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939 The Dust Settles

 At this moment, the person beside Yu Chu spoke," Mr. Yu has indeed prepared amply."

The sous-chef of Palace Cuisine was the one seated beside Yu Chu. He was dressed in traditional Tang attire. Due to him being a quiet person, he did not attract much attention.

"We have to be strict when it concerns data," Yu Chu said with a nod.

As they chatted, the first dish was served.

Since the appetizer was already on the table when they arrived, the first dish served to them was one of the Chongqing School of Sichuan Cuisine's signature dishes: Dry Roasted Carp.

The Chongqing School of Sichuan Cuisine was very brave in terms of ingredient usage, and their main ingredients frequently undergo change. Moreover, they also possessed the characteristics unique to Jiangsu Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine where the dishes were cooked with a rich amount of oil and sauce.

Since the Dry Roasted Carp was served for the exemplary restaurant competition, it was not spicy at all. A fleshy carp rested on the fish-shaped plate, and on top of it, green peppers and garlic slices were sprinkled everywhere.

An outline of chili oil surrounded the fish, most likely having flowed down there when the sauce was poured onto the fish.

"Please enjoy your meal," said the waitress before leaving.

"Chairman Zhou, you first," said Hu Yue.

"Sure," Zhou Shijie reached toward the fish's belly with his chopsticks.

After Zhou Shijie picked up a piece of meat, the others joined in as well.

After eating only one mouthful of the fish, Yu Chu started writing in his notebook.

"The fish tastes decent. It's not spicy, and has a nice aroma of something that has been deep-fried on it. Yet inside the skin, the meat is tender and soft," Hu Yue remarked.

Although Hu Yue was praising the dish, he stopped eating after that.

"Um, not bad indeed. But the Dry Roasted Carp is a dish that should be mildly spicy. With this rendition being not spicy at all, it felt like a Braised Fish instead," Lee Yanyi went straight to the point.

They ate even lesser than when they went to Zhi Yuan. The reason for that was very simple. When they went to Yuan Zhou's place, they were served the Chongqing School's Sichuan Cuisine as well.

If it was any other cuisine, it was fine. But since this restaurant served Chongqing School of Sichuan Cuisine as well, they could not avoid comparing the two. And after a comparison, none had the mood to eat more after the initial tasting.

But since there were a lot of them there, the fish was still nearly finished by the time each took a mouthful of it. Thus, the situation did not look too awkward.

"The next dish is probably Boiled Beef. It's the signature of this restaurant. I heard the beef of this restaurant is very tender. The second dish should be good," Hu Yue said.

"Um," Zhou Shijie nodded with a strict expression.

As for Hu Yue, despite what he said, he was, in fact, not feeling hopeful for the second dish at all. After all, they had just eaten Yuan Zhou's Boiled Meat Slices a few days ago.

But since they were filming a show, he had to be more kind with his words. As a chief editor, Hu Yue was well aware of how to conduct himself on a show.

"The second dish, Boiled Beef. Please enjoy your meal," right this moment, the waitress came with the second dish.

"Place it there," said Lee Yanyi as he pointed at the middle of the table.

"Ok. The head chef also reminded me that I need to light this dish up. May I?" asked the waitress politely after placing the dish down.

"Sure," Zhou Shijie answered.

"Alright. I'll get started," said the waitress. She then took out a delicate matchbox. After striking a match, she waved it above the dish.

Whoosh. The soup in the bowl was immediately ignited.

"When it stops burning, you may start eating," said the waitress as she slowly left the room.

"Excessive showing off," Lee Yanyi frowned.

"It's refreshing and brave, also an embodiment of the Chongqing School of Sichuan Cuisine's spirit," said Zhang Yan.

"We will only know the taste after eating it," said Hu Yue.

After about 10 seconds, the fire extinguished by itself. At this time, a fragrant and spicy smell wafted into their noses, instantly stimulating their appetite.

Again, Yu Chu started writing in his notebook.

