Martin slightly asked.
“How is it? Minjoon. Would you be able to score it?”
“………Martin. Even so, I think that it would be too rude to score after coming here.”
“Ey, it’s an obvious right of the customer, so what about it?”
“Even if I’m a customer, at the same time I’m their junior.”
“Nowadays, the other chefs also evaluate a dish by going to another restaurants. Just do it once. Look, the chefs over there seem to be quite expecting.”
Martin pointed at the kitchen that was at the side of the restaurant. Maybe it was an open style, but the scenery of the kitchen could be clearly seen from the hall. The man that seemed to be the head chef was looking at them with his arms crossed. Martin pushed the back of a staff that was next to him.
“Go and ask to the head chef if it bothers him if he scores his dish.”
The reply that came back was ‘It doesn’t. Rather I wanted to ask you to do so.’ In the end, Jo Minjoon could only let out a sigh and name the scores.
“They are all 8 points. Excluding one. The gougere that was in the amuse bouche. That was a 9. However, the most delicious thing for me was the paprika orange.”
“Oh, now that I see, it wasn’t the score of the food, but the cooking score.”
“Yes. Getting this score when the main dish didn’t even come out yet means that the chef’s skills are excellent. It was a really good dish.”
Right after he finished talking, the next dish appeared. Coconut milk rice pudding, with ice that was frozen in the shape of a pipe on top of it. And inside the ice was grapefruit, caramelised grapefruit peel and basil, trout eggs, and roasted coconut and pistachio. There were also ingredients he was pleased to see. Roast grain powder was slightly spread on top of the rice pudding.
And the ice wasn’t an ordinary one. It was made by freezing ginger water. It had a shape only modern dishes could have. Jo Minjoon admired it for a moment, and got confused. He didn’t get how he should be eating this. Their server in charge, Elly, said in a soft voice.
“It’s a dish you have to break the ice cylinder and mix the contents of it and eat it.”
The moment he broke the ice, he felt regret but he could do nothing about it. When the dish got broke like a mess and mixed, his task would be completed.
9 points. It was the second 9 points dish. And contrary to the gougere, it didn’t have unfamiliar ingredients in it. A flavor which you let out sighs of admirations while you ate it. No, a flavor you didn’t even have the leisure to feel admiration.
As the ice melted and the aroma of the ginger spread in his mouth, on top of that, the trout eggs melted in his tongue stingingly. The grapefruit’s sour flavor met with the rice pudding and the melted coconut cream that was inside of it. That flavor felt just like mojito and it moderately brought a delicious flavor that livened the mood.
It was at that moment when Martin tried to slightly ask. Jo Minjoon raised his hand.
“I’m begging you, don’t ask me those questions right now. After, you can after I finish. Then I will answer you even if I tell you not to talk to me. But let me immerse myself like this.”
If he’s talking like that, he couldn’t even force him to do the interview. The servers looked at him laughing brightly. There were no prettier customers than the one that knew how to enjoy their cooking.
Jo Minjoon bit his lips. He was angry. In the world, there were these kinds of dishes, but why did he keep living while eating things that couldn’t even be said. And that wasn’t only in his case. Many people were living without any kind of relation to this kind of cooking. The biggest problem would be the money, but even so, it was so delicious to the point he couldn’t accept reality.
The next dish came without them having the leisure to rest. It just seemed like a fight with a tumbling doll; if you knocked it once, it would get up again. And when he thought that he ate it all, the next dish came immediately.
However, the dishes that came one by one were all perfect. Even if it was a place that received three Michelin stars, he thought if it was possible for a course cooking to proceed without flaws. What Jo Minjoon usually insisted on the things that had to be placed on top a plate, they had it all. The word that a chef had to be perfect like a chef, he was experiencing those words that felt to be far away in this place.
The next dish was bread, and the score was 7. The sauce was a green butter made by mixing normal butter, parsley, and tarragon. Normal butter was long and curvy like a well-cooked udon noodle, and the green butter was rolled so beautifully that at first glance, it made you think that it was a fruit.
After eating the fist-size bread, the next dish came immediately after. On top of the dish was placed cucumber, green apple, cheese, onion, and tapioca chip, but then the chef came. It was the head chef. He personally served a hot orange consomé on their dishes.
The flavor was obviously good. He could never imagine that the warm cucumber could be felt this deliciously. The heated cucumber had its original aroma a bit dispersed, but it didn’t mean that the flavor fell. Rather, the orange consomé filled the empty space, and the green apple made the overall weight to be light.
The next dish was salmon sous vide that was served with olive, lemon peel pure, cabbage, and potatoes as garnish. Sous vide. It was a cooking method that used low temperature for quite a while, and it could take up to 72 hours if it was long. The head chef Dave had said that he had cooked for 24 hours.
And certainly, that time was clearly buried in the salmon’s skin. It was soft but didn’t crumble easily, a skin that didn’t have fishy smell but only good aroma. It was the best salmon dish Jo Minjoon had ever tried in his life. So it was rather disappointing that the salmon was only the size of a bite.
Every time a dish came, the sommelier came with various kinds of wine and served on the cups. However, it was to the point that they didn’t even need wine. Because even if the alcohol’s sour and sweet flavor didn’t cleanse the mouth, the food was already perfect.
It was a new world for Jo Minjoon. How much could cooking extend, how much of an original combination was possible, and how well could they bring out the flavor of an ingredient. It was a time he could learn all of those things.
The problem was after that. Jo Minjoon said with an angry voice.
“I will get crazy.”
“What, Why? Is there something weird?”
