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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Kamogawa Food Detectives » Chapter 5: Napolitan Spaghetti 2
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Chapter 5: Napolitan Spaghetti 2
‘Rain again,’ muttered Asuka, shrugging slightly as she made her way out of Kyoto station and
onto Karasuma-dori.
The rainy season hadn’t ended yet, she reminded herself as she made her way north up the
avenue. This sort of dreary1 weather was only to be expected.
The rain pattered louder and louder on her umbrella. As she waited by the pedestrian crossing,
raindrops splashed mercilessly onto her feet. When she arrived in front of the Kamogawa Diner,
Asuka folded up her umbrella and took a long, deep breath.
‘Welcome!’ called Koishi, sliding open the door. ‘More rain, eh!’
‘Hello again,’ said Asuka, removing her red raincoat and hanging it from a hook on the wall.
It was after lunchtime, and it seemed the restaurant’s customers had already departed. The place
was empty, but there were traces of various meals still on the tables. It had been the same last
time: no one in sight, and yet a feeling of human warmth filled the space. Asuka thought to herself,
not for the first time, that this really was quite an unusual restaurant.
‘Here you go,’ said Koishi, holding out a towel.
‘Thanks.’ Asuka began patting her tights dry.
‘You must be hungry,’ said Nagare, removing his chef’s hat as he emerged from the kitchen.
‘It’ll be ready in just a minute!’
‘Wonderful,’ said Asuka with a bow. When she looked back up, Nagare flashed her a smile,
then returned to the kitchen. Asuka handed the towel back to Koishi, then took a seat.
‘How’s your grandfather doing, then?’ asked Koishi, pouring some tea from her Kiyomizu-ware
‘I went to see him the day before yesterday. But he still doesn’t seem to recognize me . . .’ A
shadow crept over Asuka’s face.
‘That must be really tough,’ said Koishi, a glum2 look coming over her own features.
The clanging of a frying pan came from the kitchen, and an appetizing smell began to waft3 into
the room. Gathering4 herself, Koishi placed a pink mat in front of Asuka, along with a fork.
‘Koishi, it’s almost ready,’ called Nagare from the kitchen. ‘Help her with the apron5, would
‘Can’t have your clothes getting stained, can we!’ said Koishi, placing a white apron over
Asuka’s beige dress and tying the straps6 at the back of her neck. Asuka felt slightly bewildered by
what was about to happen.
‘Here we are!’ said Nagare, hurrying over with a silver tray in his hands. ‘The sauce will
splatter, so watch out!’ On the mat in front of her, he placed a wooden dish on top of which was a
round griddle dish that was hissing7 and crackling away. Asuka instinctively8 arched away from the
‘Please, tuck in while it’s hot. But watch you don’t burn your mouth this time,’ smiled Nagare,
standing9 at her side.
‘But this is . . .’ Asuka’s eyes had opened wide.
‘Is it all coming back? If I’m not mistaken, this is the spaghetti you had with your grandad that
time. Please, enjoy!’ Nagare placed a small bottle of Tabasco on the table, tucked the silver tray
under one arm, and headed back to the kitchen.
‘Here’s some chilled water!’ said Koishi, setting a glass and pitcher10 down on the table before
following Nagare into the kitchen.
On the sizzling griddle dish was a mound11 of spaghetti coated in a red tomato sauce. But the rest
of the plate’s surface was covered by a layer of whisked egg, so that the other dominant12 colour
was yellow. Three frankfurters, split down the middle, adorned13 the mound of spaghetti. Asuka
joined her hands together, then hastily reached for her fork.
‘Agh!’ she winced14 as she thrust the first mouthful of spaghetti into her mouth.
The pasta that was steaming away on the hot plate in front of her was incomparably hotter than
regular spaghetti. She was probably going to burn the inside of her mouth, but it was just too
delicious, and she simply couldn’t bear the idea of waiting for it to cool.
‘Mmm . . .’ she murmured as she twisted the spaghetti onto her fork.
She tried one of the frankfurters. There was a satisfying crunch15 as she bit into it and its skin
burst. Meanwhile, the egg was cooking away on the plate, getting firmer and firmer. Asuka
worked some of it into a forkful of spaghetti, then inserted the whole thing into her mouth.
