Food appears in many a Final Fantasy game. XV had an entire system built around it, and more often than not, it offers a nice HP boost when you’re able to get some grub for your hero to chow down on. With the Final Fantasy VII Remake here at last, I have once again destroyed my kitchen in an attempt to recreate food from a beloved franchise. This time it’s the Wall Market diner, a place where you can (spoiler) pick up a helpful coupon if you tell the chef you didn’t hate their food.
There are three options for Cloud to eat at the diner: Korean BBQ Plate, Sushi Plate, and Today’s Special, and I’ve made them all. I’ve also concocted a cocktail inspired by mako and SHINRA as a nice adult beverage to enjoy as you feast on Wall Market’s finest in celebration, of Remake finally arriving.
Korean BBQ Plate
- Red or Green lettuce
- Green onion
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Asian pear
- Bulgogi cut beef or chuck/ribeye sliced into thin pieces
Looking at the dish in the game, it’s immediately recognizable as bulgogi ssam — marinated thin cuts of grilled beef and rice you wrap in a lettuce leaf before shoving it in your mouth. It’s delicious and a common Korean BBQ dish. Having lived in Korea for a few years, this was a no-brainer. I went by the recipe by Robin Ha from the wonderful cookbook Cook Korean!: A Comic Book with Recipes.
You will need rice, large lettuce leaves, and beef. If you have an Asian market near you, they may very well have bulgogi sliced portions ready to buy. Otherwise get a boneless chuck or rib-eye that you’ll be able to cut into thin pieces.
The marinade will require the most ingredients, and you may be able to find it pre-made in the store, but it’s basically soy sauce, sesame seed oil, onion, a lot of garlic, ginger, sugar, and Asian pear blitzed in the blender. You layer this over the beef, making sure it covers everything, and then cover it and let it soak in all the goodness for at least three hours.
Once that’s done and you have your rice cooked and ready, pour some sesame seed oil in a pan or light up your grill. The pieces of bulgogi will cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them. Once you’ve done that, grab your lettuce, your rice, and feast.
It occured to me that I really should have cut the pieces up before marinating them, as cutting them after they were cooked was a touch messy, however, eat your bulgogi the way you like. It’s going to be delicious regardless.
- Salmon sashimi
- Nori (dried seaweed sheets)
- Daikon (pickled radish)
- Sushi rice
- Pickled ginger
The plate of sushi that Cloud gets includes both sashimi, which is just raw fish on its own, and maki rolls, those cute little rolls of rice and a filling wrapped lovingly in a piece of seaweed. Now, I’m not going to tell you how to delicately filet a piece of raw salmon to turn into sashimi because that’s a sushi master’s greatest skill and I am not that, and chances are you aren’t either. You can try, or you can just buy a helping of sashimi from your grocery store, fishmonger, or local sushi purveyor. Maki rolls, on the other hand, I can do.
As there was sashimi and the Korean BBQ plate had meat as well, I kept the maki rolls vegetarian. Eat your vegetables, kids. I opted for two kinds: avocado and cucumber, and oshinko, also known as pickled daikon.
Making maki rolls is a learned process and it’s tricky at first. If you don’t have a bamboo mat, just use some plastic wrap. It’s all in the wrist as you roll the nori over and keep the rice and filling tucked inside. My oshinko rolls failed miserably the first time. They didn’t roll closed and the filling just exploded everywhere. However, I redid them and succeeded and didn’t mess up the avocado and cucumber ones either. You don’t want to overfill your sheet of nori with rice, leave a bit of room at the top so it’s easier to roll. Also, make sure you’re using sushi rice and not like basmati or long grain.
Also make sure your fillings are cut to length and width. This will all depend on the size of the rolls you’re making. When you’re ready to roll, make sure the filling keeps tucked in, use your fingers if you have to, and keep it snug (but not squishing it). Once you’ve rolled it over, roll back the piece of the bamboo/plastic wrap that’s tucked in towards you and then continue to roll to complete the rotation. With luck, you’ve rolled a maki roll.
