Chapter 101 – Is That Little Match Girl?
The two grilled dishes Mike had ordered soon arrived, the wait staff even gave them a complimentary pot of tea.
“Daddy dearest, can I eat now?” Amy was staring at the roasted lamb, her eyes bright.
“Go ahead, but be careful. It’s hot.” Mike said with a smile, he was also staring at the plate of pre-sliced steak in front of him.
The grilled beef served in front of him was like a cross between western style steak and meat skewers. Only, the pieces of meat was not threaded on a bamboo skewer. For a proper steak, you should have grilled the whole piece of meat together, but this was sliced, then grilled, which will result in a weaker taste of beef. Not only that, they’ve also slathered on heaps of sauce, and sprinkled on the seasoning powder too early. It was over cooked to the point of burning and the pungent smell of spices was just too overpowering.
For someone who was used to delicately seasoned food, his first impression of another world grilled food was just too horrible. In his past life, if he was struck by a crazy urge to visit a skewer stand, even those street stalls would be ashamed to serve this thing to people.
“Okay,” Amy nodded, picked up a fork and stabbed at one of the pieces of lamb with some force. With great enthusiasm, she took a large bite, and began to chew happily. It was a very cute look on her.
“Is it good?” Mike, who had more or less lost his appetite, felt some of it came back the longer he looked how happily Amy ate. He was truly curious in what she thought of it.
“En, it’s not bad. Of course, it’s not as delicious as daddy’s rainbow rice and [Juicy Burger], but it’s still yummy. Daddy, when are you going to make barbecue?” Amy nodded a few times after swallowing the meat in her mouth, she looked up at Mike with eyes sparkling with expectations.
“I’ll definitely make some in the future.” Mike said with a smile. He also looked forward to the time when he could make all kinds of skewered dishes for Amy, but who knows when the [System] will actually launch a skewered recipe option. It was not something he could control, after all.
“Maybe, in the future I’ll give Amy her meals after the customers have arrived. She has such a wonderfully delicious way of eating. Even made that awful rock pancake thing look delicious. This would attract even more customers compared to any other kind of advertising.” Mike thought all this as Amy continued to eat with great relish. He made up his mind to let Amy eat whenever new dish he planned to introduce in the future, Amy’s delicious way of eating would be the best advertising he could hope for.
It had gone past noon, and in truth he was also a little hungry. The meat sitting on his plate still looked unappetizing, but the way Amy ate whetted his appetite a little. At the very least, it inspired Mike to try the food in front of him. He picked up his fork, speared a piece of beef and placed it into his mouth. A few chews later, his brows drew together, wrinkling the skin on his forehead.
Over cooked. The meat must have been left on the grill too long. In order to send out their orders quickly, the kitchen must have cooked a whole batch of meat and just let them sit on the grill getting tougher and tougher until some unfortunate soul ordered the dish.
The sauce was too complicated. He couldn’t tell how many kinds of spices or seasoning had been mixed into it. Pepper, sugar, salt, ginger juice… it was just too random, it was certainly spicy and stimulating to say the least, but the natural flavours of the meat was overwhelmed by the sauce. The only sensation Mike could feel in his mouth and on his tongue was numbness from being stabbed by various spices.
The only thing he could say was that, diners who prefer heavier taste would probably like it. Pushing deliciousness aside in pursuit of an exciting stimulation.
In the past, Mike would have left after this one mouthful, but here was Amy, sitting right in front of him, eagerly gobbling up huge mouthfuls of her grilled lamb. This was her first time eating grilled meat, seeing her happy face, he silently placed his fork down and picked up the glass of tea beside him.
“En?” this complimentary tea actually caused Mike to brightened a little. It was sweet and a bit tart, a little like lemon juice, though the colour was kind of orange, almost like honey water. Very soon, the spicy sensation in his mouth disappeared. Feeling relief washed over him, he couldn’t help but poured another cup for himself and down it in two gulps.
“Excuse me, may I know what water this is?” Mike asked a passing waiter.
