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877 Soft-fried Banzhi

 "Hello, Head Chef Cao." Yuan Zhou nodded his head and greeted him.

"I'm so sorry. The dishes in the kitchen really need to be made freshly so that you can eat them directly once you come. Even a minute later or earlier isn't good. So I didn't go to the gate to welcome you." Cao Zhishu explained hurriedly while walking over to him.

That's right. According to Cao Zhishu's understanding of courtesies, he usually went downstairs to the gate and welcome the guests in person.

But coincidentally, there was a signature dish that needed to be freshly cooked. Therefore, Cao Zhishu didn't go downstairs to welcome Yuan Zhou in order to bring the best taste of the dish and to let Yuan Zhou eat the best taste.

"Never mind. The dishes matter more." Yuan Zhou had never taken offense about these trifles. Having been apologized so solemnly, he naturally didn't feel anything wrong in his heart.

"Head Chef Yuan is magnanimous. This way, please. Go to bring the appetizers." Cao Zhishu first said to Yuan Zhou smilingly and then instructed the waiter who stood at the side.

"Thank you," said Yuan Zhou.

"Don't mention it. When the appetizers are served, I still need to go back to the kitchen in person to check the cooking. Just don't blame me for being unable to accompany you to eat," Cao Zhishu burst into laughter and said readily.

Yuan Zhou indicated that he had been eating alone for several years.

A friendly exchange wasn't necessarily a real match. Such a degree of courtesy was just right.

"Of course not. It's really not bad to taste dishes alone. Since it's quiet, I can taste them attentively," Yuan Zhou shook his head and said seriously.

"People all say Boss Yuan doesn't care about trifles. You really turn out to be so," said Cao Zhishu.

This time, Yuan Zhou didn't answer him, but just nodded his head. Then, he followed Cao Zhishu into the separate room.

As soon as he entered the room, he saw a traditional Chinese painting of mountains and waters right in front of him. It was obviously the mountain referred to by the name of the separate room, Mount Longmen.

It was quite a poetic ink painting. Judging from the quality, it must be a work of a great master.

It's really an enjoyment to eat and appreciate the painting at the same time. My restaurant is comparatively simpler, just a place for eating without so many useless things. Yuan Zhou thought secretly in the heart.

As a matter of fact, Yuan Zhou didn't think of the two paintings in his own restaurant, People Passing by A Small Restaurant and This Is Life. Although the number of his paintings weren't as many as in Shu Restaurant, they were much more expensive.

"Kou Kou"

Cao Zhishu had just introduced the menu today when the door was knocked.

"Come on in," Cao Zhishu stopped talking and Yuan Zhou answered.

Then, two waiters, one male and the other female, came in. They were both dressed in Han Chinese Clothing, more specifically, Duanda.

The male waiter carried the tray at the side while the waitress carried the dishes out and then laid them on the table one by one. When all the dishes were laid on the table, the waitress opened her mouth and said.

"Here are six cold dishes. Please take your time and enjoy the meal," after saying that, they walked back out of the room slowly. They didn't report the name of the dishes as Yuan Zhou wasn't the customer and it was actually an exchange. Therefore, they omitted this procedure.

"Thank you." Yuan Zhou nodded his head and then sat down.

"Head Chef Yuan, I'm not going to disturb you tasting the dishes. I will go to the kitchen to prepare the hot dishes and then serve them up," said Cao Zhishu.

"Um. Please don't close the door." Yuan Zhou nodded his head and then instructed.

"No problem." Cao Zhishu grinned broadly and nodded his head and then went out.

As soon as he entered the room, Yuan Zhou realized that if the door and curtains were open, he could see the inside of the kitchen directly.

With his sharp eyes, Yuan Zhou could easily saw the kitchenware placed neatly and the kitchen range as clean as if it were brand-new in the kitchen as well as the busy chefs inside.

Since Yuan Zhou could see the kitchen clearly, the people in the kitchen could also see how Yuan Zhou ate them. In this way, they could understand each other mutually.

And this was also the most important reason why Cao Zhishu chose this room.

Yuan Zhou acknowledged this of layout very much. He also felt Cao Zhishu was really cunning.

