The heartbeat at the tip of the tongue(舌尖上的心跳) Chapter 04

Or two?

1000 USD = fees for a one day tour?

He has a face that makes people unable to look away.

His features seemed like they were carved with utmost care and carried an air of elegance. Whether it was the height of his brow bone or the curves of the corners of his eyes, they were all perfectly placed.

And his eyes were black as obsidian, which you knew couldn’t see, but yet had a profound deepness.

All anyone had to do was have his eyes in sight and you’d have the illusion of being seen through.

“That, Mr Jiang…… our chef will be serving his signature dishes successively, I hope you’d taste the dishes and offer your professional opinion.”

Jiang Qian Fan turned his head slightly and spoke to the special assistant at the side: “Li Yan, describe the dining environment of Lang Hua Restaurant.”

Li Yan leaned slightly towards Jiang Qian Fan, using an objective tone described: “The décor of the restaurant is of a traditional style that is similar to that of the late Qing Dynasty. All the tables and chairs are made of wood. The scenery is near bridges and flowing water that contributes to the ambience. The VIP hall has famous watercolour ink paintings for decorations. The floors are neat and clean, the tables have no dust and are not oily. The waiters here compared to other restaurants seem to have had more professional training. ”

“The serving speed of the dishes?” Jiang Qian Fan’s voice had no fluctuations, which made it impossible to discern whether he was satisfied or not with the description that Li Yan had given.

“When we passed the lobby, two thirds of the visitors were already served their main dishes. The other tables had at least appetisers on their tables.”

“Pour me a cup of tea.” Jiang Qian Fan said faintly.

Chairman Zhao was about to go forward, but assistant Li Yan shook his hands at Chairman Zhao, personally got up, touched the teapot to test the temperature, and poured tea for Jiang Qian Fan.

The way he lifted the teapot was that of well-practiced skilful movements, when the tea filled two thirds of the teacup he lifted the teapot away, not a drop was spilled.

Jiang Qian Fan took a sip of the tea.

As dish after dish was being served, Chairman Zhao explained each dish in great detail, every dish’s origins, and the specifics of the process of making the dishes.

And as for each dish, Jiang Qian Fan would take only a single mouth.

His chews were leisurely slow, every swallow would make other people nervously swallow with him.

Everyone helplessly looked at him, hoping that he would just give at least a phrase of comment, for example ‘tasty’ or ‘not tasty’.

Until the sea cucumber soup was sent to the front of him.

Chairman Zhao wanted to add on some comments, but Li Yan shook his head at him.

“Chairman Zhao, actually, as long as Mr Jiang has a taste, he would know which ingredients were used, the manner of cooking, and the abilities of the chef.”

“…… oh, no wonder all the industry insiders say that Mr Jiang possesses an ‘absolute palate’! So that’s how it is ah!”

Jiang Qian Fan scooped up a spoonful of sea cucumber soup, and took a mouthful after blowing it cool.

Not even a second later, he lifted up the teacup and spit the soup out.

“What….. What’s the matter? Is there something wrong with the soup?” Chairman Zhao anxiously stood up.

The whole entourage were also very nervous.

“If this were my restaurant, I would not serve this kind of soup to the guests.”

“What?” Chairman Zhao was stunned, he said extremely angrily, “”Who cooked this soup? Call that person here!”

In less than three minutes, a chef who looked about 30 years old pressing onto his hat rushed anxiously in.

Chairman Zhao with a face full of rage accused without explanation: “So it’s you ah! Li De Xin! Your teacher still said you were a good seedling, wanted me to definitely recruit to Lang Hua restaurant! Is this how you repay me? This sea cucumber soup was to be made for Mr Jiang, you dare let Mr Jiang unable to swallow the soup!”

The chef named Li De Xin was completely frozen on the spot.

“From this moment on, you have been fired!”

Li De Xin gripped his fist, like he wanted to explain something, but in the end he swallowed his words.

Right when he was about to take off his hat, the Jiang Qian Fan who had been silent spoke.

The slightly cool voice circulated leisurely around the room like cold red wine.

“Your name is Li De Xin?”

“Yes, Mr Jiang.”

“Through this sea cucumber soup dish, you have exemplified your ability to balance flavours and your ability to grasp control of the fire has reached the point of professional perfection. Your culinary skills are excellent, but there are flaws that no matter how good a chef is, they would be unable to cover up. To be able to use inferior ingredients, to raise the soup’s texture and taste up to this kind of standard, it’s very rare.”

“Mr Jiang? You mean……” Chairman Zhao did not sense any form of rebuke from Jiang Qian Fan’s words towards Li De Xin, even to the point of …… praise?

“Chairman Zhao, I guess there is a huge problem in the stock management of your restaurant. Among all the ingredient used, the beef, mutton and duck are not the freshest. Of course, the poorest, most inferior quality is still this sea cucumber, after it has been air flown to your restaurant, the most appropriate method of refrigeration was not used. All these problems, are definitely not allowed in my restaurant. Clearly, our views on restaurant management are different. So, we are also not the best suited business partners.”

Chairman Zhao was totally stunned silly.

Lang Hua Restaurant has had such an outstanding reputation, countless people come to dine, if they  have to always use the day’s ingredients, there would be too much pressure, additionally in consideration of the costs, some compromise had to be made.

But chairman Zhao did not think that Jiang Qian Fan could actually taste these out? Isn’t this being too picky?

He looked towards Jiang Qian Fan’s assistant Li Yan, Li Yan could only shake his head with a helpless expression.

