"Even so, we there will be one less reason to eat the banquet." Wu Hai said solemnly.
"No, you won't. I'm still here." When Yuan Zhou said that, his tone was both very indifferent and very resolute.
"Oh, okay." Wu Hai was stupefied for a while. After that, he sat down and said no more.
That's right. Yuan Zhou had always been there. It made no difference even if his birthday was in a leap month of a leap year or he had to wait another ten years or twenty years before his next birthday arrived. Anyway, Yuan Zhou was always there, wasn't he? Why rush?
This reason straightforwardly convinced Wu Hai and also made other customers have some thoughts and feelings. They felt the dishes in front of them became more delicious.
After all, Yuan Zhou had devoted all his seriousness to them, every dish was like that.
"This is the 9th course, Fish Head Soup. Please take your time and enjoy." Yuan Zhou carried a brown wood-like soup bowl and put it on the table lightly.
"As the last course of the banquet, I don't know if the soup can be superior to the previously excellent dishes." Zhou Shijie looked at the milky-white fish soup with great interest.
"There should be no problems." Chu Xiao was quite confident.
"Since the previous dishes are all so wonderful, I would like to see how this banquet will end." Liu Tong picked up the spoon and just waited for his teacher to eat first. Then, he would drink it immediately.
The banquet dishes all over the table were actually one whole. You can't just do well at the beginning but took it easy during the final stage. That would definitely affect the impression of the entire banquet as a whole.
Take the story that we often heard from others for example. As the story goes, a chef made some dishes in a banquet very salty. When he served a bowl of soup in the final stage, however, he forgot to put salt in the soup, which contrarily made people feel it was a heavenly delicacy.
If the dish tasted so bad, undoubtedly, no one would eat it to the end. Leaving that aside, there was definitely water during the meal. If that the dish was too salty, why didn't people drink some water? How was it possible that they just waited for the soup without any salt foolishly?
Therefore, it was unlikely for the soup to have no salt.
"The milky-white soup is just like the cow's fresh milk. It carries a slight fish flavor but has no offensive smell at all. Well, there is even a little scorched aroma. What an odd flavour!" Zhou Shijie smelled it carefully and then said.
"You'll know what it is after you eat." Yuan Zhou wasn't keeping people guessing on purpose. He just didn't like talking too much while cooking.
And in his opinion, it wasn't necessary to explain this point.
"Good idea." Zhou Shijie nodded his head and then Yuan Zhou left.
"This is the last course of the All-Fish Banquet today. The tenth one is definitely dessert. So can any of you three tell me where the scorched aroma comes or what it is?" Zhou Shijie stroked his beard with his fingers and was in no hurry to eat it.
"It's naturally the ..." Without any hesitation, Chu Xiao prepared to tell the answer. However, he was interrupted by Zhou Shijie right away.
"You tell me after them. If you tell me now, that will be called a spoiler." Zhou Shijie took a look at Chu Xiao angrily.
Chu Xiao shrugged indifferently. He was looking at the Fish Head Soup carefully from the appearance to the fragrance. After all, there was something that he also didn't understand.
"The scorched aroma definitely comes from the joints of the fish head and the body. Since this Boss Yuan has removed all the fish meat, however, it definitely comes from its face at the head that has been stir-fried." After Li Minghui observed it very carefully, he brought out his answer.
"Um. That indeed makes sense. What about you?" Instead of saying yes or no, Zhou Shijie turned to look at Liu Tong.
"Normally speaking, my fellow brother should be quite right, even if it appears that the white and tender fish head hasn't been stir-fried before. Now that our teacher is asking us, and because it is cooked by this chef, I think there's definitely something different." Liu Tong's eyes were full of fear when he looked at Yuan Zhou now.
"And then?" Zhou Shijie signaled him to continue.
"So the scorched aroma surely isn't from the fish head. It might be from something else. For example, some kind of leaves with special fragrance or some other ingredients." Liu Tong knitted his brows and said that with slight uncertainty.
"Ok. You can stop it now. These two idiots don't know. You tell me." Zhou Shijie was also a little helpless in the heart, thus he had to say that to Chu Xiao.
He spent so much time on his two disciples, but still, they were no match for Yuan Zhou and Chu Xiao. Thinking of that, Zhou Shijie felt a slight heartache.
"Rice crust. There is rice crust in the soup and thus, we can smell some scorched aroma." Chu Xiao said lightly.
In his opinion, it wasn't really a very difficult question. He was more curious if the taste of the soup could be as good as how he had imagined.
"Rice crust?" "Rice crust?" Li Minghui and Liu Tong shouted in surprise with one accord.
"Right, it's indeed the rice crust. The scorched aroma of meat is quite different. Out of the two of you, one doesn't know while the other merely speculated it. Humph." Zhou Shijie snorted coldly and discontentedly.
"It is really an odd cooking method to put the rice crust in the fish soup." Liu Tong murmured. He wasn't really afraid of Zhou Shijie's anger.
"Sorry, teacher." Li Minghui on the contrary apologized seriously.
"That's fine. Let's drink it." Zhou Shijie waved his hand. After that, he picked the spoon up and started to scoop the soup up.
"Hua La, Hua La". Basically, a bowl could be filled with one and a half big spoonful of soup. The fish soup was just enough to fill four bowls, 80% full, without a single drop more or less.
"You little brat, why don't you just call yourself 'a bowl of soup'? There's not even a drop more." Looking at the empty soup bowl, Zhou Shijie pointed at Yuan Zhou and said.
"Thank you for your compliments. That way, it won't be wasted." Yuan Zhou accepted the compliments deservedly.
"I'm not complimenting you." Zhou Shijie almost laughed out due to the extreme anger. He said no more and directly drank the soup.
"I'd like to eat the rice crust in the soup to savor the taste." Liu Tong was most curious about the rice crust.
Theoretically, the rice crust would surely soften upon touching the water. The taste of the soft rice crust need not be brought up as it was not really delicious and pleasing. Naturally, Liu Tong also got ready to eat the unpleasant rice crust.
Once the rice crust entered his mouth and was bitten, however, it emitted a sound of "Ka Ca, Ka Ca". Having been soaked in the fish soup, it still maintained the crisp texture yet with a lower level of hardness, which did not make it feel that hard anymore.
Nonetheless, it was easier to chew and the taste was more wonderful. With the crisp texture and the fresh and delicious fish soup that overflowed continuously upon biting, the more one chewed, the more fragrant and crisper it became.
"This is the first time that I find out rice crust and fish soup are a perfect match." Liu Tong was greatly astounded.
Meanwhile, he didn't forget to drink a mouthful of fish soup. This time, the feeling was totally different again.
Upon entering the mouth, fish soup would normally taste fresh and fragrant. However, it wasn't so this time. Instead, there was a faint, delicate fragrance. Only after that came the strong fresh and fragrant fish soup. It was so fresh that Liu Tong even wanted to swallow his tongue up. This was what Liu Tong was thinking now.
"How unexpected, I can also experience such a feeling one day that makes me want to swallow my tongue." Liu Tong smiled with a manner of self-mockery.
Originally, this comment was usually made by others to express their acknowledgment to his culinary skills. However, it proved to be quite ironic now. The fish soup cooked by him was far from being called "fresh" if compared with Yuan Zhou's.
Only the Fish Head Soup cooked by Yuan Zhou displayed the freshness and delicacy of the fish soup...