The moment they arrived, Wu Hai stepped forth and spoke, “Master Liu Zhang, you need to line up. These are the rules of Yuan Zhou’s restaurant. However, there aren’t many people around so it won’t take long for your turn to arrive,” Wu Hai was always polite when facing people who could cook.
“Yes, I have long heard of the rules here at Yuan Zhou’s restaurant. It’s good to have rules to avoid chaos,” Liu Zhang did not mind. He stood behind the line and waited.
While Wu Hai was waiting at the door, something else happened in the restaurant.
“Give me one Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice,” a customer with a hat ordered.
Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice was not on the menu. Therefore, Zhou Jia explained, “Sorry, Customer. Only the dishes listed on the menu are offered. Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice is not in the menu, so…”
The customer wearing a hat quickly explained, “I meant I want a Husked Rice from the 100 Styles of Rice Cuisine and a Yuxiang Shredded Pork. Their combination is the same as Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice.”
There was such a thing? Zhou Jia was stunned as she had never encountered a situation like this. Therefore, she looked at Yuan Zhou, requesting for help with her eyes.
A combination of 100 Styles of Rice Cuisine and Yuxiang Shredded Pork was equivalent to Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice?
However, what he said made sense so Zhou Jia could not make a decision by herself. She waited for Yuan Zhou’s answer. The customer at the next table was listening in curiously as well. If they could order this way, couldn’t they do the same for Twice Cooked Pork, Kung Pao Chicken, Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chili, and so on?
“Looks like a new ordering method has been discovered?”
“Yeah, I have never tried eating them that way. I need to try ordering Twice Cooked Pork Mixed Rice next time.”
“I am looking forward to Kung Pao Chicken Mixed Rice instead.”
“I feel like Dongpo Pig Knuckle Mixed Rice will be good as well,” said someone on a whim.
“That’s too heavy.”
The customers started talking about this.
At this moment, Yuan Zhou was finished with the dish he was cooking. After setting the dish down, he spoke.
“Sorry, our restaurant does not offer Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice,” Yuan Zhou replied solemnly.
“I know, Boss Yuan. I will order a Yuxiang Shredded Pork and a 100 Styles of Rice Cuisine instead. That won’t go against your rules, right?” the guy with a hat was quite smart.
“No, that won’t. But this restaurant really does not offer Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice,” Yuan Zhou emphasized.
“What do you mean? If that does not break your rules, why can’t I order it?” asked the customer, confused.
“The broth has to soak through half of each grain of rice in a Mixed Rice dish. When adding rice to Yuxiang Shredded Pork, it won’t reach this level,” Yuan Zhou gave a serious explanation.
“What does that mean?” the customer was completely confused.
“What Boss Yuan said sounds right, but I don’t think I understand it as well?” said the other customer who was completely confused as well.
“Yeah,” the other customers agreed.
“That’s simple. Master Yuan was trying to say that the Yuxiang Shredded Pork used in Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice is different than the Yuxiang Shredded Pork he made. The thickness of the broth is different, therefore, the Mixed Rice won’t be sufficiently soaked. Therefore, you can’t call it Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice,” Master Cheng explained.
Master Cheng was initially confused as well. But after he gave it some thought, he understood what Yuan Zhou meant. The customers could eat the dishes any way they wanted, but a clear explanation still had to be given to them.
“I don’t think there is any difference. The Yuxiang Shredded Pork I ate the other day was super delicious,” the customer could not understand what Yuan Zhou was trying to say.
“How stupid can you get? You can eat the dishes anyhow you want, but Master Yuan is telling you that what you eat would not be his rendition of Yuxiang Shredded Pork Mixed Rice. You only need to remember that,” Master Cheng explained helplessly.
“Oh, I got it. Boss Yuan, one Yuxiang Shredded Pork and one 100 Styles of Rice Cuisine,” the customer immediately remade is order.
“Alright. Please wait a moment,” Zhou Jia immediately answered.
This incident ended quickly, but Liu Zhang and Wu Hai were able to witness the entirety of it.
“Worthy of being the Compass, following rules in everything he does,” Wu Hai lamented.
“True, this is only the matter of the dish’s name,” Liu Zhang was a person who did not care for reputation. Naturally, he could not understand why Yuan Zhou was being so adamant about it.
“This is Master Yuan’s seriousness when it comes to cooking. And only through this seriousness can he be that good in what he does,” Master Cheng said with a frown.
“A chef naturally needs to let his customers know what he’s cooking. If the customer knows nothing after eating your dish, you are a failure as a chef,” Master Cheng reiterated with a solemn expression.
Of course, he had heard this from Yuan Zhou before. But it was not the original version of what Yuan Zhou said. Rather, it was a modified version.
“True, that makes sense. When painting, you need to let people see what you are painting, to see what you are trying to express through the painting,” Wu Hai said with a pensive look.
“No wonder Boss Yuan can be such a good cook at such a young age. So his thirst for knowledge is not the only reason,” Liu Zhang said as he recalled how serious and thirsty Yuan Zhou had been towards learning.
“Mr. Liu, feel free to order what you want. I’m sorry but I need to take a trip back to my studio,” Wu Hai said, behaving very politely which was something rarely seen on him.
“But your dish…” Liu Zhang was about to tell Wu Hai that if he did not finish his dish, he would not be allowed to return. But before he could say it, he saw something that dumbfounded him.
Wu Hai displayed his unprecedented eating speed. In a flash, he finished one Egg Fried Rice, one Dongpo Pig Knuckle, and one White Oil Tofu.
Even while he devoured the food, he still had the time to lament, “Sigh, without Qin Xiaoyi fighting over food with me, my speed has gotten slower. It feels lonely here.”
Wu Hai’s speed was too astonishing, causing Liu Zhang to stare at him blankly.
“See you.” Regardless of his shock, Liu Zhang was a person who had seen much of the world. Therefore, he was able to recover from his shock and bid Wu Hai goodbye when he left.
“You’re welcome,” Wu Hai said and vanished.
From how he was behaving, it was obvious that he had a sudden inspiration and was rushing to paint it.
“Sure enough, the people around Boss Yuan are all talented,” Liu Zhang lamented.
Fortunately, Yuan Zhou did not hear this. Otherwise, he would have objected to it. He was of the opinion that Wu Hai’s talent was at eating, something completely different from his.
“Cooking all by yourself yet still able to produce so many different dishes, both simple and complicated. He is really a great chef,” Liu Zhang was able to see how great Yuan Zhou was with a look at the menu.
After all, apart from Sichuan Cuisines, there were also Jin’ling snacks, Jin’ling dishes, and other dishes on the menu.
When he saw that Yuan Zhou was preparing everything personally at the kitchen, it was clear that Yuan Zhou knew a lot of things and was good in all of them.
“One Jin’ling Grass, one Twice Cooked Pork, one plain white rice, and one Thousand Thread Mantou,” Liu Zhang ordered.
“This Thousand Thread Mantou is part of the 100 Styles of Mantou. I can order it, right?” Liu Zhang questioned.
“Yes, some of the pastries are available today,” Zhou Jia nodded.
“Good. That will be all, then,” Liu Zhang nodded.
Liu Zhang was a person who was very particular when ordering food. Therefore, he ordered one of each cuisine, with the snacks he ordered being the signature snacks of the minority ethnicities in the country.