Part 10 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features burly dwarf bros Shimura Tomoyuki (Gard) and Inada Tetsu (Guilhem).
Tasty stories, from practising at home to wanting to have a beer!?
Q: First of all, let’s look back on episode 9 – tell us your thoughts about it.
Inada: It’s a story designed to make you hungry. After all, they’re eating & drinking so deliciously. I was reading the script while rehearsing and I thought to myself, “This episode will definitely make you want to eat a [seafood] fry-up”. Listen to these 2 characters devouring food so tastily and sure enough, you’ll want to eat the same thing – what a terrible series this is. But once I got to the studio I realized [the staff] had taken proper responsibility by having fried seafood prepared for us. What a dream place it was to work in (laughs).
Shimura: Indeed, it was. Watching the series makes you want to eat and drink. Especially beer.
Inada: Guilhem and Gard were really enjoying their drink.
Shimura: Fried food and beer is the ultimate combination for sure. Though as expected, there wasn’t any beer in the studio (laughs). But I was having a beer at home while rehearsing (as if) [laughs].
Q: Recordings were in the summer, the perfect season for a beer – hard to resist, wasn’t it?
Shimura: Yeah. Though it seems Inada doesn’t ever get drunk….
Inada: I’m this size so I hardly ever get drunk.
Shimura: I was drinking while rehearsing, and I got drunk…in a good way (laughs)
Inada: I do understand that feeling about wanting to drink though.
Shimura: You do feel like that. Seeing that big tankard makes me want to go to a beer garden.
Inada: When it’s a dwarf holding the tankard it seems even bigger. Like they’re drinking from a barrel.
Q: It makes it seem like they’re drinking far beyond their bodies’ capacities.
Inada: Same goes for the amount of food.
Shimura: But I’m sure you’d be the same if you were eating that for the first time.
Inada: They were analysing the beer in detail as they drank it as well. Makes me realize that we’re drinking these really wonderful drinks on a daily basis.
The timing when eating fried scallops. Tartar sauce is irresistible!?
Q: What were your favourite scenes or highlights from episode 9?
Shimura: Considering the sequence of events up ‘til then – the moment the fried scallops [hotate furai] made their appearance was just fantastic.
Inada: Fried cod [tara furai], squid rings [ika ring], and then fried scallops comes up third on the menu.
Shimura: The tartar sauce was just cheating though, wasn’t it? You never told me about it!
Inada: Guilhem was setting it aside for later, wasn’t he? Guess he didn’t want [Gard] to taste the tartar sauce right from the start.
Shimura: Yeah that happens sometimes. Eating fried oysters, you start to wonder whether it’s the fried oysters that you wanted to eat or whether it’s the tartar sauce you wanted to taste.
Inada: I know what you mean. After all, tartar sauce is tasty.
Shimura: Like how you feel like eating pickled veg [fukujinzuke] so you end up eating curry. That’s the kind of feeling you get.
Q: It’s rare to see cod on a fried seafood platter.
Inada: It certainly is unusual to see cod as the white fish of choice [on the platter]. You normally get horse mackerel [aji] instead.
Shimura: I go fishing on the Sanriku quite often, and the cod we pull in tastes really good when you fry it. Cod is best either fried or sautéed!
Inada: Yeah, sautéing it sounds nice.
Shimura: It’s great when it’s steaming hot. For fish that I’ve caught myself, I find them delicious if done sashimi style. But you can’t go wrong with fried cod really!
Inada: As he’s someone who fishes, Shimura-san’s words sound persuasive. I love frying white-fleshed fish too, especially fried horse mackerel. Once, I casually wandered into a set meals restaurant in Enoshima and the fried horse mackerel I had there was outrageously tasty. Since then, fried horse mackerel has been on my list of top 10 favourite foods.
To have my favourite fried seafood chosen as a theme in this series, and to be able to act out eating them deliciously – it’s a great joy for me. I fell into a ‘fried foods’ mode after the recording today so I was glad that my cravings were satisfied in the studio.
Deciding the meal of the day, this is a series that becomes a habit
Q: What are your impressions of the series now that you’ve acted in it?