‘What a combination!’ she said to herself. Tears were running down her cheeks.
Her thoughts turned to memories of her grandfather. Her primary school entrance ceremony –
and after that, middle and high school, too. He’d always been the one who was there for her – not
her mother or father, but Chichiro. Her grandfather.
‘Looks like we got it right, then?’ asked Nagare, emerging from the kitchen.
‘Yep,’ Asuka replied simply as she dabbed16 at her cheeks with a handkerchief.
‘Apparently, they don’t actually call it Napolitan at the restaurant in question. They just call it
“Italian”. It’s a place called Chef, in Nagoya. Although they’re actually more known for their
ankake spaghetti.’
‘So we ate it in . . . Nagoya?’ Asuka seemed surprised by the location.
‘Yes. I think your trip looked something like this,’ said Nagare, opening up a map on the table
while Asuka and Koishi peered over.
‘I reckon you were heading for Toba, in Mie prefecture. Your grandfather was probably taking
you to the aquarium17 there. Kids love that place. And if you stayed at a hotel by the sea, then took a
ferry the next day, then your route would have been something like this . . .’ Nagare drew a red
line across the map.
‘We stayed the night in Irago?’ asked Asuka, in a curious voice.
‘I reckon those bright lights you remember were from a denshogiku farm.’
‘Den-sho-giku?’ repeated Asuka and Koishi in unison18.
‘It’s a special way of growing chrysanthemums19. That area – the Atsumi peninsula – is famous
for it. They grow the plants in a greenhouse, and keep the lights on nice and bright all night long.
That way, they can control when they blossom.’ Nagare got out a tablet and started swiping
through a series of photos. ‘They look quite special at night, don’t they!’
‘So that’s what I was remembering?’ asked Asuka, a little doubtfully.
‘You must have set off quite late, for whatever reason. Your grandfather wanted to take you for
a ferry ride. I reckon you rented a car at Toyohashi, then spent the night in Irago. The next
morning you took the ferry to Toba. You spent the day there, then drove back around the
peninsula to Nagoya. That seems to have been your itinerary20.’
‘Hmm, denshogiku . . . Now that you mention it, I feel like we learned about that in school!’
said Koishi, nodding as she folded her arms.
‘Driving north from Toba along the Ise Bay would take you to Nagoya. You dropped the rental21
car off there and took the bullet train back to Hamamatsu. But before that, you stopped by that
restaurant. I’m sure your grandfather couldn’t resist the chance to enjoy a good meal. Finishing the
trip with a plate of spaghetti at Chef was probably something he’d been planning from the start.
It’s the kind of thing he knew a kid would enjoy. I bet he couldn’t wait for you to try it.’
Nagare continued swiping through his photos, until he found one of the restaurant in question.
‘That’s the place, is it?’ said Asuka, her voice filling with emotion as a smile spread across her
‘Apparently lots of people like to make a deliberately22 long stopover in Nagoya, just so they can
visit this restaurant. What they call “Italian” in Nagoya isn’t quite the same as the usual Napolitan.
You pour some whisked egg onto a hot plate, then add the spaghetti on top. That yellow colour
you remember must have been the egg. As for the red bottle that your grandfather took a photo
of,’ said Nagare, swiping through the photos on the tablet, ‘that must have been this. A huge bottle
of Tabasco. I couldn’t help snapping a photo of it myself.’
‘Tabasco!’ exclaimed Asuka, picking up the small bottle of sauce on the table and comparing it
with the one in the photo. Then, fork back in hand, she polished off the rest of her meal, scraping
up all the egg that had stuck to the griddle dish and devouring23 it along with every remaining strand24
of spaghetti.
When she was done, she gazed at the now-empty dish for a moment, before joining her palms
together and thanking Nagare for the meal.
‘How old is your grandfather now?’ asked Nagare, who had been watching her finish the meal.
‘He turned seventy-five last month,’ replied Asuka.
‘Still young, isn’t he! Well, I hope this spaghetti triggers some memories.’
‘I hope so too . . .’ said Asuka in a quiet voice.
At Nagare’s signal, Koishi set a paper bag down on the table.
