Chapter 55: Differences among Abalones

“What a tough job that is! Boss Yuan must have worked so hard trying to find such odd holidays.” Strong displeasure could be heard from an irritated voice.
“Let’s do this. Yinyin, you check the internet and see if there is any kind of weird holiday tomorrow.” the man instructed after calming down.
The girl who kept checking the holidays turned out to be Yinyin. She then started searching for the information obediently just like she was told.
After being in a daze for a great while, Vice Division Chief Lee finally came around. He asked curiously, “Will the boss open the door later? What if he has escaped? I heard the dishes in this restaurant are fairly expensive.”
“Newcomers know nothing. With Boss Yuan’s culinary skills, it’s absolutely a waste if he doesn’t cook.” In other words, Yuan Zhou was nobody if he was not a chef.
The sentence was incisive and straightforward. Furthermore, many people agreed, nodding their heads.
Vice Division Chief Lee was finally convinced now. However, since the door wasn’t open yet, he couldn’t just go back and report that to his superior. Therefore, he asked again, “Will the boss open the restaurant today?”
“What kind of nonsense are you spouting? It probably won’t be open today.” the man’s answer was quite interesting. He first scorned Vice Division Chief Lee’s question, but the later part of his answer wasn’t certain as well. It seemed he also wished for the restaurant to be open today.
Vice Division Chief Lee couldn’t just stand here waiting the whole day. He thought for a while and decided to come for an inspection tomorrow morning, then give a more accurate report to his superior.
“I got it. I have searched quite a few times,” Yinyin said with an affirmative tone.
“So? Any other holidays tomorrow?” the man asked in a low voice.
“No, there won’t be any more odd holidays tomorrow.” With the way Yinyin spoke while gasping for breath, the people around would have strangled her if she wasn’t a girl.
“That’s great. With no holidays, let me see what excuse Boss Yuan can provide.” Hearing the good news, several people sighed in relieve. Afterward, they dispersed in twos and threes, preparing to come again tomorrow.
It turned out that they were still much too naïve. For the third day, Yuan Zhou took another approach in sticking the A4 paper on the wall. Therefore, Wu Hai, who had not gotten a decent meal these past two days, still didn’t manage to catch Yuan Zhou. The method used this time was simple and brutal.
Yuan Zhou just set his alarm clock to 2:00 a.m, then after getting up, he walked out to the front door secretly.
Who had ever admired the sky of Chengdu at 2 before dawn? At least before that day, Yuan Zhou hadn’t ever seen that. Now he could gaze at the sky to his heart’s content.
In the darkness of the night, the surroundings emitted a biting chill. The street lamps sparkled dimly along the road, giving off an indescribable atmosphere. Yuan Zhou had wore a jacket specifically, thus didn’t feel cool at all.
“Whoops! You really scared me.” Instantly, Yuan Zhou’s voice resounded across the empty street.
It was a dog lying prone at the entrance that frightened Yuan Zhou. Those glittering eyes in the dark surroundings formed a huge contrast. Even Yuan Zhou, that was usually courageous, was greatly startled.
The dog raised his head, glancing at Yuan Zhou, then lay back down, without making the slightest sound.
Yuan Zhou approached the dog and discovered it was the Maltese with mixed hair colors, which he fed with broth every day. It was lying still in the dark night with its shiny black eyes gazing around on high alert as if it were protecting something.
“What are you lying there for? Go to your own place.” Yuan Zhou clearly knew the restaurant was very safe and didn’t need any guarding. Nevertheless, he was still happy to see that scene.
He had never expected anything back from one he helped. Of course, if there was, he would be happy as well.
The Maltese turned its head back and looked at Yuan Zhou, with its distinctive style. It then continued to guard the restaurant alertly, ignoring Yuan Zhou.
“All right. You can sleep wherever you want.” Realizing that the dog wouldn’t obey him, he shrugged and stuck the notice onto the door. Wearing a pair of slippers, he then went back to his own bedroom with a swagger, preparing to get more sleep.
Without Yuan Zhou’s knowledge, the Maltese had been guarding the restaurant for many nights already.
