Who the hell said the Japanese Grenadier Anchovy had too many fish bones but merely tasted ordinary? Who told me this chef's culinary skills were just average? Tengyuan was so angry that he wanted to beat somebody, but he grudgingly placed the bowl down.
"Ba Ji Ba Ji". Tengyuan savored the steamed rice and fish meat of the anchovies in his mouth.
"What a fresh and tender taste!" Tengyuan narrowed his eyes slightly and slurp a mouthful of the fish meat gently.
The fish meat of the Japanese Grenadier Anchovy immediately unfolded in Tengyuan's mouth like the flower petals of lilies. It was fine and tender. Apart from the fresh taste that rushed straight into his throat, there was also the intrinsic faint scent of the steamed rice. Meanwhile, there was also a refreshing taste of the sweet wine mixed inside, too.
As the fish was steamed along with the rice, it was well cooked on the wooden strips as the rice below became steaming hot.
Because the fish bones had already been removed, the sparse wooden strips couldn't support the fish meat and thus fell on the rice. The originally half-cooked fish meat turned into small pieces and instantly became perfect as soon as it touched the scalding rice water below. Also, the taste of the sweet wine penetrated the fish meat and then it was wrapped in a layer of rice water.
As a result, the rice water outside would be absorbed by the fish meat when the rice was well-cooked and the fresh and scalding fish meat was then revealed.
Apart from that, the fish meat wouldn't be overcooked because of the sweet wine. Instead, a light fragrance of the sweet wine directly transformed the fishy smell into a fresh taste.
"It's really an ingenious conception! The delicate fragrance of the rice is contained in the fish meat while the freshness of the fish meat was contained in the rice. It's both rice and a dish. Marvelous!" Tengyuan thought inwardly. He appeared a little distressed on the surface, but then he returned to normal.
"Let me eat another mouthful of that. Maybe, he just added some more water than necessary in the rice." Tengyuan took another mouthful of the steamed rice unwillingly.
"I heard that the more fish bones a fish has, the more delicious it is. It turns out to be true." When he ate the fish meat mingled in the rice again, Tengyuan couldn't help nodding his head.
The next moment, however, he was disappointed again when he bit into the rice. The rice was neither too hard nor too soft. Once he bit the rice grains open, he could even feel the rice juice inside. Meanwhile, the rice grains were quite elastic. The delicate fragrance emitting from the rice grains themselves and the freshness of the anchovies was simply faultless.
Just when he intended to nod his head, Tengyuan stopped midway. He could still remember the arrogance and impertinence of Yuan Zhou just now. How could he possibly praise him so easily?
"Pretty good," said Chu Xiao earnestly. At that time, he had eaten up a full bowl of the Steamed Rice With Japanese Grenadier Anchovy calmly.
"Um." Yuan Zhou nodded his head in an obvious manner.
"I just smelled the fishy smell," Chu Xiao pointed at the pot lid that had just been removed and then said.
"That is why I lifted the pot lid in my direction," Yuan Zhou took a look at Chu Xiao and then said.
Only then did the people around remember that Yuan Zhou took the lid sideways in his hand when he lifted it up. The opening was facing himself while the other side was facing the customers.
The fishy smell was stronger. So when it came out together with the fragrance, people could definitely smell the former first. Assuming that both had the same concentration, people would also smell the pungent odor first even if they were blended together.
As a result, the fishy smell vanished and there was only the fragrance left when the customers smelled it.
However, Chu Xiao took notice of that because he stood in the same direction beside Yuan Zhou.
The crowd didn't notice that when they saw this scene at the beginning. Only now did they realize if it was necessary to perform such detailed actions just for the fragrance even though the Chinese dishes scored heavily on color, fragrance, and taste.
"I know. You are indeed worthy of being my rival." Chu Xiao revealed a confident smile.
Instead of answering him, Yuan Zhou glanced at Chu Xiao contemptuously. They were already at this age, why was him still so childish by saying rivals?
Fortunately, Chu Xiao didn't see Yuan Zhou's contemptuous look. Otherwise, there would be another kind of chaos. At the other side, Yuan Zhou was just waiting unhurriedly for others to order dishes.
As for Dashi Xiujie who was immersed in eating and Tengyuan whose expression was unpredictable, neither of them was within the scope of consideration of Yuan Zhou.
"Slurp slurp". Dashi Xiujie muttered while eating and appeared unhappy with that.
However, a bowl of Steamed Rice With Japanese Grenadier Anchovy wasn't really much, thus he ate it up very soon. Not until he finished eating did he suddenly react.
"I actually ate it up?" Looking at the empty white and blue porcelain bowl, Dashi Xiujie knitted his brows discontentedly and started to think of the defects of the dish.
That's right. He was thinking of the defects. How could he possibly think of advantages of Yuan Zhou dishes? Of course, he must think of the disadvantages.
"Holy sh*t. Why is there no bad points at all?" Dashi Xiujie tried to find fault in the dish according to various judging criteria, but he didn't make it, even if he was quite picky.
For example, the fishy smell. However, there wasn't even a flaw in this Steamed Rice With Japanese Grenadier Anchovy, let alone the fishy smell. When he realized that, Dashi Xiujie became quite angry.
After a sound of "Peng", Dashi Xiujie straightforwardly set the bowl down. He really wanted to give an answer like what Yuan Zhou gave him before, "Everything is fine, it just doesn't taste good."
However, he found it difficult to bring that out when he looked at the empty bowl and Yuan Zhou's confident look.
He couldn't do such a shameless thing.
"What do you think?" Just like usual, Yuan Zhou asked coldly with neither sarcasm nor flaunting.
But Dashi Xiujie heard the face-slapping sound of "Pa Pa". He could even feel the ache on his face subconsciously.
