The time was exactly as Liu Zhang had estimated. They arrived at the side street in front of Yuan Zhou's restaurant at 10:30.
"It's quite boisterous today, isn't it?" Liu Zhang said as soon as he got off the car.
"Um. It's indeed lively." Ji Yi answered indifferently. When he ran the business of selling steamed buns, there were also many people waiting in line every day.
Obviously, Ji Yi's anger was directed against Liu Zhang instead of Yuan Zhou. Therefore, he walked straight toward Yuan Zhou's restaurant.
"Walk slowly. Do you think you are still a sixteen-year-old young man?" Liu Zhang walked forward after him and said.
"Though I'm not a sixteen-year-old young man, I'm physically stronger than you, old guy," said Ji Yi straightforwardly without even turning his head.
"It's for your own good. I don't want you to force yourself." Liu Zhang walked quickly and caught up to him.
Just as Ji Yi was prepared to open his mouth and jeer at him, Liu Zhang suddenly said, "Don't talk. Just look over there. Can your knife skills be as good as his?"
Liu Zhang naturally referred to Yuan Zhou, who was seated at the door and making ice sculptures.
"Of course I can't. That is a piece of ice, not something else." Ji Yi gave Yuan Zhou's hands a good look and immediately said angrily. It wouldn't feel good to hold the piece of ice in his hands, let alone carving it.
"Ice?" Liu Zhang walked closer and also found it really was ice.
The ice in Yuan Zhou's left hand was about the size of a fist. And in his right hand was a small carving knife. That's right. He wasn't using the kitchen knife this time.
It was also the first time that Yuan Zhou used ice to make sculptures, so he didn't dare posture this time.
"This little brat must be crazy, trying to sculpt ice. Doesn't he want his hand?" Ji Yi frowned and said that.
"He's indeed crazy." Liu Zhang nodded his head approvingly.
Though the two people spoke like that, they didn't go up and try to stop him. Instead, they just watched him silently.
Yuan Zhou didn't have any special feelings being stared at. He was observing the piece of ice in his hand carefully now to find the best place to start carving.
"It feels so cold." Yuan Zhou held the piece of ice in his hand and couldn't help frowning.
The ice was cold while Yuan Zhou's hand was warm. After a while, the ice melted a little bit, but Yuan Zhou's hand was becoming pale slowly.
"Let me first carve it like this." Yuan Zhou's right hand started to move on the ice.
"Zi Zi". There emitted a sharp sound from the contact of the carving knife and the piece of ice. With the ice scraps falling off, the piece in his hand gradually turned into the shape of a rabbit.
Both its appearance and its shape were absolutely lifelike and realistic.
Yuan Zhou always carved quickly. And he carved more quickly today as it was a piece of ice. He had no reason not to carve quickly. It was getting warmer and the ice would melt very easily.
"It seems that I still have a long way to go with my carving skills." Yuan Zhou looked at the rabbit in his hand that had an unnatural fur texture and threw it into the trash bin without hesitation.
There was more than one person who saw Yuan Zhou carve the piece of ice. Some other customers also saw this scene. They had no choice. Yuan Zhou's restaurant was small and moreover, he didn't accept reservations. If they wanted to eat here, they had to come early.
"Tsk. This guy really has very high requirements." Liu Zhang sighed with emotion.
"Oh, really! That rabbit doesn't even have a basic shape. His knife skills are really not so good." Ji Yi sneered.
"You are not objective by saying that. Boss Yuan is probably just practicing," Liu Zhang said seriously.
"Even if he's practicing, the knife skills aren't satisfactory," Ji Yi insisted saying that.
"Did you forget that he used ice?" Liu Zhang reminded.
"Even so, his knife skills aren't satisfactory, either," Ji Yi pointed at the rabbit thrown into the trash bin and said.
"I don't want to waste time debating with you. After you finish the meal, don't continue to stay in Chengdu." It was rare for Liu Zhang to be a little unhappy.
"Humph. I haven't tasted the cooked wheaten food," said Ji Yi.
"Alright. Time to line up. Let's go." Liu Zhang pointed at the silver queuing machine, where there had been some people waiting.
"You pay the bill," Ji Yi suddenly said.
"Pardon? A chairman like you doesn't even have that much money?" Liu Zhang covered his wallet with his hands and stayed alert.
"Since you invited me here, you naturally have to pay," Ji Yi said deservedly.
If it were somebody else, he naturally would have agreed to pay the bill at this time. After all, there was no reason to ask others to pay the bill if he had proposed to treat others to a meal. But was Liu Zhang somebody else? Obviously not. Therefore, he said that quite naturally.
"But you are richer than me. I didn't even charge you for this information," said Liu Zhang, "We have a good relationship, so I transfer this privilege of paying for this meal to you."
"Okay, all right. If the Mantou doesn't taste good, don't even think of coming to my home for meals, not even during Chinese New Year." Ji Yi laughed in great anger.
"Don't worry. That's impossible," Liu Zhang said without any anxiety.
"Line up," after saying that, Ji Yi walked to the front of Liu Zhang.
And Liu Zhang pretended to be considerate and made room for him.
"Ho Ho." Ji Yi really had no idea what to say. One really could not judge a book by its cover. He had never seen such a shameless guy as him.
"It seems that I still need more practice to make the ice sculptures better." Yuan Zhou looked at the customers who had seen him carve the ice just now subtly and then stood up.
He looked again at the rabbit in the trash bin and then at his own hands. After that, he put away the carving knife without hesitation, returned to the kitchen, and started to prepare the ingredients for lunch.
Yuan Zhou turned on the tap and the cold water flowed out. He then put his hands under the tap to rinse them and stretched them slowly naturally.
His hands had turned pale due to the coldness of the ice. It wasn't good to rinse them in hot water directly. Washing them in cold water first could help to invigorate the circulation of blood.
For a chef, the importance of his hands spoke for itself.
While Yuan Zhou was preparing the food ingredients in the kitchen, there were more and more customers outside his restaurant. They had formed a long line, so long that it even turned several corners.
"So many people." Ji Yi knitted his brows.
"Of course. You won't regret listening to me to come early." Customer Liu Zhang didn't forget to praise himself.
The current manner of Liu Zhang was quite different from the temperament of a grand master like Yuan Zhou or Wu Hai. One should say there was nothing in common at all.
Ji Yi was quite accustomed to the shameless Liu Zhang boasting and therefore, he just looked back.
The crowd behind was noisy, but luckily, the queuing committee was maintaining the order at the side and some people were even giving out hot water. The scene looked fairly harmonious.
"There are already so many people. Why are you still waiting here? You probably can't get your turn today," a customer said to another customer in front of him.
"If I can't get my turn, you can't either. Then why are you still waiting in line?" The customer in the front turned his head and said.
"I'm not here to eat anything. I just come to have a look at Boss Yuan," the customer behind said primly.
"Yeah, yeah, right. As far as I could tell, the people here have already surpassed the total number of tickets during normal times. I think there's no chance for us to eat today." Immediately, another customer began to confuse others.
"Come on. I'm also here to visit Boss Yuan. You guys behind can stop waiting now. You surely can't see him today."
"How could that be? I'm a reporter and I come to interview him."
"I'm his fan and I came to cheer for Boss Yuan.
"I am here to see the lucky dish."
After the first customer started this topic, others that waited in line behind also began to debate like that. They all wished that others could leave quickly so that they could have a higher chance of eating dishes in Yuan Zhou's restaurant.
However, many people merely spoke but no one left. All of them only had the thought of looking at the dishes even if they couldn't eat any.
It was quite boisterous and lively in Yuan Zhou's restaurant at noon on the first day after he came back..