"He's really crafty and slippery. No, I should say he's a clever and sensible chief chef." Yuan Zhou watched Cao Zhishu walk out and then muttered inwardly.

Of course, Cao Zhishu was also quite satisfied with Yuan Zhou telling him proactively not to close the door.

This Head Chef Yuan is so straightforward and candid. A good guy! Cao Zhishu thought inwardly and then walked into the kitchen.

After all left, Yuan Zhou turned to look at the dishes. Six plates of cold dishes were laid out on the table in the shape of flower petals.

However, the amount of each dish was so small that one could finish it with only two mouthfuls. They were all exquisite but little in amount.

The shape and appearance of each dish varied with the variety of the dish inside.

For example, the Dried Tofu Stirred With Wild Mushroom. The plate was just an emerald green leaf with its veins clearly seen.

In the emerald green plate, the brown and white diced Dried Tofu was served up along with some dark brown little mushrooms, which looked appetizing.

Besides, every dish was very small. With such a little amount, they could both whet his appetite and let him be able to taste the following dishes. This was the correct way to eat cold dishes.

Yuan Zhou didn't wait anymore. He took out his own chopsticks from his inner pocket and started to taste them one by one.

"Let me eat this Dried Tofu first," said Yuan Zhou.

The advantage of his taste-free chopsticks was that they could stop different tastes from mixing up even if Yuan Zhou reached for different dishes. It was simply good news for Yuan Zhou who had such sensitive taste sense.

Otherwise, it would be too inconvenient to change chopsticks for a different dish and would affect the enjoyment of eating.

"The appetizers are dominated by slightly numbing, slightly hot, and slightly sour tastes. Besides that, the sourness seems to be fruit acid, just like the taste mainly used in Guizhou Province." Yuan Zhou tasted it very carefully.

Yuan Zhou could clearly see the whole kitchen, but didn't see any waiters. Therefore, he was truly surprised when somebody carried a hot dish into the room right after he finished the cold dishes.

After all, Yuan Zhou had just eaten up the cold dishes by then and immediately, the hot dish was served up. The timing was awfully impressive

Of course, a person as unflappable as Yuan Zhou just maintained his composure. He nodded his head with an easy grace and then looked at the new dish.

"This is the specially-made Soft-fried Banzhi by our chief chef. Please take your time and enjoy." The waiter signaled the dish with his hand. Then, he backed out of the room slowly until he disappeared at a place Yuan Zhou couldn't see.

Yuan Zhou refrained himself from craning his neck to find how that person appeared and disappeared.

"Is it something to do with the architectural structure?" Yuan Zhou tilted his head slightly, but still couldn't see the waiter who had served up the dish just now.

"This observational ability is really good." Yuan Zhou turned back and muttered inwardly. He had barely finished the cold dishes when the new dish was served up.

"Soft-fried Banzhi? Isn't this a course enjoyed by that great painter, Chang Dai Chien?" Yuan Zhou happened to know this dish.

He got to know this dish because of the extinct dish rewarded by the system, Mushroom Roasted Chicken Tail.

The Mushroom Roasted Chicken Tail was Chang Dai Chien's favorite dish. Therefore, Yuan Zhou read through his life conveniently and got to know this great painter also liked eating.

Moreover, it was said that Chang Dai Chien's culinary skills were even better his painting abilities. As known to all, Chang Dai Chien's painting ability was held in esteem to be No. 1 in the recent 500 years by Hsu Bei Hong. When he traveled to western countries for pleasure, he was even regarded as the "Painting Brush Of The East".

Apart from that, he enjoyed equal popularity with Picasso. They had a common title of "Chang Dai Chien In the East and Picasso in the West". One could imagine how outstanding his painting competence was.

But even so, somebody once said that Chang Dai Chien's culinary skills were also quite supreme. He not only knew how to eat well but also knew how to cook.

"Does the dish have the taste of the painter, Chang Dai Chien?" Yuan Zhou looked forward to this dish very much. He took up the chopsticks and reached straight towards the Soft-fried Banzhi.


[0] Banzhi(), a jade thumb ringDuanda() is a kind of short and convenient Han attire suitable for moving and working.