Chapter 74 – Wang Shiyu’s Present for Tian Xiaodu
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
The first day of Little Rain Restaurant working hours came to an end at 10pm. Once they have sent off the last of their customers, Ye Chui, Tian Xiaodu, Han Yuyan as well as Sun Yi were practically starving. Sun Yi cheerfully offered to cook, saying that he wished to show a little of his skills for them, but was rejected by Ye Chui. “Let me do it, ba. In a few days I’ll have to cook in front of an important customer, so I’m going use this time to further improve my skills.”
Sun Yi did not seemed at all surprised by Ye Chui’s remark, on the other hand, Tian Xiaodu eyes almost popped out. He already knew that Ye Chui’s cooking was good enough to bring Elder Han to his knees, to think that would have to entertain more important customers in such a short time, moreover, he wanted to spend more time making preparations, just how delicious would the end product be? Tian Xiaodu could not resist swallowing and said, “Master, would you need my assistance?”
“No need, I can manage on my own.” Ye Chui said with a smile as he went into the kitchen.
Hearing Tian Xiaodu address Ye Chui as ‘master’ made Sun Yi even more curious. Tian Xiaodu was clearly an elder if only in age, to think that he would address a young man barely out of his teens as master without shame.
However, that made Sun Yi even more curious was Han Yuyan’s presence. It took him a bit of time to realise that this great beauty was this little restaurant’s wait staff — it took him less time to realise just how terrible this Han Yuyan was at her waitressing job, but it was quite clear that Han Yuyan did not have a aura of someone who would willingly do grunt work at a small restaurant like this. Even more curious was that this great beauty also address Ye Chui as master…
He was still pondering over different thoughts when a smell from the kitchen tickled his nose, and suddenly, light dawned on him.
Sun Yi took in a deep breath, “Just what is this dish? It’s so fragrant!”
Tian Xiaodu looked like he was in ecstasy, “The flavour of this dish is completely different from the dishes made for Elder Han, but it certainly doesn’t lose to it. Big Rain, do you know who master will be entertaining in a few days? Is it someone at a similar level to your grandfather?”
“How could there be any person be the same level as my grandfather.” Han Yuyan was a little unhappy about Tian Xiaodu’s presence — possibly because she had a feeling that this fatty was about to snatch her master. As she elegantly drank her tea, she said, “It’s master’s future mother-in-law.”
Future mother-in-law? This was certainly a very important guest, ah. Tian Xiaodu nodded his head fervently.
“She’s an anorexic, but master said she could be cured if she eats this particularly dish he’s making.” Han Yuyan continued, Wu Haimei was someone she actually knew. Not only was she a socially important person at Yan Jing, her thin and dried up body really left quite an impression. As someone in the same social circle, Han Yuyan was fairly well informed about her condition. When Ye Chui said that he would be able to create a dish that could cure anorexia, she felt that it was something quite impossible. However, she quickly saw the possibility of a cure when she tried Ye Chui’s Eggplant Jerky.
“A dish that could cure anorexia?” Tian Xiaodu was immediately interested.
Sun Yi’s interest grew even more, he naturally knew that Ye Chui was about to entertain some important guest, but he had no idea that it was an anorexic. He immediately looked towards the kitchen, a crafty look in his eyes. Looks like his target is this dish…
Tasty Eggplant Jerky was something that Ye Chui was extremely familiar with, however, the difficulty level of this dish laid with the ingredients. Though this world was similar to Ye Chui’s, there were minute differences. For example cashew nuts, dried shiitake mushrooms tasted slightly different from the ones in his past world. In the end, Ye Chui had to start his research from the beginning, matching the right ingredients in terms of taste and amount in order to achieve the flavour he wanted. This was also the trickiest part of the dish.
About 20 minutes later, carried out a dish of freshly cooked Tasty Eggplant Jerky and placed it in the middle of the table. “Xiaodu, have a taste of this and let me know if there’s anything that needs improvement.
From the moment the dish was carried out, Tian Xiaodu kept his eyes fixed upon the plate. A pair of chopsticks already in his hands. He picked up a piece of eggplant and placed it gently on his tongue, immediately his face melted into sheer bliss.
“In the past, my goal in cooking is special emphasis on a single taste, but this dish is like the bloom of a hundred flowers, with different flavours flashing across the palate. I can taste cashew nuts, almonds, mushrooms, chicken… the special aim of this cooking seemed to be ‘delicacy’, but how is it that so many different ingredients and flavours could come together so harmoniously?”
Tian Xiaodu picked up one of the cubes of eggplant, and asked, “And what’s this ingredient? Must be something rare and expensive, right?”
“What’s your tongue made of? Those who could not discern good food should not speak nonsense. That’s no precious ingredient, it’s just eggplant.” Han Yuyan said smugly.
“What? Eggplant?” Tian Xiaodu’s reaction was the same as Grandma Liu in the story, “How could it be eggplant? Do eggplants really tasted like this?”
“Big Rain is correct, that’s eggplant.” said Ye Chui with a smile.
“But how do you make eggplants taste like this?!” Tian Xiaodu was incredulous. While he was not too clear about meat related dishes, his skill with vegetarian ingredients was incredibly masterful. Eggplants was something he was really familiar with, how was it that he absolutely could not sense even a trace of eggplant flavour in this?