‘Of course, taking him to the restaurant would be ideal,’ said Nagare. ‘But if that’s not possible,
you’ll have to cook it for him yourself. I’ve prepared a set of ingredients together with a griddle
dish. I don’t know if you can really call it a recipe, but I’ve written down some instructions, too.’
Asuka smiled for a moment. Then, with what seemed like sudden resolve, she sprang to her feet
and bowed deeply to Koishi and Nagare.
‘Thank you so much, really. How should I pay?’ she asked, getting her purse out of her bag.
‘However much you think it was worth. Please just transfer it to this account,’ said Koishi,
handing her a slip of paper.
‘Got it. I’ll do it as soon as I get home.’
‘You’re still a student, aren’t you? Don’t go overboard. A little will be just fine!’ said Koishi,
smiling at her.
‘Thanks. I appreciate it.’ Asuka bowed again to them both, pulled on her red raincoat, and
opened the sliding door.
‘Oh, Drowsy25, you really can’t come in here!’ said Koishi, chiding26 the tabby who was poking27 a
foot through the door.
‘Poor thing, sitting out here in the rain. What’s its name?’ asked Asuka, squatting28 to pet the cat.
‘Drowsy,’ said Koishi, crouching29 by her side. ‘Always lying around with his eyes half-closed,
you see.’
‘Looks like the rain has passed, eh?’ said Nagare, holding out a palm towards the sky. Weak
sunlight was filtering through the clouds.
‘Can I ask you something?’ said Asuka, looking Nagare in the eye as she stood up.
‘Of course,’ said Nagare, returning her gaze.
‘Why do you think I remember that spaghetti in particular, out of all the other dishes I ate with
‘Well, this is just a guess, but . . .’ Nagare paused and took a breath. ‘I wonder if this trip was
the first time your grandfather treated you like a grown-up.’
Asuka’s eyes widened in surprise.
‘Until then, you’d probably always just been given whatever everyone else was having. But this
trip marked the beginning of your life as an individual, and that plate of spaghetti was the proof.
Your own meal, all to yourself – right there in front of you. You must have been over the moon.’
Asuka simply gaped30 at him, seemingly lost for words.
‘That was probably also why you started crying whenever you ate something delicious. Your
grandfather must have taught you that eating good food wasn’t just about enjoying it, but also
being grateful for it. That lesson must have lingered somewhere deep in your memory.’
By now, Asuka’s eyes were wet with tears.
‘Say hello to him from us,’ said Koishi with a grin.
‘Thank you so much.’ Asuka gave another deep bow, then set off. Nagare and Koishi watched
from behind as she made her way down the street.
‘Classy detective work, Dad,’ said Koishi as they walked back into the restaurant. ‘I should never
have doubted you!’
‘Must have been a pretty fun trip for a five-year-old. Lucky parents, having someone like that to
help raise their kid!’
‘I never got to go anywhere with my grandad.’ Koishi had stopped clearing the table and was
staring into space.
‘He was even more of a workaholic than I am,’ said Nagare, making his way into the living
room. ‘And if we complained, he’d always launch into one of his lectures about what it meant to
be a police officer. I never went on any trips with him either, you know.’
‘Come to think of it, I’ve hardly been on any trips with you either, Dad. It was always just me
and Mum.’
‘A policeman is always on duty. That’s what he always told me, and that’s probably why I was
never at home much either – until your mother passed away, that is.’ Nagare sat down in front of
the altar.
‘Left it all to her. Had a pretty hard time of it, didn’t you, Mum?’ said Koishi, sitting alongside
him and praying to the altar. ‘Disneyland, the zoo, the beach, hiking . . . It was always just the two
of us. But I didn’t mind one bit. I always had a great time!’
Nagare lit an incense31 stick in front of the altar, then got to his feet. ‘Fancy going out for pasta
‘Actually, I’m in the mood for your Napolitan. You haven’t made it for a while, you know . . .’
said Koishi, an imploring32 look in her eyes.
‘With pleasure. Right then!’ Nagare rolled up his sleeves. ‘What do you say we make it an
“Italian”? I’ve got those griddle dishes.’
‘I thought you gave them to Asuka?’ asked Koishi, getting to her feet.
‘They came as a set of five. Two for her means three left over. What do you say we invite
Hiroshi to join us?’