Cut to the size you want, plop it on a plate with your sashimi, ginger, and wasabi. You now have a Wall Market sushi plate. 20HP for you.
- Ground pork
- Panko bread crumbs
- Dried thyme
- Small onion
- Green onion
- Salt & pepper
The first two dishes at the diner are quite self explanatory and identifiable, even in pixelated form. But Today’s Special, now that one wasn’t so clear. What on earth was it? Beef and fish were already covered with the other two dishes. Chicken, maybe? Chocobo? My anxiety wrapped in tin foil?
My only clue was the oblong silver pixelated blob that Cloud gets when he orders it. Not much to go off of. Google failed my attempts to identify it. I searched through endless YouTube speed runs to try and find one who actually ordered it, and failed. I asked people who had played the game dozens of times, self-professed experts at FF7 lore, those who were deep in the fandom, and someone even booted up their Playstation to go check in the game itself.
Everyone was stumped. No one knew. There was no official answer and no consensus amongst fans. But in the real world, specials are typically what’s about to expire in the kitchen and needs to be sold as soon as possible. Whatever the chef needs to unload, that’s what Today’s Special is. So I did what the chef would do and looked in my fridge and pantry to see what was up for the chopping block or the trash. Ground pork, onion, a small bag of panko bread crumbs from one of those meal delivery boxes, and a mostly gone bottle of ketchup.
Meatloaf it is.
And it makes sense that Today’s Special may very well be meatloaf. It’s an American diner staple, and that’s what the Wall Market diner is based on. It’s easy to make with very few ingredients, and it could definitely be cooked and served in a metal loaf pan or with tinfoil. Good enough an answer for me.
I made the meatloaf from the Joy of Cooking recipe, because it’s the best. I altered it in size and scope based on what ingredients I had, and out comes a rather tasty pork based meatloaf. Kept in the silver pan of course. For aesthetic reasons.
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SHINRA Mako Cocktail
- 1 oz Blue Curacao
- 2 oz Water
- 2 oz gin (vodka or white rum would also work great)
- 4 oz Ginger Ale
- .25 oz simple syrup
- Juice of half a lime
- Lime garnish for fun
Mako is the life of the planet in FF7 and it appears quite often as glowy little balls, so when I went about creating this drink, I knew I wanted to capture that specific look in some way. This is definitely inspired by the mako drink that Square Enix made for their FF7-themed restaurant in Tokyo, but with my own spin on it.
The big thing here is making a giant blue ice ball that’s meant to look like mako. A sphere mold, like a whisky mold or even a chocolate mold would be very helpful here, but isn’t entirely necessary.
Now, if you don’t have a whisky ball mold, like most people, there is another way you can get that mako sphere. It’s a bit MacGyver, but it works surprisingly well. You’ll need a ¼ or ⅓ round measuring cup, plastic wrap, and a rubber band. Place a large piece of plastic wrap over the measuring cup and press it down. Then, pour the Blue Curacao and Water mixture into it, making sure it doesn’t overflow (adjust accordingly). Carefully bring up all sides of the plastic wrap and begin twisting it until you’ve formed a nice sphere full of mako mixture.
Once it’s as tight as you can get it without anything bursting, secure it with a rubber band and put it in the freezer overnight. It’s going to take awhile for this to harden because of the alcohol. If you add more water than Blue Curacao, it’ll freeze more quickly. The next day, carefully undo the rubber band and peel the plastic wrap away. As long as it’s not falling apart on you, it’s good to go. If it’s still a touch slushy, re-wrap it and freeze for longer. It won’t be entirely spherical most likely, but it’ll be darn close!
Grab a glass of your choice and plop your mako ice ball in it. Over top add in the gin, lime juice, ginger ale, and sprinkle with lime zest. Add a lime spear on top for fun and give it a little stir. Not only is this drink tasty, but it’s dang cool to look at. And it’ll glow blue if you shine a light behind it. Because magic.
So there you have it. The Wall Market menu from FF7 and a drink to wash it all down with. Happy gaming, everyone!