“Dear customer, this is lime infused water,” said the wait staff with a smile.
“Very well, thank you.” Mike nodded. Though he was not sure what kind of fruit lime was, the infused water was very delicious. Afterwards, he intended to visit a fruit stall and have a look. Perhaps he could also offer his own customers lime infused water. Most of the time after finishing their [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] and [Juicy Burgers], his customers often felt a little dry throat and would asked him for a drink, unfortunately all he could offer them was water.
“Host, the [System] wish to remind you that the restaurant is forbidden from selling anything that is not made from ingredients bought from the [System], this include drinks!” The [System’s] voice echoed in Mike’s head.
“Who says I’m selling,” Mike smiled cheekily, “I’ll be handing them out free.”
“… …” within Mike’s brain, a long line of dots followed. After a while, the [System] roared, “Host, your behaviour is a provocation against the [System]! Your behaviour will reduce the standard of this restaurant! Egoistical! I’m done! This…”
“[System], do you sell higher class limes?” Mike interrupted.
“Currently not selling.” the [System’s] voice was rigid, and a little curt.
“This won’t do, just because you’re not selling, you won’t let me buy, ah.” Mike curled his lips, but after some consideration he said, “Fine, I don’t actually have a recipe or experience in juice making, I’ll buy a few limes and do some experimentations, ba.”
He recalled that one time he tried making lemonade in his past life, no matter what he added to the lemon juice, whether its sugar or honey, it had always turned out bad. Therefore, he really had no confidence of making anything good out of it.
He poured Amy another cup of the lime water, ate two more pieces of the beef slices before giving up as a lost cause. It’s better to just wait until he got home and make himself a [Yang Zhou Fried Rice], ba. Compared to his own fried rice, the flavour of this beef was just too poor.
“Daddy dearest, you’re not eating any more?” Amy looked at Mike’s nearly full plate curiously.
“En, I’m full up.” Mike nodded.
“Then, why don’t Amy help daddy eat the rest?” Amy’s eyes fixed itself onto Mike’s plate of sliced beef.
“Alright.” Mike switched their plates, looking at little Amy in a pampering way. Though it was the first time she tried grilled meat, she seemed to like it a lot. The grilled meat served here should represent the mid-upper quality of this world’s barbecue. The grilling technique was not bad, the knowledge of seasoning and sauces quite intensive, but the execution was just too poor.
“Daddy, the barbecue today is really delicious. To think that’s what grilled meat actually tasted like.” even as they left the shop, Amy continued to babble happily.
“In the future, daddy will make you some grilled meats that 100 times even more delicious than this.” Mike said as he stroked Amy’s head. This kind of barbecue would not even make it to the entry level of his outrageously steep standard.
A true gourmet barbecue should be lightly charred on the outside and tender on the inside. The fragrance of the sauce should complement the flavour of the beef, creating a delicious harmony within the mouth. It should be delicious, not too chewy, tender and juicy before it could even be properly qualified as proper barbecued beef skewer.
There were actually customers who lined up in front of Mickey’s restaurant at noon sharp. After waiting and knocking at the door for a long time without anyone coming to serve them, they finally left, disappointed by their futile effort. The people finally understood that Mike really meant his words. If he said he will close his restaurant for a day, it would be pointless to come at all, better to just spend the day resting at home.
Mike brought Amy and, the just awaken, Little Ugly Duckling around Aden Square and let the two play for a couple of hours. He waited until two of them were engrossed in their games to wonder over to a nearby stall to purchase a few lime fruits. When the two finally seemed to tired out a little, he insisted on going home.
“Daddy, dearest, look, there’s someone in front of our shop. Do you think it’s the Little Match Girl?” they were still quite far away, but Amy’s sharp eyes spotted someone at their door. She pointed at the still faraway figure, her face filled with amazement.
[Translator’s Note: Hmmm, the last few paragraphs were a bit abrupt, I’m so tempted to flesh it out, but… I have 61 chapters to edit and rehost, just for this one novel and…whatever, I’m going to ignore this.]
Translated and edited by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com