‘Ooh, please. I’ll get us some wine that’ll pair well with the spaghetti!’ said Koishi, taking off
her apron.
‘Don’t go breaking the bank. Tonight’s more about quantity than quality! You know, I reckon
Kikuko probably fancies a drink too.’
Nagare handed Koishi his wallet, then turned back to face the altar.


1 dreary sk1z6     
  • They live such dreary lives.他们的生活如此乏味。
  • She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence.她听够了那些关于酗酒和暴力的乏味故事。
2 glum klXyF     
  • He was a charming mixture of glum and glee.他是一个很有魅力的人,时而忧伤时而欢笑。
  • She laughed at his glum face.她嘲笑他闷闷不乐的脸。
3 waft XUbzV     
  • The bubble maker is like a sword that you waft in the air.吹出泡泡的东西就像你在空中挥舞的一把剑。
  • When she just about fall over,a waft of fragrance makes her stop.在她差点跌倒时,一股幽香让她停下脚步。
4 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
5 apron Lvzzo     
  • We were waited on by a pretty girl in a pink apron.招待我们的是一位穿粉红色围裙的漂亮姑娘。
  • She stitched a pocket on the new apron.她在新围裙上缝上一只口袋。
6 straps 1412cf4c15adaea5261be8ae3e7edf8e     
n.带子( strap的名词复数 );挎带;肩带;背带v.用皮带捆扎( strap的第三人称单数 );用皮带抽打;包扎;给…打绷带
  • the shoulder straps of her dress 她连衣裙上的肩带
  • The straps can be adjusted to suit the wearer. 这些背带可进行调整以适合使用者。
7 hissing hissing     
n. 发嘶嘶声, 蔑视 动词hiss的现在分词形式
  • The steam escaped with a loud hissing noise. 蒸汽大声地嘶嘶冒了出来。
  • His ears were still hissing with the rustle of the leaves. 他耳朵里还听得萨萨萨的声音和屑索屑索的怪声。 来自汉英文学 - 春蚕
8 instinctively 2qezD2     
  • As he leaned towards her she instinctively recoiled. 他向她靠近,她本能地往后缩。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He knew instinctively where he would find her. 他本能地知道在哪儿能找到她。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
10 pitcher S2Gz7     
  • He poured the milk out of the pitcher.他从大罐中倒出牛奶。
  • Any pitcher is liable to crack during a tight game.任何投手在紧张的比赛中都可能会失常。
11 mound unCzhy     
  • The explorers climbed a mound to survey the land around them.勘探者爬上土丘去勘测周围的土地。
  • The mound can be used as our screen.这个土丘可做我们的掩蔽物。
12 dominant usAxG     
  • The British were formerly dominant in India.英国人从前统治印度。
  • She was a dominant figure in the French film industry.她在法国电影界是个举足轻重的人物。
13 adorned 1e50de930eb057fcf0ac85ca485114c8     
  • The walls were adorned with paintings. 墙上装饰了绘画。
  • And his coat was adorned with a flamboyant bunch of flowers. 他的外套上面装饰着一束艳丽刺目的鲜花。
14 winced 7be9a27cb0995f7f6019956af354c6e4     
赶紧避开,畏缩( wince的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He winced as the dog nipped his ankle. 狗咬了他的脚腕子,疼得他龇牙咧嘴。
  • He winced as a sharp pain shot through his left leg. 他左腿一阵剧痛疼得他直龇牙咧嘴。
15 crunch uOgzM     
  • If it comes to the crunch they'll support us.关键时刻他们是会支持我们的。
  • People who crunch nuts at the movies can be very annoying.看电影时嘎吱作声地嚼干果的人会使人十分讨厌。
16 dabbed c669891a6c15c8a38e0e41e9d8a2804d     
(用某物)轻触( dab的过去式和过去分词 ); 轻而快地擦掉(或抹掉); 快速擦拭; (用某物)轻而快地涂上(或点上)…
  • She dabbed her eyes and blew her nose. 她轻轻擦了几下眼睛,擤了擤鼻涕。
  • He dabbed at the spot on his tie with a napkin. 他用餐巾快速擦去领带上的污点。
17 aquarium Gvszl     
  • The first time I saw seals was in an aquarium.我第一次看见海豹是在水族馆里。