Shimura: Suwabe-jun said this earlier, and indeed it is so – it’s foodporn. It makes you want to eat the food again. When you’re having trouble deciding what to eat and you just happen to see the show, you’re likely to go ‘I’ll have what they’re having!’.
Inada: I think there will be a lot of people who’ll want to eat white fish after seeing this episode.
Shimura: If you were watching this in the middle of the night you’d probably still feel like eating it too. Even if you think eating fried foods at night is a bit…
Inada: I’ve already switched into the ‘wanting to eat [fried fish]’ kind of mood.
Shimura: If you’re not keen on fried stuff and want something simpler you could just drop by the convenience store, couldn’t you?
Inada: I’m on my way!
Shimura: It’s that kind of alternate world.
Inada: An alternate world that is rooted in our world – this is a series that quickly becomes a habit.
Gard, who is more short-tempered than expected
Q: What are your impressions of the characters you play? Let’s start off with Gard.
Shimura: I didn’t expect Gard to have such a short temper.
Inada: He’s quick to lash out with his axe whenever something happens – that was surprising.
Shimura: Though they’re comrades and fellow craftsmen, once he snaps he’ll be swinging his axe around. And he does it seriously too.
Inada: He’s the type you should never get on the wrong side of.
Shimura: My impression of him changed from what I had initially thought, so I had to revise [my performance]. It was interesting.
Q: Gard is a glassmaker and he was impressed to see the tankards used at Nekoya.
Shimura: He’s probably never seen a tankard like that before. We’re familiar with them, especially during this [summer] season (laughs), but for Gard it’s surprising as it’s his first time seeing a jug the size of his face.
Inada: He’s probably surprised that you can see through it as well.
Shimura: As a craftsman he must’ve felt its fascinating charm.
I want to be like Guilhem, recommending good restaurants. My ability to handle alcohol is the same?
Q: How about Guilhem?
Inada: Guilhem is the one who brings Gard to Nekoya – I like to do that too, recommending good food and good places to other people. It makes me happy to see them enjoying [what I recommended]. I’m the type who likes to smugly say, “So yeah. It was good, wasn’t it?” (laughs). I understand Guilhem’s feelings.
Shimura: You want to give and receive recommendations. You want to know about anything delicious, and you want others to know about it as well.
Q: Even if people are aware about nice places to eat, only some of them would want to let others know while others prefer to keep it to themselves.
Inada: I wouldn’t want to hog it to myself. I like recommending things to people and have them tell me it was good, so I can go ‘Isn’t it?’ in return. To give me the confidence that my sense of taste hasn’t gone wrong. I wouldn’t exactly call it equivalent exchange but they do let me know about places I’d not heard of. It does get pretty exciting in the studio when the talk turns to delicious food and restaurants.
Shimura: Yeah we do that quite often.
Inada: I’ll take note of the places mentioned, then and go pay a visit to them later on.
Q: Guilhem is a brewer, so all that talk about drink just now seems to suggest you were cast perfectly for the role?
Inada: You think so? (laughs)
Shimura: You don’t get drunk at all.
Inada: I do get drunk like normal people do, but my memory doesn’t turn hazy nor do I slur my speech. Because of my physique, alcohol doesn’t really affect my behaviour.
Shimura: Really? Does it have anything to do with body size? You sure you ain’t a foreigner? (laughs)
Inada: Maybe I am (laughs)
Have had plenty of co-stars, but this might be the first time we battle around a table
Q: What are your thoughts on the interactions between your characters?
Inada: It was fun. I wanted to continue working with him forever.
Shimura: It’s been a while since I’ve been in such a skirmish. Outside of a battle, that is.
Inada: I agree. That might be the first time I’m seeing a face-off at a dining table (laughs)
Shimura: It was a fight, pretty much.
Inada: Because they met on the battlefield. This could actually be the first time that I’m acting out sharing a meal with somebody.
Shimura: When I was rehearsing I was imagining what sort of ‘tone’ I’d be eating in. I was thinking that I mustn’t go for something different to what Inada does.
Inada: It’s 2 enthusiastic old geezers eating their food deliciously.
Shimura: I enjoyed their interactions.
Q: Seeing Guilhem and Gard reminded me of Yaji and Kita.
