Chapter 101: Having Meals

He then set down the spoon and chopsticks before picking up the pen and starting to write something on the notebook with great speed.
This good habit was learned due to the system. Ever since he was requested to shut down the restaurant and go around sampling other places last time, Yuan Zhou had been fond of such means, as he could learn and remember new things from every taste test.
As the new things increased in quantity, Yuan Zhou got into a habit of taking notes whenever convenient. This way, he wouldn’t worry that those things would be lost or forgotten.
For example, this time he recorded the aftertastes of the dishes below a heading of Baisheng Porridge Restaurant on the notebook.
“Rice porridge: the rice grains are superior ordinary rice, with attractive fragrance and moderate rigidity. Disadvantages include loss of scent due to overcooking and insufficient viscosity resulting from an excessive two bowls of water.”
“Side dish: it has a unique aroma. House-made chilli sauce was probably added inside to make it spicy and appetizing. Disadvantages include over seasoning and marinating time. “
After taking the notes, he continued to eat the rice porridge along with the side dish and waited for other dishes to be served.
When each dish was subsequently served to the table, Yuan Zhou gave it a try and then took notes.
As for the notebooks, Yuan Zhou had already used up two and this one was the third one.
Whenever the waiter served new dishes, Yuan Zhou put the notebook and pen aside and then began to fully assess the taste before making notes again. Having repeated the process several times, he soon filled three pages with his judgments of the aftertastes of the dishes.
Having finished breakfast in the restaurant, Yuan Zhou continued his journey of broadening his horizons.
It was nice weather, neither hot nor cold, and was quite suitable for visiting friends. In the mirror, Wang Shuyuan tidied the collar of his shirt until all the wrinkles disappeared and then went out unhurriedly.
Walking to the crossing, he fortunately bumped into the bus he was planning on taking. He leaped onto the bus, paid the fare and sat in a vacant seat. With his back upright, this aged man appeared fairly spirited.
The morning rush hour had passed, and the bus arrived at his destination on time.
A grandpa, who was dressed in shorts and T-shirt and appeared to be retired, was waiting at the bus stop.
“Old Zhou, you’re so early. Did you wait for a long time?” Wu Shuyuan asked politely while stepping off the bus leisurely.
“Not very long. You old fogey, why not take a taxi? Taxis are so convenient! On the other hand it takes one whole hour to get here by bus. Only you would have the patience.” though he said he hadn’t waited long, the aged man whose surname was Zhou still reproved him.
“Stop it with your blabbering. I can save some money that way, moreover it’s a greener commute.” Wang Shuyuan was quite frank and straightforward. The reason why he didn’t take a taxi was to save money.
“I really don’t know what to say. You try to save money in every aspect, but spend all of it on eating. Even if you’re retired now, you still seem so busy.” while leading the way, the aged man had a small talk with the other.
“Don’t you do the same as me?” Wang Shuyuan reached out to flatten the shirt hem wrinkling during he was seated and then said slowly.
“I’m not like you, who only know to eat.” the aged man denied immediately.
“It doesn’t make any difference. Food is the god to people.” Wang Shuyuan cited sayings from time to time.
“You old guy, were it not for I telling you there’s delicious food here, God knows when you are coming to see me.” the aged man said with a dissatisfied tone.
“No, you are wrong. I’m here now, right? Shall we go at noon?” Wang Shuyuan had long heard from the aged man that a restaurant nearby here served extraordinarily nice delicacies and the culinary skills of the chef were also god-tier.
“Old guy, you don’t even wanna go to my home?” the aged man turned around and glared at him.
“Yes, of course I do. I’m just asking since it is now almost noon.” when Wang Shuyuan found the aged man got truly angry, he admitted being defeated.
“Look at you. You retired this year. Why do you still love to eat so much?” although the aged man loved to eat, it was within the normal scope. But for this old friend of his, his liking for eating was far beyond normal.
“I know you were a producer of a quite popular cooking show and thus searched for delicious foods everywhere, for which I also showed decent understanding. After all, it was job demand. But I don’t get it well why you are still searching around for tasty dishes ceaselessly even after you retired.”