The cameramen and the staff all looked at him with nervous expressions. Could the dishes have not been that good? Jo Minjoon said with a mortifying face.
“… … …”
Joanne didn’t say anything and just looked at him. Anderson frowned.
“Now that you say that, I am also getting conscious of that.”
“Do like this.”
Ivanna opened her mouth. She was leaning her body while seating in the chair to the right and to the left, then again to the right. It seemed like a metronome stick was moving. Joanne asked as if she had seen something really strange.
“……..What are you doing?”
“I saw this on TV a long time ago. It’s a method a person who ate 170 pieces of sushi at once revealed. If you shake your body like this, the food in the stomach gets ordered, and space for more food to get in appears.”
“Even so, It’s embarrassing. Stop.”
Joanne blushed more than Ivanna and held her. Ivanna looked at her with a face filled with dissatisfaction. This 22-year-old little lady had a childish side in her at her age.
“I told you a method because you said you were full.”
“……..I think that even Minjoon wouldn’t use that method.”
At Joanne’s words, Ivanna looked at him as if it was true. He evaded her gaze with an awkward face. It was at that moment. The next dish came.
He still couldn’t see a 10 points dish. He thought that at least one would appear, but even after the main dish came and didn’t get that score, it would be better to fold his expectation.
But of course, it was the same that this dish was outstanding. He could only make an 8-point dish even after revealing that supernatural like concentration. But for it to be 9 points, honestly, it was too much for him.
What came now was a well cooked wagyu steak with roasted salsify, moki mushrooms(목이버섯) and matsutake mushrooms, and the herbs mashua and finger lime. This lime that was called as caviar lime was long like a finger and the full shape seemed to be like it was filled with eggs.
The sour flavor was obvious strong like lime, but the well-ripened finger lime also had abundant sweet flavor. And as that sweet flavor and the tough flavor combined, a lovely flavor that was hard to express was there. But at that moment, Jo Minjoon tilted his head. It was delicious. However, it seemed to be arranged for the sake of the next dish rather than be finished as it was.
It wasn’t even an appetizer, but a main dish. And the size of it was only about two bubble gums. They say that restaurants give you a minimum amount to save the flavor, but even so, this was not too much.
It was at that moment that Elly brought a dish. However, Jo Minjoon’s eyes weren’t fixed in the dish. He couldn’t do so right now. The window that appeared next to the dish was taking his attention.
[Calf cheek meat]
Origins: (Too many ingredients to show)
Cooking Score: 10/10
His heart beat. Jo Minjoon looked at the dish with the eyes of a girl that had fallen in love. It was to the point that Elly, that was distributing the dishes, to blush at that moment. Jo Minjoon said with a shaking voice.
“How……should I eat this?”
It wasn’t even surrounded by ice like the previous dish. However he wanted to ask. He wanted to enjoy this moment a little more perfectly and clearly. Elly said with a calm voice.
“The ingredients in the sides are different, so it would be good to feel the differences in flavor. Between right and left, I recommend you eating the left side first.”
Jo Minjoon looked at the dish. He was bewitched by the score so he couldn’t properly look at the dish. But just like Elly said, the ingredients in the sides were different. On the left endive that was boiled down in red wine, sunflower seeds, raisins, black mint, and chive, and a red wine sauce was applied. On the other hand, the right was white anchovy tempura and white anchovy cream.
It was at the moment that he sliced the left cheek meat in a suitable size and put the other ingredients the more he could and put it in his mouth. The flavor didn’t seem to be felt by his tongue but by his brain, that his temple shook. There seemed to be some flavor of alcohol left in the red wine sauce. The flavor and weight was so strong and slushy, that after the combining it with the sauce it shook his tongue for the first time. After that, the texture and the flavored cheek meat that was being chewed could be felt more clearly.
It seemed to have been steamed in the oven, but the overall texture of the cheek meat was soft and moist. And even so the flavor was so alive you could feel the texture of the meat one by one. Each time he chewed the meat, the sunflower seeds, herbs, and raisins showed its presence by mixing with the flavor and aroma of the meat.
The feeling was similar to watching a 3D movie after having always watched it in 2D. The dishes he had thought to be complex until now were all simple and plain. He forced to press down the stirring emotions, and he now looked at the ones in the right.
Tempura. It referred to japanese fried food. Anchovies, saying it easily was a thick myeolchi(멸치). Next to it was placed a white anchovy cream that seemed to be perilla seeds sauce along with wine sauce. Jo Minjoon sliced the tempura and cheek meat moderately, and put it in his mouth along with white anchovy cream.
And at that moment, Jo Minjoon’s face contorted. Not because it was disgusting, but because it was too delicious. It was so delicious that it felt like you were going to be crushed down by it. The anchovy that was hidden inside the fried tempura that was crunchy and yet soft met with the cheek meat, and when white anchovy cream softly covered the both of them, that flavor……..was difficult to compare to any other thing. Smiling should be normal, but he couldn’t express the satisfaction just by raising the corner of his mouth. And it was obvious to tense all of the muscles in his face.
Suddenly, he started to shed tears. It wasn’t that his eyes became teary like before. He really shed tears. Jo Minjoon wiped the tears in his blushed face with a handkerchief.
And the moment he wiped off the tears, many alarms appeared in front of him.
[You ate a dish that has brought the utmost of the limits of the chef.]
[You comprehended the flavor of the dish in all the ways. Your horizon in tasting broadens widely.]
[Your tasting level has increased!]
< Temptation of a three star (2) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak Proofreader : Saihikawa