Inada: They’ve travelled around, eaten a lot of delicious things.
What is the best dish in the world that Shimura-san has encountered?
Q: Guilhem invites Gard to try ‘delicious alcohol and fish that’s out of this world’ – what is the best dish you’ve ever tasted?
Shimura: This is a recent story – I often go to a port town in Iwate to fish for cod and fat greenling [ainame]. The fishermen in the area cultivate oysters and such, but in the summer up ‘til around Obon there is a window of time when the port opens – once the Fishery Coop gives its OK, we’ll go out to catch purple sea urchin [murasaki uni] and horse dung urchin [bafun uni].
Each person is only allowed to fish a fixed amount. On the day I went, I was told ‘Today the port’s open for sea urchin fishing so ship departures are delayed’. Instead, they took freshly-peeled sea urchin rinsed in seawater from that morning, cracked their shells, handed me a spoon on the spot and told me that I could eat as much as sea urchin I wanted, along with the rice that had been prepared.
Knowing that, I piled on enough sea urchin to cover the rice in my bowl thinking ‘that’s probably enough’ but I was told ‘you can have way more. Don’t worry about getting gout’ and had more heaped into my bowl (laughs). The sea water made it salty enough to the point that no soy sauce was needed – it was fabulously delicious!
Inada: Sounds tasty! You wouldn’t be able to get this in restaurants, would you!?
Shimura: Due to environmental protection efforts, it’s prohibited to fish on 2 consecutive days. Still, there are many people who would love to have sea urchin sent to them whenever possible. When you’ve eaten such delicious sea urchin, you would never want to eat sea urchin containing alum* ever again.
*sea urchin is often soaked in alum water to firm up its texture and to preserve/disinfect (especially when exported or frozen) but this produces an undesirable metallic taste
Inada: That’s the ultimate dish, isn’t it? There’s not much I can say after hearing that story! (laughs) If I had to pick something, I’d go for Jiichiro’s baumkuchen. I had my first taste of it at another recording studio – my reaction was ‘This is good! You’ve got to try this!’. Moderately sweet, fluffy, elegant.
Shimura: I’ve yet to taste that.
Inada: Having baumkuchen after sea urchin – that would be a dessert following a main dish; an excellent flow that would be (laughs).
Where I want this strange door to lead me – to my ‘hobbies’ and ‘every man’s dream’
Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?
Shimura: Not the studio for me. Gotta be somewhere I can go fishing.
Inada: It had to be~!
Shimura: Iwate is 600km away and there are times when I make day trips. I go to Niigata and Nishiizu frequently, skimping on sleep. It’d be awesome to open the door and see the ships right there.
Inada: You’d want to go every day.
Shimura: I’d go overseas too. I wouldn’t need a car either. I really want this door!
Inada: For me, I want a door that opens to Shizuka-chan’s bathroom*
*this would be the same answer Tamura Yukari gave in Guest Note 6P, referring to Shizuka from the Doraemon series
Inada: Being a lucky pervert is every man’s dream, isn’t it! It’s a common thing in the world of doors. I think it’s more of a trick rather than anything else (laughs)
Dish names that we want to be called, an unexpected gap!?
Q: Like in the series, what dish, if any, would you like to adopt as your nickname?
Inada: That kind of thing does actually happen in real life. When I was working part-time in a convenience store there was a customer who bought croquettes every morning and we did nickname him Croquette.
Shimura: You would, wouldn’t you? “Ah, Croquette is here today”, something like that. Should I call myself ‘Ratatouille’.
Inada: That’s cool! Do you eat that often?
Shimura: I don’t. I didn’t actually learn about it until recently. Along with a few other cast members, I visited a certain someone’s house and their mother was a truly elegant person. The dishes that came out of their kitchen; my mom could never make. When I asked ‘What is this stewed tomato dish called?’, the answer that came back was ‘Ratatouille’.
I did wonder what ratatouille was and had no real idea as to how you’d make it. I’d like to be called ‘Ratatouille’, something that made such an impact on me. I did think about pork cutlet bowl [katsudon] but that seems too common. (rolling r’s in an exaggerated French accent) ‘Ratatouille’. I’m an idiot, hah! (laughs)
Inada: I can’t quite imagine Shimura-san eating that though.