After all, he had declared publicly before that Yuan Zhou's craftsmanship was only ordinary and he definitely couldn't cook fish cuisine well. However, the truth was that he had been defeated by Yuan Zhou with such a simple fish cuisine on aspects of knife skills, appearance, and taste.
"Tengyuan Jiayuan hasn't given his opinions. I'm not as knowledgeable as him." Dashi Xiujie was still reluctant to admit defeat.
"Please." Yuan Zhou nodded his head and then signaled Tengyuan to continue.
And Dashi Xiujie was more proactive than Yuan Zhou. He turned his head and asked immediately, "How do you like it? Is there any problem with the steamed rice? Please tell us."
Even if Dashi Xiujie was very worried, he was nevertheless quite respectful when he talked to Tengyuan, but the expectant look on his face was still plainly visible.
He just waited for Tengyuan to say some defects so that he could get revenge for the humiliation in Japan last time.
"What do you think?" Dashi Xiujie looked at Tengyuan expectantly.
"Humph." Tengyuan put down the bowl and spoon and then turned around and prepared to leave.
"What's the matter with you?" For an instant, Dashi Xiujie was a little muddled. He didn't realize what happened and thus asked subconsciously.
"You talk too much," said Tengyuan in Japanese. After saying that, he prepared to leave.
"Professor Tengyuan, what's your opinion?" At that time, Yuan Zhou asked.
The way Yuan Zhou spoke was bland and calm as if he were chatting casually, but it also failed to show restraint. Obviously, he wouldn't allow Tengyuan to exit so easily after he looked down on his craftsmanship so frankly.
The contemptuous remarks were still lingering in Yuan Zhou's ears. It Tengyuan wanted to teach him a lesson as an elder, he must pay the price.
"I have no opinions," Tengyuan turned his head and stared at Yuan Zhou for a while before he said that clearly.
Yuan Zhou asked, "So is that your best remark?"
Tengyuan didn't deny that. Those who were familiar with him all knew that he gave tacit consent if he didn't deny anything.
Looking at Tengyuan's face turn deathly pale, Yuan Zhou felt quite comfortable although he appeared very calm. To these arrogant people, he was never kind.
Yuan Zhou's heart was like a matchstick man who took hold of the ears of a toy rabbit and threw it on the ground repeatedly and strongly while shouting, "Just posture in the face of me", "Keep posturing" and "Don't posture before I do."
Tengyuan prepared to leave.
Just when all people thought it would end like that, Yuan Zhou suddenly thought of something.
"So you think the dish is perfect?" Yuan Zhou asked again as if he were not swayed by Tengyuan's conceding defeat at all.
Tengyuan had to stop walking though he had taken a step forward. He really didn't want to bring out the word "perfect" in the face of the crowd. Under the watchful eyes of the people, however, he felt as if he were being roasted on the fire. Then, he had to say, "Perfect."
"Well, okay." Yuan Zhou didn't feel very delighted. Instead, he heaved a sigh. "
He suddenly remembered that he was still an intermediate chef regarded by the system, so he didn't believe that his dish was really faultless. If this professor could say something valuable, he had probably made some progress without the system.
Now that Tengyuan had such favorable comments, the Steamed Rice with Japanese Grenadier Anchovy was already beyond Tengyuan's capabilities to taste it with his sharp tongue.
Therefore, Yuan Zhou sighed because he had lost an opportunity to make some progress. He sighed from the bottom of his heart.
However, the people around him became rather uneasy with this behavior. Everybody revealed an astonished and speechless manner including the chefs and reporters at the side.
"Chairman Masheng, it seems the new generations are excelling the old ones. This young person has learned cooking for no more than 3 years and he's still so young now. We are getting old." Zhou Shijie reacted first. He said with a smile on his face.
"Ho Ho." Chairman Masheng had nothing to say but smile speechlessly. In the mind, however, he scolded secretly, "Damn it, with your ability to cook well and your great talents to cook such a dish that even Tengyuan Jiayuan thinks perfect, why are you sighing for?"
What necessity was there to heave a sigh at that time?
Furthermore, you can sigh as much as you want, but why did you pretend to be so disappointed?
Of course, Tengyuan was the one that got angriest among these people. He heard Yuan Zhou's sigh personally and thus felt as if he had been hit heavily in his chest by somebody with an invisible hammer. He left immediately in displeasure and didn't intend to eat other dishes anymore.
He was so angry that he almost wanted to spit blood. Tengyuan had made up his mind not to attend the exchange meetings held in China anymore, especially the ones that Yuan Zhou would take part in.
"Why is Jiayuan so mild this time? Are this chef's culinary skills really so good?"
"Why is this Chinese chef so awesome?"
"Awesome! He's really a talented chef."
The Japanese reporters felt both surprised and puzzled while looking at Yuan Zhou. Besides, they just couldn't believe that.
After all, the position of Tengyuan Jiayuan was achieved on the basis of many other chefs' tears of blood. In the chef industry, many people even changed their occupation after they were criticized by him. It could be clearly seen from that how sharp-tongued and strict he was.
"Chairman Masheng, do you want to try Little Yuan's craftsmanship?" Zhou Shijie simply wanted to seize the opportunity and show off again.
"No need. It's they who come to exchange pointers. We can just watch," Chairman Masheng refused flatly.
"Haha. You are right. Okay, let's go to other places to have a look. There's nothing worth watching over here. After all, Prof. Tengyuan has admitted defeat." Zhou Shijie laughed out and then he turned around and left.
"We rarely see Jiayuan appreciate anybody so much." Chairman Masheng tried to regain face.
"Ho Ho." It was Zhou Shijie's turn to laugh like that this time.
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