"It looks spicy," Lee Yanyi said with a satisfied nod.

Even Hu Yue's heart was filled with expectation now.

"For some reason, I keep wanting to eat something spicy the past few days. I won't be holding back, then," said Hu Yue the moment Zhou Shijie took a piece off the dish.

"True. I have been eating spicy food for the past few days," Lee Yanyi said.

"Haha, I share the same thought," said Zhou Shijie as he nodded. He then stuffed the beef into his mouth.

"Um?" Zhou Shijie frowned slightly before the frown quickly disappeared.

"It doesn't seem to be spicy?" Hu Yue asked doubtfully after eating the first piece.

That's right. This Boiled Beef smelled fragrant and spicy yet when eaten, it gave off a slight sweetness instead and wasn't the least bit spicy.

At this time, Yu Chu had finished his piece as well and he wrote in his notebook again.

Yu Chu would write in his notebook three times per dish he ate. Fortunately, he did not spend a long time writing and thus it did not affect his eating.

He wrote while eating for each of the three dishes served.

And seeing how serious Yu Chu was, the crew-cut guy decided to focus the camera on Yu Chu's notebook.

"There," said the crew-cut guy towards the cameraman while pointing at the notebook.

"Um," the cameraman nodded and pushed the camera towards Yu Chu, preparing to focus on the notebook.

Soon, the crew-cut guy saw the scene filmed by the camera and immediately regretted his decision.

"What in the world is this?" asked the crew-cut guy as he stared at the screen in astonishment.

The astonishment was understandable as within Yu Chu's notebook were his opinions and evaluations.

The format in which Yu Chu wrote was very formal, as if this was an official report for his job.

Appearance: The warm yellow color of the lounge overwhelmed one's visual senses, affecting one's appetite. The layout of the restaurant was unreasonable, and the shape of the VIP room was off. The environment would affect one's appetite when eating. Compared to the neat and smooth layout of Yuan Zhou's restaurant, this restaurant is rated 0.1 Yuan.

First dish, Dry Roasted Carp: The carp was arranged improperly, looking like a dead fish. This reduced the appetite of any would-be diners. In terms of appearance, it was much worse than Boss Yuan's dishes. The spiciness was removed through black beans and it was very underwhelming. I can only rate this dish as 0.2 Yuan.

Second dish, Boiled Beef: The fire performance was pointless, affecting the texture of the meat. The flame failed to increase the enjoyment of the dish, and the dish smelled spicy yet was not spicy at all when eaten. The authenticity of Boiled Beef was lost. 0.15 Yuan.

Third dish, Beer Braised Duck: The aroma of the beer was too strong, while the original flavor of the duck was nowhere. Like the second dish, it was not spicy at all. 0.2 Yuan.

Overall rating: 0.4 Yuan

A rating was given for each dish. In fact, even the snacks and tea were rated as well. But the crew-cut guy no longer had the mood to look at those.

The reviews written by this guy was too weird. This guy was even harder to deal with than the guy from the other day.

"I'll overlook the poor review for now, but what does Yuan mean? Did he get the wrong word?" wondered the crew-cut guy gloomily.

"Move the camera away, quick," the crew-cut guy quickly signaled the cameraman.

From the reviews in the notebook, one would think that this was a terrible restaurant.

By the time they put the camera away, the appraisal team was preparing to leave as well. Leaving after eating had always been their style.

When it was time to give his opinions, Yu Chu did not give them the ratings with Yuan as the unit of measurement. Rather, he spoke like a normal person and told them how he felt. He remarked that the food there was sufficient to make one full and did not say anything else.

Listening to Yu Chu's comment, the crew-cut guy couldn't help but recall the weird rating system using Yuan in his notebook.

After they were done grading the final restaurant, the exemplary restaurant competition reached an end as well.

Just like that, the 10 days exemplary restaurant competition organized by the government ended. The result would be announced three days later.

Naturally, this was announced in the final video posted. Of course, the notebook was edited out of the video. With that, an uproar was avoided.