Chapter 123 – Other World Sweet and Savour Battle

Translated by Kitchennovel dot com

 

[Beancurds] was lightly steaming from two white porcelain bowls set before them. A small porcelain spoon was laid next to the bowls.

“This!” Klaus looked at into the bowl with bright eyes.

The gentle fragrance of the [Beancurd] tickled his nose, it was the fragrance of crushed soybeans.

The most amazing thing was how the pure white thing inside was, despite its soft and tender appearance it seemed to hold its shape when poked lightly. Across the white, tender expanse was a layer of red golden syrup. It looked like some kind of white jade wrapped in smooth amber stone. However, far from being stone like, the matter jiggled the moment it was set down on the table, giving an impression of bounciness.

The warm sweet syrup twined with the fragrant smell of beans, even before it touches the tongue, one could imagine its melting sweetness from sight alone. It’s a powerful lure for anyone with a sweet tooth.[1]

“Humph, that kind of sweet thing, just looking at it makes me feel sick.” Julian’s lips curled as he glared from the side. As his gaze fell upon the bowl in front of him, and his eyes sparkled.

The same tender white [Beancurd] nestled within the bowl. It was topped with finely minced pickled mustard and a few other condiments, drizzled with a mouth watering red-orange sauce. The scent of both sauce and minced condiments, warmed by the steaming [Beancurd], was just too captivating.

“This savoury one looks really appetizing, it has to be delicious, ba.” Julian thought, feeling some anticipation for his meal.

Both men picked up their spoons and scooped some [Beancurds] into their mouth.

Mike, Amy and Abbe Mia watched with bated breath from the side, eyes filled with curiosity as they stared at the two man. Just which type of [Beancurd] would these grandpas prefer?

“En! This flavour!” Klaus’ eyes rounded in astonishment, pure white [Beancurd] wrapped in exquisitely delicate syrup melted in his mouth, blending the two gentle fragrance together to create a particular sweetness that was nothing like the crude sweets he had had in the past. The red syrup was neither too sweet nor cloying, its gentle flavour enhances the delicate fragrance of soybeans.

He swallowed with an audible [gulu], all that was left in his mouth was a gentle after taste on his tongue, a lingering sweetness as light as a memory.

“This should be made from soybeans, ba? But, just how did you manage to wring the essence of the soybeans to this level? It’s so tender that one did not need to chew it, it just melts in the mouth! And this sweet syrup, of course it’s sweet, but it was not too thick or strong, on the contrary it’s surprisingly refreshing.” Klaus looked up at Mike, his heart filled with a thousand questions. The spoon in his hand quivered and he could no longer resist, one spoonful after another, no matter how much he ate, he never got tired of the taste.

“Delicious! Tasty! How could there be such deliciousness in this world!” on the other table, Julian stared at his empty spoon, almost dazed with shock.

The combination of the red-orange sauce and [Beancurds] as well as the other condiments were sent to his mouth with some eagerness. The [Beancurd] melted and blended with the savoury sauce. The finely minced condiments created a harmony like sensation that reminded him of the excitement of creation. The umami flavour danced upon his tongue, and when swallowed, left a refreshing after taste that was just irresistible.

For Klaus who had been here quite a few times for the [Yang Zhou Fried Rice], he at least have some mental preparation for the assault against his senses. On the other hand, this was the first time Julian encountered Mike’s gourmet dishes, and suffered the full brunt of its attack. A second spoonful trembled as it made its way to his mouth, and his wrinkled face crinkled further into a joyful smile.

“It looks they both really enjoyed it.” Mike’s lips also quirked up into a smile. To be able to see his food acknowledged by others, and bring such satisfied smiles on his customers’ faces, there could be no other satisfaction as potent as this for a cook.

[Tang!] [Ting!]

The ringing sound of spoons against empty bowls signalled the end of this wonderful experience. Both Klaus and Julian looked into the empty depths with some dissatisfaction.

“Boss, I’d like another [Savoury Beancurd], this flavour is just too wonderful!”Julian placed the spoon down on the table as he looked at Mike with a rather excited expression.

“[Sweet Beancurd] is the best!” Klaus glared at Julian, and spoke to Mike, “Boss Mike, may I have a second helping of [Sweet Beancurd], please? I will pay, just name the price.”

“What’s so good about that sickly sweet thing?. To think that a hundred year old grandpa still likes sweets, are you a child?” Julian glanced at Klaus from the corner of his eye, clearly looking down at the other old man.

“What’s so good about a salty dish? The tender and delicately flavoured [Beancurd] is best served as a sweet dessert. What you’re suggesting is blasphemy and should be thrown into the fires of hell. How could that rubbish be compared to the sweet and tender after taste of a gently flavoured [Beancurd] sliding down one’s throat.” Klaus glared at Julian, his hand tightened on his magic staff, faint red flames could be seen licking up the entire staff. It looked like he was truly angry.

“Nonsense! Your words are blasphemy itself, [Savoury Beancurd] is the ultimate form of [Beancurd. A man of shallow understanding like you is incapable of understanding the perfect deliciousness of delicately balanced sauce, carefully selected condiments and perfectly tender[Beancurd].” Julian’s voice also grew louder, frost appeared around his feet and the air around him grew several degrees colder.

“Apologies, but we have not yet started selling this product yet. Nor have we prepared any tasting samples, so I’m afraid I can’t give you a second bowl,” Mike looked at the the two people in front of him who were prepared to battle unto death with a slightly odd expression. He was probably witnessing the start of this world’s Sweet – Savoury War, ba.

Who would have thought that that these two who had came to battle over Amy’s discipleship would transfer their quarrel over to [Beancurds]. In his past life, the faction battles were conducted over various forums or Weibo by keyboard warriors. No matter how fierce or heated the arguments become, nobody actually came to out in the streets to fight in the name of their favoured flavour.

However, things were different in this world. If Klaus and Julian really got serious over their quarrel, there was a high chance that this could lead to an actual all out battle over [Beancurds].

“[Sweet Beancurd]… delicious.” Abbe Mia whispered to herself from the side, her voice low enough that only she herself heard it.

“Both are super delicious, why are they quarrelling?” Amy’s little face was a little confused as she looked at these two old men, she really couldn’t understand it.

“None left?” Klaus and Julian were clearly disappointed, when their gaze landed on each other, the fire within their hearts flamed higher from this unexpected disappointment.

They were already angry over the matter of discipleship, after that bowl of [Beancurd], both were even more ready to fight.

“Julian you heretic, I’ve endured the sight of you for too long. Let us battle it out properly, ba! I must bash you in the head at least once today!” Klaus thumped the base of his staff on the floor and got up, burning eyes glaring at Julian.

“Humph! Do you think that I, Julian, will be afraid of you? I’m going to seal you into an ice coffin and drop you into a river to feed the fishes!” Julian also stood up, his sandy voice grated gloomily as he stared at Klaus.

“So, you’re really going to battle over [Sweet and Savoury Beancurds], even though both are equally delicious?” Amy asked the two old men curiously.

After a short while, she clapped her little hands,” Then, quickly fight, ba. But you’re not allowed to do it in the restaurant!”

 

[Translator: Boss Mike could probably sell tickets to the fight.]

 

[1] Some creative licence taken – To be honest, I got tired of seeing ‘it’s so fragrant…after taste left in teeth…alluring smell…amazing…awesome.. etc and decided to just take liberties with the descriptions and put in some variety.

 

 

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Translated and edited by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

 

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