“I’m indeed retired now. But still, I have a lot of work to do these few months.” stroking his few beard on the lower jaw, Wang Shuyuan said proudly.
“What work do you have after retiring?” the aged man didn’t believe him at all.
“You think I’m lying to you, old man?” Wang Shuyuan stared at him and said earnestly.
“Ok, I believe you. Then tell me, what are you doing now?” the aged man thought that this old guy became more childish with age, to even get angry with him.
“No, I won’t. You’ll find out later.” Wang Shuyuan just kept his friend guessing, unhappily.
“Old Wang, you haven’t been here for a long time. Come on in.” the wife of the aged man was waiting at the door and saw the two old men debating while walking. Then she smiled and greeted them.
“Thank you. Sorry to bother you again.” Wang Shuyuan said with courtesy.
“Ok, ok. Don’t stand at the door, talking. Come on in and sit.” having changed shoes and entered the house first, the aged man said those to the two still giving each other formalities.
“Let’s eat at home for lunch and go to that restaurant in the evening.” the aged man arranged the schedule.
“Let me cook some more dishes.” the grandma immediately said enthusiastically.
“No need. We can just eat something ordinary.” Wang Shuyuan stood up immediately trying to stop the grandma.
“That’s right. Don’t bother cooking. This old guy was specifically waiting to go to the restaurant that with the appetizing Soup Dumplings for dinner.” the grandpa pulled his wife and said matter-of-factly.
“Oh, I see. Ok, go there and eat something yummy in the evening.” the grandma said generously.
After thinking for a while, she frowned and asked the grandpa beside her, “Didn’t you say the little master didn’t open the door?”
“Yes, indeed. I didn’t even manage to eat breakfast.” the grandpa complained first.
“Will he be opening the restaurant tonight?” Wang Shuyuan asked worriedly.
“Of course. That young master informed that he would open for business in the evening in the notice on the door. So we can wait in security.” there was complete trust contained in the tone of the aged man.
“What if he doesn’t?” Wang Shuyuan was still worried.
After all, even the grandpa said while describing the boss that Yuan Zhou had a peculiar temperament and was very obstinate. Opening hours were short while customers in line were many. Talented people always had their quirks and strange characters.
“No, it won’t happen. I’ve seen him run the restaurant for so long, and he always does as he says. There won’t be a problem.” the grandpa nevertheless showed plenty of confidence.
“Ok, guys. Let’s eat.” after the grandma carried all the dishes onto the table, she began to call the two old men.
“Coming. I haven’t eaten your dishes for so long.” Wang Shuyuan showed an expectant expression on his face.
The dishes cooked by the grandma didn’t require gorgeous culinary skills, but outclassed fine dining in aspects of natural warmth.
“If it’s to your satisfaction, then eat as much as you like. We’ll have to go earlier to line up in a little while, otherwise we won’t be able to get our turn.” while speaking, the grandpa picked up some dishes with the chopsticks and put them into the bowl of Wang Shuyuan, an intimate gesture among friends.
“No problem.” Waiting in line wasn’t a big problem at all for Wang Shuyuan. Previously, when he implored a descendant of a royal cook to cook a dish for him, he waited for 10 whole days, following them around every day. If needed, he even helped with manual labor, while following the chef like a stalker. In the end, that descendant finally agreed after he couldn’t bear the harassment of Wang Shuyuan any longer.
Moreover, since he was already old, he simply told his grandson to cook a dish of Eight Treasure Chicken. That delicate taste was an unforgettable one in Wang Shuyuan’s life. Even so, the descendant of the royal cook declared it was only a simplified version of the dish.
For the authentic Eight Treasure Chicken, he had to prepare ingredients at least one year beforehand. Even the chicken had to be fed specially in order to be able to cook that dish.
Therefore, it was quite an easy task to merely wait in line.
Meanwhile, Yuan Zhou was also learning the techniques and positive aspects of the dishes he tasted, and at the same time learning to avoid the mistakes the restaurants made. The process of taste testing was repeated over and over, the instinctive human desire to pursue perfection displaying itself in full throttle.
He continued to eat.

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