An odd prickle of… something had already squeezed Sun Yi’s heart when he ate a piece of the so-called eggplant. He was truly stunned by this child — The food he had eaten just now, was the most delicious thing he had ever placed in his mouth. How could there be such delicious thing in this world? How could it be so delicious?
“Master, just how do you make this?” Tian Xiaodu asked impatiently, then he shook his head. “Aih, this dish is so rare and delicious, the recipe must be equally precious.”
“No, it’s nothing special really.” Ye Chui said with a smile.
“Nothing special?” Tian Xiaodu stared with wide eyes.
“This dish is called Eggplant Jerky, have you ever read <>? A character called Sister Feng actually described the cooking process!” Han Yuyan eagerly said, meaning to show off in front of the other disciples. She gleefully said, “In fact, your reaction is exactly like Grandma Liu.”
Ye Chui felt a sweatdrop forming on his forehead, “The first time you ate this you’re the same…”
Sun Yi remained silent through the whole interaction, he thought: I’ve read this <> before, I think there’s a special dish in there about eggplants… however, a novel is a novel, how could you make something just based on a novel’s description? Humph, who would have thought it’s this easy to steal Ye Chui’s special recipe, but no matter what, I must make sure to remember all the ingredients I see here too!”
“Xiaodu, is there anything lacking in this dish?” Ye Chui asked Tian Xiaodu with a smile. He spared a glance at Sun Yi. Just as Han Yuyan said, it’s not difficult to create a delicious Eggplant Jerky based on the instructions given in the book, especially if he already knows the ingredients Ye Chui planned to use. With just some test cooking and adjustments, anyone could recreate the same flavour.
This was, after all, a delicious eggplant dish called the Eggplant Jerky. However, Ye Chui intended to serve Wu Haimei the Imperial Court Eggplant Jerky…
Tian Xiaodu tasted the dish again, before finally shaking his head. “I feel that this dish has reached its peak, how could there be anything lacking?”
In the end, this fatty was nothing like Elder Han. Though he’s an excellent chef, when it came to flavour assessment, only someone like Elder Han with his sensitive palate and experienced tasting the best food around the world could discern the minute differences. Ye Chui felt that it was too bad that Elder Han was not here to give his opinion, however, the old man was now put under medical observation. Better not disturb the old man, he would just have to depend on his own tongue to achieve the final result.
They had the Eggplant Jerky with plain rice for dinner, a simple but extravagant was slowly consumed, signalling the end of the evening.
When the dishes and bowls were empty, Ye Chui looked over at Han Yuyan, he wanted to see just what this elder sister was going to do… ah, as expected, Han Yuyan merely stood up, gave a lazy stretched, and went upstairs. The only thing in her mind was a bath followed by sleep.
Ye Chui, “… …”
He knew that he could not depend on this elder sister to properly complete any wait staff duties…
It was Sun Yi who immediately collected all the dirty dishes while Tian Xiaodu helped Ye Chui clean up the kitchen, the dining hall and rearranged the chairs and table. The fat chef was about to leave when Wan Shiyu skipped up to him and shouted, “Uncle Fatty, wait a moment.”
At Wang Shiyu’s shout, Tian Xiaodu felt himself trembled.
Ye Chui also frowned, “Little Rain, why haven’t you gone to bed yet?”
“Elder Brother, I have a present for Uncle Fatty.” Wang Shiyu said with absolute adorableness, she sidled up next to Tian Xiaodu.
Tian Xiaodu’s face paled, “You… what are you trying to do?”
“Uncle Fatty, you squat down here!” Wang Shiyu said with a grin.
“Uncle Fatty, I just want to apologize for what happened before, ah.” Wang Shiyu said in her winsome, childish voice. Like a darting dragonfly, she dashed forward to hug Tian Xiaodu, her little lips kissed his cheek with in a loud smacking sound.
After the unexpected kiss, Wang Shiyu gave a tinkling little laugh, blushed, and ran up to her room.
In the driveway, Ye Chui and Tian Xiaodu was left standing in shock, has that little brat changed her character?
Tian Xiaodu was truly gobsmacked, though he had developed a little paranoia against small children. However, now that Little Rain had just given him a loud smacking kiss on the cheek, he felt that little kids could be quite cute too. To think that the gift was actually a kiss, from her own little lips no less. This gave him an incredibly wonderful floaty feeling… with a cheerful goodbye to Ye Chui, he left.
“… …” Ye Chui felt incredibly awkward, he had seen something red on Tian Xiaodu’s face, which looked a lot like a… lip-print? Just where did Wang Shiyu got her hands on a lipstick anyway? However, Ye Chui did not feel that there was anything the matter and did not inform Tian Xiaodu.
The next day, Tian Xiaodu appeared for work with a different red print on his face. It was a hand print, and he suddenly understood Wang Shiyu’s evil intentions…
Anyway, let’s talk about tonight first.
After all the dishes had been dried and put away, Sun Yi bade Ye Chui goodbye and hurried out. His hands already tapping at his phone, selected a number and called. It soon connected and he immediately declared, “Brother Fei, I have the recipe!”
[Gumihou: Sun Yi, please, please, please get your head out of your ass. Not that I think you’d do, but please get your head out of your ass.]