  • I'm going to the aquarium with my parents this Sunday.这个星期天,我要和父母一起到水族馆去。
18 unison gKCzB     
  • The governments acted in unison to combat terrorism.这些国家的政府一致行动对付恐怖主义。
  • My feelings are in unison with yours.我的感情与你的感情是一致的。
19 chrysanthemums 1ded1ec345ac322f70619ba28233b570     
n.菊花( chrysanthemum的名词复数 )
  • The cold weather had most deleterious consequences among the chrysanthemums. 寒冷的天气对菊花产生了极有害的影响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The chrysanthemums are in bloom; some are red and some yellow. 菊花开了, 有红的,有黄的。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
20 itinerary M3Myu     
  • The two sides have agreed on the itinerary of the visit.双方商定了访问日程。
  • The next place on our itinerary was Silistra.我们行程的下一站是锡利斯特拉。
21 rental cBezh     
  • The yearly rental of her house is 2400 yuan.她这房子年租金是2400元。
  • We can organise car rental from Chicago O'Hare Airport.我们可以安排提供从芝加哥奥黑尔机场出发的租车服务。
22 deliberately Gulzvq     
  • The girl gave the show away deliberately.女孩故意泄露秘密。
  • They deliberately shifted off the argument.他们故意回避这个论点。
23 devouring c4424626bb8fc36704aee0e04e904dcf     
吞没( devour的现在分词 ); 耗尽; 津津有味地看; 狼吞虎咽地吃光
  • The hungry boy was devouring his dinner. 那饥饿的孩子狼吞虎咽地吃饭。
  • He is devouring novel after novel. 他一味贪看小说。
24 strand 7GAzH     
  • She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ears.她把一缕散发夹到了耳后。
  • The climbers had been stranded by a storm.登山者被暴风雨困住了。
25 drowsy DkYz3     
  • Exhaust fumes made him drowsy and brought on a headache.废气把他熏得昏昏沉沉,还引起了头疼。
  • I feel drowsy after lunch every day.每天午饭后我就想睡觉。
26 chiding 919d87d6e20460fb3015308cdbb938aa     
v.责骂,责备( chide的现在分词 )
  • She was chiding her son for not being more dutiful to her. 她在责骂她儿子对她不够孝尽。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She called back her scattered maidens, chiding their alarm. 她把受惊的少女们召唤回来,对她们的惊惶之状加以指责。 来自辞典例句
27 poking poking     
n. 刺,戳,袋 vt. 拨开,刺,戳 vi. 戳,刺,捅,搜索,伸出,行动散慢
  • He was poking at the rubbish with his stick. 他正用手杖拨动垃圾。
  • He spent his weekends poking around dusty old bookshops. 他周末都泡在布满尘埃的旧书店里。
28 squatting 3b8211561352d6f8fafb6c7eeabd0288     
v.像动物一样蹲下( squat的现在分词 );非法擅自占用(土地或房屋);为获得其所有权;而占用某片公共用地。
  • They ended up squatting in the empty houses on Oxford Road. 他们落得在牛津路偷住空房的境地。
  • They've been squatting in an apartment for the past two years. 他们过去两年来一直擅自占用一套公寓。 来自《简明英汉词典》
29 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
30 gaped 11328bb13d82388ec2c0b2bf7af6f272     
v.目瞪口呆地凝视( gape的过去式和过去分词 );张开,张大
  • A huge chasm gaped before them. 他们面前有个巨大的裂痕。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The front door was missing. A hole gaped in the roof. 前门不翼而飞,屋顶豁开了一个洞。 来自辞典例句
31 incense dcLzU     
  • This proposal will incense conservation campaigners.这项提议会激怒环保人士。
  • In summer,they usually burn some coil incense to keep away the mosquitoes.夏天他们通常点香驱蚊。
32 imploring cb6050ff3ff45d346ac0579ea33cbfd6     
  • Those calm, strange eyes could see her imploring face. 那平静的,没有表情的眼睛还能看得到她的乞怜求情的面容。
  • She gave him an imploring look. 她以哀求的眼神看着他。


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