Chapter 20 – Kung Pao Chicken (Part 2)
Rehosted by – Kitchennovel.com
Re-Translated and Edited by Gumihou
There was a reason for Shiyu’s offer. Once she left this restaurant, someone would have to take over as the chief cook. With Xiao Wu still young, she would have to chose someone from this chef to lead the kitchen.
The chefs were all shocked by this announcement.
The 100 silver tael wage aside, what shocked them more was the cooking technique. This kind of unique recipe, normally a chef would defend to death, right? However, this girl had just openly demonstrated her techniques to everyone…
Was there something wrong with her brain…?
In truth, Shiyu never considered protecting her recipes. In her mind, a recipe was something to be shared. Even if everyone knew the recipe, she still had to pick out the best cook among them.
“Are you not happy with this arrangement?”
“Of course we’re happy!” the chefs all chorused.
“Very well, since today is opening day, you can make your own specialities first. As f or the Kung Pao Chicken, you can practice on your own when you get back. Alright, Lao Er, make sure you memorize the specialities of all these chefs. Next, I want you to put a 50% discount on all the regular dishes. Hmm, as for the speciality dishes, let’s make it one silver tael per dish!”
“… …” one silver tael?
Everyone sucked in a breath.
Would anyone actually buy a single dish at this kind of price?
“My dish is worth this much.” Actually, her secret plan was to work less and earn more. If everyone wants to order this dish, she’ll be exhausted to death being the only person to make it. “Also, it’s limited to 100 dishes only.”
Once the kitchen duties had been properly settled, it was getting close to the auspicious time for their restaurant to open. After the firecrackers were lit, customers from outside rushed in.
Lao Er had already put up a simple write up of the restaurant’s menu and prices. A single glance was enough for most to take in the general information. Which was basically…
Thankfully, quite a number of the people there were rich friends and connections of the Lin Clan who had been personally invited. However, they were not happy at the sight of the prices. Had they been tricked by the Lin Clan to be slaughtered here?
Lin Fan and Lin Zhan were quick to reassure their friends. With smiles, they reassured, “Since today is our big opening day, everything is free except for the signature dish.”
This was something they had agreed with Shiyu.
“So, if we don’t order the signature dish we can eat for free?” they couldn’t help asking.
At this, Lao Er hurried over to answer for Lin Zhan, “Honourable customer, there’s a limited number to our special signature dish. Once we have reached 100 dishes, customer will have to wait until the next day to order more.”
At this, everyone frowned, unable to connect what the limited sale have to do with the free dishes. Whatever, there’s free food, so let’s not worry about anything serious.
Since everyone seemed to accept this explanation at face value, they turned their attention upon the mysterious signature dish.
Now that they thought about it, since all the other dishes were free, they wouldn’t take a loss even if they order this ridiculously expensive dish.
Eventually, everyone made their order.
Within the kitchen, the one not used for frying Stinky Tofu by the way; since Stinky Tofu has a rather powerful smell, it would overwhelm whatever dishes cooked in the same area.
Once after another, steaming dishes were carried out. Delicious smells permeated the entire restaurant, causing everyone to relax and enjoy themselves as they ate. This relaxed atmosphere lasted until the first Kung Pao Chicken was brought out.
The moment this dish came out, all eyes fixed themselves upon this super expansive dish. Everyone was dying to know whether this dish was actually worth the one silver tael the owners demanded.
Very soon, it was set upon the table of a brave pioneer, and every watched with rapt attention for his reaction.
“Hot! Delicious! Five more, give me five more dishes!” as soon as that person swallowed his first bite, he waved frantically at the nearest waiter, afraid that he’d miss out the chance to eat more.
The surrounding people were stunned by his enthusiasm. All gazes zipped towards that mysterious Kung Pao Chicken dish, sudden fire flaring in their eyes…
Within the kitchen, Shiyu hadn’t stopped cooking. It’s been a long time since she had faced such non-stop onslaught cooking in a battle field like kitchen atmosphere. This was nothing at all like the time she made steamed buns. Her scant energy was quickly depleted, and she had to rest between bouts of cooking.
By the end of the 100 dishes, she could barely hold on to her chopsticks.
“I’m exhausted…” but satisfied too. It’s been a long time since she had experienced this kind of tired satisfaction of having completed numerous dishes perfectly. She’d have to increase her strength in the future so as not to feel so tired next time.
“Elder sister!” Lao Er ran in, “lots of customers are still clamouring for the Kung Pao Chicken. Since this is our opening day, what if we…” but before he could finished his sentence, his eye caught sight of an exhausted Shiyu, and he quickly cut himself off.
The chefs nearby said, “Just let her rest, ba! She’s still young and can’t take the heat yet. If she ruined her hands over this, it would be a great pity to the world.”
“En, en, this one is in the wrong. I shall inform the people outside.” with that, Lao Er ran out again.
Shiyu looked bemusedly at the rapidly disappearing back of Lao Er and shook her head. Now that she had nothing to do, she allowed herself to meander about, looking over the shoulders of the professional chefs. Since their signature dishes were at a certain standard, their cooking skills could be considered quite high.
However, most of their dishes could only be deemed as side dishes in the modern world. Most of them were quite basic, a splash of oil on hot wok, stir frying, followed by a little seasoning and then served.
Shiyu looked on as they cooked, offering random cooking hacks. Such as seasoning the pork with salt and cornflour just before cooking to add tenderness and reduce greasiness; pan fry fish with the skin side down to ensure it stays in one piece while cooking, and reduce fishiness.
Thus, the busy opening day eventually came to a close. Thanks to the Stinky Tofu and Kung Pao Chicken, Heavenly Fragrance Restaurant managed to etch itself into the mind of its diners.
That night, once the last of the customer had left and the tables and floors all wiped down, Shiyu gathered the chefs at the large dining hall.
“Today is our opening day, everyone worked very hard today. So let’s reward ourselves and eat as much as you like!”
After a good dinner, Shiyu bade Lao Er to bring out the list of sales for the day, “This is the number of dishes sold today, we have recorded everything so let’s see how you did.”
With that, Lao Er started to read out the numbers.
“Chef Li Liang, Stir Fried Bak Choi, 131 orders, Stir Fried Peas, 93 orders; Chef Wang Shou Ming, Pork & Radish Stew, 301 orders; Chef Zhao Ming, Spicy Pork Stir Fry, 280 orders…”
As Lao Er continued to read, the chefs who had been relaxed by the food and drink, slowly sat up straighter…
“Chef Li Liang, 131 portions of stewed white cabbage, 93 portions of stirred fried peas.”
“Chef Wang Shouming, 301 portions stewed radish with meat.”
“Chef Zhao Ming, 280 portions of spicy stirred fried pork.”
As soon as Lao Er announced this, the chefs immediately sit up straight and paid attention….
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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