At that moment, Jiang Qian Fan had already stood up, straighten his cane and walked towards the exit.

When he passed Li De Xin, he said: “I have a seafood restaurant in Manhattan. If you’d like to test your skills, you know how to get there. There, you will get the freshest ingredients.”

Finished with his words, Jiang Qian Fan walked out, assistant Li Yan hurriedly catching up.

Li De Xin was in total disbelief of what he had just heard.

Jiang Qian Fan is a legend in the Chinese food industry, not only because he became a three Michelin star chef in New York at the age of 18, but even more so because under his management, of the 20 restaurants opened by the Jiang co. in the united states, already six of them had received 2 Michelin stars, three restaurants had received three Michelin stars for three consecutive years, and that seafood restaurant in Manhattan was one of them.

When Li De Xin heard that Chairman Zhao wanted to fire him, he thought that it was the end of his career as a chef. After leaving Lang Hua Restaurant, he’s afraid that it would be very difficult to gain a foothold in another restaurant, but Jiang Qian Fan personally extended an olive branch to him?

To Lin Ke Song, this meal ended on a pretty harmonious note.

Before leaving, Song Yi Ran asked whether Lin Ke Song needed a lift home. Lin Ke Song shook her head, saying that she wanted to buy something from the mall.

She has no interest in playing gooseberry.

Song Yi Ran was not in a rush to leave, continuing to stand in front of the restaurant’s entrance chatting with Lin Ke Song.

“Hey, about the sea cucumber soup today, what part of it was not tasty?”

“…… Actually, my mom cooked sea cucumber soup before too, I thought it was freshly delicious. But about the sea cucumber soup today, kept feeling it was not fresh.”

At this time, among a crowd, Jiang Qian Fan and his assistant walked out.

And they heard what Lin Ke Song said.

Jiang Qian Fan’s steps paused slightly and looked towards Lin Ke Song’s direction.

Li Yan turned towards Chairman Zhao who was chasing them and said: “Even your customers are able to taste that there is something wrong with the sea cucumber soup. Chairman Zhao, we are very disappointed with Lang Hua Restaurant.”

Finished with his words, Li Yan brought Jiang Qian Fan to the car and rode away speedily.

When Chairman Zhao turned to throw a raging tantrum like oil being poured on fire at Lin Ke Song, he realised that she had already walked away long ago.

Lin Ke Song carried her bag, actually, she didn’t really want to go to the mall, she just didn’t want to see Song Yi Ran and Chu Ting being lovey dovey.

In the Bentley that was going the opposite direction, the Jiang Qian Fan who had been consistently silent suddenly spoke up: “Where is the person who was standing at the entrance of Lang Hua Restaurant, the one who could taste the staleness of the sea cucumber soup?”

Li Yan hurriedly looked backwards: “She is walking alone on the pavement, it seems like she is going to take the subway.”

“I have to ask her something.”

Li Yan was stunned for a moment, immediately, he asked the driver to do a U-turn, to catch up with the girl.

So, about ten plus seconds later, a black Bentley stopped arrogantly next to Lin Ke Song, giving Lin Ke Song a big fright.

She leaned over a little. She realised that the situation wasn’t exactly good just now, so she had left the scene in two to three steps. It can’t be that the Chairman Zhao has sent some people to beat her up right?

“Was it you who could taste that Lang Hua restaurant’s sea cucumber soup wasn’t fresh?”

Jiang Qian Fan’s voice was icy cold.

Lin Ke Song could not hear a thread of fluctuation in the emotions.

She even wanted to check whether he was breathing, is this chap even alive? Or is he a vampire?

“That’s what I felt. I think I do have the right to express my opinion right? Anyway, I didn’t post anything on the internet to affect Lang Hua Restaurant’s reputation!”

Lin Ke Song hopes that she is making herself look tough. If she had known earlier, she wouldn’t have declined Song Yi Ran’s invitation to give her a lift.

“You’ve misunderstood, Miss. Mr Jiang has the same thoughts as you. Because the chef was highly skilled, the staleness of the sea cucumber was handle very well. But you were still able to taste the staleness, that means your sense of taste is not bad.” The Li Yan who was sitting beside Jiang Qian Fan gently explained.

Lin Ke Song silently let out a sigh of relief. As long as it’s not people from Lang Hua Restaurant looking for trouble, it’s fine.

“Are you from around here?” Jiang Qian Fan spoke again.

His every question sounded like a declaration to Lin Ke Song, slightly putting pressure on her nerves.

“Yes.”

“Are you familiar with the local snacks?”

After Jiang Qian Fan finished asking, Li Yan beside him let out an expression of surprise.

“I’ll pay you 1000 USD to be my tour guide for the day to bring me around to try the food. If among the foods, any one of them makes me think it’s delicious, I’ll give you another 500 USD as reward. ”

“What?” Lin Ke Song wonders if she’s hearing hallucinations.

Just bring him around to eat and drink for a day would earn her 1000 USD? This chap doesn’t have a problem right?

10 thoughts on “The heartbeat at the tip of the tongue(舌尖上的心跳) Chapter 04

  1. What a big present…updating daily during holiday. . Thank you qintar. Hope you have a good rest during this time.
    So they meet earlier.. I mean before she leaves for US?

    Like

  2. The story’s getting more exciting now that Jiang Qian Fan and Lin Ke Song finally met. 🙂 Hope you had a great Christmas, and it’s really nice of you to have posted double updates during the holiday. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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