Shimura: I haven’t eaten it since then.
Inada: That ‘gap’ (between that image and your real self) is interesting.
Shimura: It just suddenly sprang to mind.
Inada: It’s hard to name favourite dishes, isn’t it? I like ham cutlets but it’d be weird to be called that. My #1 favourite dish is rice topped with grated yam [tororo gohan] and there’s this place in Asakusa that serves rice topped with grated yam barley [mugitoro gohan]. ‘Tororo-san’ sounds a bit silly too, doesn’t it?
Q: Sounds cute, like Totoro – doesn’t it?
Inada: Our bodies are the same size anyway so maybe ‘Tororo’ is a good choice (laughs)
Shimura: Based on my image of Inada, I’d say Pork Loin Cutlet [rōsu katsu].
Inada: Yeah, a cut with fatty bits.
Shimura: A ‘tough’ image? How about Pork Chop or Meat Bun? I guess it’s the intonation (laughs)
Inada: You see me as a piece of meat?
Shimura: Hot Dog!
Inada: It’s just the way that you say the words (laughs). [Reading the novel] Red Bean Soup [oshiruko] is something I like as well.
Shimura: [Ramen] Jiro-flavour.
Inada: Does that exist for real?
Shimura: Nah (laughs). It’d be fun if there was a family line kind of thing. I’d like to make it!
A studio where we get excited with talk about delicious food and follow-up stories
Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?
Shimura: Maybe it’s because the topic is food, but the atmosphere is more pleasant than usual. Everybody’s moving in the same direction and smiles naturally appear on our faces.
Inada: There isn’t anybody who feels discontent there. It’s a place where we can talk about nice food we ate recently & exchange tips on what’s good.
Shimura: You never get tired of such talk.
Inada: Such a topic is inexhaustible. The regular cast members are great. They’ll go to eat the dishes featured in the show and are able to tell you what was delicious. I think people who are watching would get excited too. The recording studio has a really nice atmosphere. It’s my first time here but I got used to it right away.
Shimura: It’s rewarding. Not only do we talk about delicious things, we get to eat delicious things too.
Inada: I’ve never been at a studio where we’re fed so well, all the way up to dessert. I should’ve gotten acquainted with this series sooner; be called into action quicker (laughs)
Shimura: You’re right. But if I came here every week I’d be fat in no time.
Inada: That’s true. I’ve heard Suwabe-san’s lines sometime consist of just 1 or 2 words so his calorie intake actually exceeds the calories burned, hence he goes home fat (laughs)
Please ready the dishes featured in the episode and watch the show on an empty stomach
Q: Please tell us about the charms of this series once again.
Inada: It just comes down to the food, doesn’t it? Those delicious eats and drinks…
Shimura: You’ll look at the dishes and the ingredients featured with a different perspective.
Inada: These dishes that seem so normal, that we take for granted – you will see just how wonderful they are.
Shimura: I’ve never talked about squid rings quite so passionately before.
Inada: The longer you chew, the more the flavours reveal themselves. Ah, I want to eat squid rings.
Q: Lastly, please leave a message for the fans as well as for those who have yet to come across the series.
Shimura: The episode titles that consist of food names will be posted in programme listings in newspapers etc, so please be prepared and ready them for your table. Don’t eat the food ‘til the show’s over!
Inada: It’d be good to watch the show on an empty stomach. Your feelings for the dishes eaten in the show will grow deeper as you watch – imagine the happiness you’ll feel when you get to eat it! I heard that a fry-up had been prepared for this particular week as well so I was going through recording anticipating that. Though I gotta admit I messed up a few times being distracted by those thoughts (laughs)
Shimura: If I knew in advance that the dishes would be prepared I would have eaten less before I went to the studio. I’m the type of person who eats three proper meals.
Inada: I was alright ‘cos I came in pretty hungry (laughs). In the show, I tell them to ‘Hurry it up’ when I’m in Nekoya and I felt exactly the same. They say that hunger is the greatest ‘seasoning’ known – if you come in with a full stomach it would seem like you’re poking your nose into someone else’s business so do please, [watch the show] with an empty stomach!