The sky lit up with the morning rays of the sun. It was another sunny day. Having agreed beforehand to go together, several regular customers were walking towards the restaurant. When they saw a slip of paper pasted at a conspicuous place on the front door from a distance, they suddenly had a bad premonition, thus they ran up to check the content hurriedly.
“Can this damn unbelievable reason also be used?”
“I will definitely kneel down to the talented boss,” said a man called Ye Liangchen.
“I really admire his talent.” After finishing that sentence, another man turned and left.
“The boss always acts pretty cool. I’m convinced of that now. If possible, I wish I could hit him. Of course, I will not hit his hand and face.” It’s quite a logical and reasonable statement.
After all, if Boss Yuan’s hands got hurt, he wouldn’t be able to cook anymore.
Notice, “I’m not happy today as I didn’t manage to find a holiday. So I declare today as a rest day to overcome my bad mood. However, the restaurant will be open for business tomorrow.”
The signature was still from Yuan Zhou.
This time, there was no customer waiting at the entrance anymore. It looked as same as other closed restaurants.
Having rushed over here hurriedly, Vice Division Chief Lee once again encountered a closed restaurant. This time, there wasn’t even a customer waiting outside, only the lonely notice being left pasted on the door. He got really angry when he took a look at the contents of the notice.
“How could a mere tiny restaurant dare to be so capricious?” He had much to grumble about to his boss on the way back.
As he didn’t even manage to enter the restaurant, Vice Division Chief Lee had nothing to report to his superior. Therefore, he could only head there again on the next day. Fortunately, the notice said that the restaurant would be opened tomorrow.
Change is the only constant in this world. At that moment, the Division Chief sent someone to inform him, “The Division Chief has something to talk with you.”
“All right. I’ll be there right away.” Vice Division Chief Lee could only helplessly agree.
“Dong Dong”
The knocks interrupted the Division Chief’s line of thought while editing documents. He then sat upright and said, “Come in.”
“Division Chief, I’m sorry. That restaurant has been closed for three days. I don’t know what happened either.” Once Vice Division Chief Lee entered the office, he first gave an apology and then explained carefully.
“So, many people are giving high praise concerning the culinary skills of that chef? The Division Chief asked with interest.
“Yes, they do. The problem is that the boss seems quite absurd.” No doubt, there was discontent in the Vice Division Chief Lee’s remarks.
“If the chef has such superb culinary skill as described by those people, it would be understandable.” the Division Chief said with a smile.
However, Vice Division Chief Lee didn’t think that way. He just stayed silent as there was no way for him to refute his superior face to face.
“Ok. After getting off work tomorrow, let’s go to the restaurant again.” The Division Chief was fairly curious about the 30-square-meter restaurant that needed to pay such a hefty amount of tax. Furthermore, the boss was known to be a strange person. He felt that these were sufficient reasons for him to go for an inspection himself, no matter for his own curiosity or for official business.
For the past two days, Yuan Zhou had been spending money to taste various dishes. He had gained quite a lot from those experiences. Some restaurants didn’t have the top quality ingredients that he had access to, but they still insist on using the freshest ingredients.
For example, there was a steamed bun store in a residential area. It was open for only 4 hours per day; furthermore, the price was twice of other restaurants. Yet, all their steamed buns were sold out every day. Many people even came back to ask for more.
Yuan Zhou failed to buy one the first time. All the steamed buns were sold out just when it reached his turn. By the way, that store only sold buns with meat fillings, no other fillings were available.
During his second try, Yuan Zhou managed to buy one. He then understood the reason why the store was opened only for 4 hours. It was to prepare clean ingredients. The boss had done everything he could to maintain the cleanliness along with obtaining the freshest ingredients. However, the taste couldn’t be said to be on par with those delicacies.
Yuan Zhou heard of another famous old restaurant this time. Its specialty dish was wild abalones. Each customer could only be served a limited amount for each meal. It was said to be incomparably fresh and delicate, thus Yuan Zhou followed its reputation and came here to taste it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *