Chapter 38: Sweet and Sour Cheese Prawns
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Gu YuMian’s yawn stopped midway.
The express packages were stacked like hills, one on top of the other. Each package was very delicate. Before the door was opened, it maintained a precarious balance. As soon as the door was opened, the mountain fell towards Gu YuMian like a tsunami. He picked up the one on top that had ‘SKY’ written on it. Even Gu YuMian, who was not familiar with it, knew that it was a brand of suspension devices for royalty and a few rich businessmen.
In his hand was a limited number of ultra-micro suspension device authority cards.
Next, there was the newest optical computer, luxury brand suits, neckties and watches, an Upper Urban District Fukong Island single family villa authority card, among which the Elbet Restaurant transfer agreement folder almost seemed unimportant.
Gu YuMian first suspected that it was a mistake, but each item had his name written on it and the sender was blank.
He didn’t know what was going on. All these luxury brands were like a promotion exhibition in front of Gu YuMian’s house. If they cost 10 yuan for one piece, 20 yuan for three pieces, and 30 for three, maybe it was a buy one get one free deal?
“Why aren’t I waking up? Am I dreaming?” Gu YuMian had such a doubt in his heart.
The baby panda was still sleeping in the bedroom. At this time, Gu YuMian was only accompanied by the sticky little snow leopard.
The snow leopard lay lazily on Gu YuMian’s shoulder, and his fluffy ears rubbed against Gu YuMian’s ears. His eyelids were half-drooping, inadvertently observing his human’s subtle expression, to judge if he liked or disliked all of the gifts.
——He liked the optical computer. The suit and tie were meh. He didn’t feel any reaction from the suspension device or the villa authority card. The restaurant agreement received a frown? He didn’t like it?
The snow leopard soon put the bankruptcy of the restaurant on the agenda.
Of course, Gu YuMian was not frowning due to the restaurant transfer agreement. It was just that the name signed on the transfer agreement finally let him know who the sender of these things was.
A person who was expected and unexpected.
In half an hour.
Gu YuMian sat cross legged in the living room and sent Shuo Han a voice communication, “Shuo Han, I’m sorry. What are you sending me these for?”
The baby panda lay on Gu YuMian’s knee and was drinking his milk.
The little snow leopard was languidly nestled in Gu YuMian’s arms. The light screen of the baby’s optical computer was open, and the content was only visible to himself and his guardian. Recently, he would occasionally play some children’s educational games on the optical computer. The screen was full of cats and dogs running across a river, and so on.
Gu YuMian glanced at it casually, without much thought.
There was a quick reply.
[Shuo Han: It’s a thank you.]
Gu YuMian, “……”
It was ten times what he guessed. He really didn’t know Shuo Han’s background and there were no results when he searched the surname ‘Shuo’ on the Internet. It had to be no ordinary family, and had to be aristocratic to be able to buy anything with billions of dollars. Was he a rich businessman? Or from the royal house?
The royal family was very strict, it should not be possible.
“If you wanted to thank me, that tattoo — cough, that card was enough, or you could even give me two.” Gu YuMian, “These are too expensive for me. You are only twenty-years old. You should still be studying. What about your family?”
[Shuo Han: There is only one badge.]
Family? That sounded like a good choice. The little snow leopard listened to these four words that sounded very pleasant, and slightly nodded to express satisfaction.
[Shuo Han: I do have family, but I’m not going to listen to him.]
Gu YuMian’s mood was like facing a rebellious child. He didn’t listen to any persuasion.
Shuo Han talked with him for a while, and then simply didn’t reply to the communication.
At this time, the little snow leopard turned over and sat up, one paw was pressed on Gu YuMian’s cheek, and Gu YuMian held and kissed his small paw pad absently.
Oh, naughty boy.
If only he was as good as little Tangyuan.
In the next second, Gu YuMian moved his eyes and saw that the baby panda was burping as he drank milk from his bottle. Just when he didn’t pay attention, little Tangyuan drank more than he weighed, which caused him to have a little fat body that was leaning towards a spherical shape.
The baby panda rubbed his head blankly against Gu YuMian’s palm, “Chii?”
Gu YuMian decided to take back that sentence.
He had to worry about both of them.
The compromise Gu YuMian finally came up with was to store all these things in the bank safe under Shuo Han’s name, which became an unconditional gift that could be permanently saved until the day when Shuo Han was willing to take it back.
This was no problem in terms of process.
The only problem was the ownership of Elbet’s Restaurant, which couldn’t be put aside.
Gu YuMian called the bank, where he was sent to a manager to communicate with.
“If you sign, the ownership will immediately belong to you. Otherwise, it will be considered as a failed donation. If Mr. Shuo does not accept the donation, the restaurant may declare bankruptcy directly, because the listed share price has fallen to a very low level.”
The bank’s words were partly true and partly false. But they were still in line with some materials Gu YuMian found, which made him unable to judge if it was true or false.
He did find out on the Internet that the price of Elbet’s head office and branches fell to a new low in recent days and even were acquired unexpectedly because of the storm of food poisoning, poor service attitude, shareholder divestment, broken capital chain and other problems caused by the chef’s collective research and development of new dishes.
Of course, Gu YuMian didn’t know that when Elbet Restaurant was acquired, it was still an Internet celebrity restaurant with a market value of more than 10 billion yuan, but all kinds of things came up in one night and the times were bad.
If he didn’t accept it, Shuo Han probably wouldn’t take over. Was this hot Internet celebrity restaurant going to go bankrupt? It was too bad, wasn’t it?
But he also couldn’t manage the restaurant, and he couldn’t invest and find sponsorship. It was a total conundrum.
If there was such a restaurant, some of his ideas would have a chance to be realized.
Gu YuMian was really a bit moved.
In this era, everything was very good, but it may be because of years of war and lack of information, which reflected the backwardness in life, diet and all aspects. Of course, Gu YuMian knew that given enough time, the social and living standards would definitely improve to a higher level than before.
But not yet.
As soon as he transmigrated, he thought about whether he could use his knowledge to do something for the animals here. Unfortunately, at that time, he could barely buy his own food and clothing.
Now, the time seemed ripe. Why couldn’t he try it?
Of course, his focus would still be his live broadcast. Elbet also had a dedicated management, and there was not much he would need to do.
Gu YuMian had the little snow leopard in his lap, and his fingers combed through his fur, which made the little snow leopard yawn. After drinking the milk, the baby panda fell asleep holding Gu YuMian’s other hand.
“Let’s try it first,” Gu YuMian made a final decision. “If we can’t do something, we’ll think about it.”
That afternoon, Elbet Restaurant.
In the morning, the manager of Elbet Restaurant contacted Gu YuMian. After careful consideration, Gu YuMian decided to come. Because he didn’t know how long it would take to talk this time, Gu YuMian took his two children with him. As soon as he stepped out, little Tangyuan had gone to sleep again.
Gu YuMian walked into the dining room with the sleeping snow leopard in his arms and the baby carriage holding little Tangyuan in his other hand.
The restaurant, visible to the naked eye, had become dark and dreary. The small private rooms floating in the air were more than half-empty. There were several guests in the transparent private rooms who were hesitant to order or leave.
It was no surprise.
Gu YuMian met with this kind of situation when he first came to dinner. The customer experience was very poor. He didn’t want to come for the second time. Gu YuMian’s search on the Internet also revealed a basket of bad reviews. Not long ago, this good high-end restaurant began to decline.
However, it couldn’t be regarded as something that happened overnight. In fact, two or three months ago, the reputation of Elbet Restaurant had slowly begun to decline, so there must be problems in all aspects of their operation.
Gu YuMian was thinking, when he heard a bright and tidy, “Hello, Mr. Gu!”
The former boss had a beer belly and the chefs, senior managers and employees were lined up on both sides of the corridor, and bowed in a very serious manner the moment when Gu YuMian stepped in.
Half an hour ago, they were repeatedly told two sentences. First, don’t show your ears and tail, and don’t be too intimate with the new boss; second, respect the new boss, and don’t treat him as a special human.
Before Gu YuMian came, everyone thought that the second one was difficult. Until now… The first one was several times more difficult than the second one.
Several employees tried to hide their ears and tails and bowed 90 degrees.
Gu YuMian, “……” What’s going on? Is he a mafia boss?
“Thank you. Don’t be so high-profile,” Gu YuMian coughed. “Everyone get up and do your own thing. I’ll talk to Mr. Jill.”
Jill was the original boss. The boss wiped his sweat, came up and accompanied Gu YuMian to the inside. The others scattered to do their duties.
“Do all the dishes in our restaurant need to be made by the chef himself? In addition, if there was an accident where the food cannot be served in time, what are the compensation measures for customers? There should be snacks and small dishes at least.”
These were all the problems that Gu YuMian was puzzled over when he last came as a customer.
“Of course.” Jill explained, “Cooking is a very precious skill, because it comes from human inheritance, and now no human will again… ” Most families were limited to the extent that they could only cook the food, and even some families only drank nutritious liquid together. Jill remembered in the middle of the conversation that there was a human beside him, “Well, anyway, there are very few chefs. Our restaurant is equipped with fourteen chefs, which is the top level in the industry.”
So if all the chefs had an accident together, it would result in a disaster.
“Is that so?” Gu YuMian was stunned, holding the little snow leopard in his arms and unconsciously petting him while thinking, “I don’t have much experience in management, but I will continue to ask you about this later. In terms of cooking and service, I hope you can carry it out according to my ideas in the future.”
In the middle of the conversation, they had come to the back kitchen.
Jill asked, “Do you have an example for this?”
Gu YuMian let the snow leopard lie on his shoulder and sleep, then took the brand-new apron off the wall at the kitchen door, and nodded, “You’ll see.”
He stood at the door of the kitchen and looked around. Then he took the knife from an apprentice who was scratching his ears and did not know how to deal with the synthetic prawns. The knife flipped beneath his fingertips. He peeled off the shell and opened the back to remove the veins. Then he flipped the kitchen knife and chopped shrimp into a small mince. He flicked the tails and heads of the prawns away with the back of the knife.
Several apprentices around, including Jill, watched Gu YuMian’s series of actions and were already stunned. One apprentice hurriedly went to the ingredients cabinet to get cheese. Gu YuMian sniffed and thought that the smell was not right, so he first cut the cheese into small pieces and mixed them with the shrimp.
He sprinkled half a small spoon of salt into it, and asked the apprentice to take the white wine from the wine cabinet, directly took a small half cup and poured it into it. Then, he simply mixed them all together, put on a disposable glove and squeezed them into small and delicate shrimp balls.
All these movements were smooth and neat without any pause.
All the chefs and apprentices in the whole kitchen stopped, and their eyes were attracted by Gu YuMian’s movements involuntarily. His way of doing things was not fancy or skillful, but with the proper strength, giving it an orderly and flexible feeling, which made them feel comfortable.
Everyone gathered around and whispered.
“What is the new boss doing? I saw him live on the Internet and the food he made was really delicious. Eh, this seems to be quite simple and crude.”
“Cheese, shrimp… What about the white wine?! Will he make a pot of stew?”
“Shhh, Old Yu, save face for the new boss.”
The oldest chef among the fourteen chefs, who was also a certified senior chef, was called Old Yu. He had no problem with Gu YuMian when he became the boss, but he was a young man who wanted to change their cooking skills, so he had a lot of problems.
Cooking needed years of training. What did this little boy know?
The snow leopard lay on Gu YuMian’s shoulder and glanced casually at the crowd.
Gu YuMian didn’t care what others had to say, and his movements continued.
He handled the shrimp balls, beat an egg white in one direction with chopsticks until it bubbled, added some glutinous rice flour to make a paste, and dipped each shrimp ball in the paste until it was completely coated.
“This is called a frying batter (i.e. tempura). You can prepare more of this fried batter in larger batches and use it at any time.”
Then, Gu YuMian went directly to heat a pot of oil. When the hot oil was seventy-percent hot and made a sizzling sound, he directly lowered the shrimp balls into the pot and started frying. The surface of the shrimp ball was evenly wrapped with fried batter. In the hot oil and hot pot, the shrimp ball was gently rolled over and stir fried in a circle, and soon presented a golden full color and an abnormal crisp texture. 1
However, through the golden surface, they could still see the transparent and slightly milky color of the shrimp meat inside. The strong taste of cheese was pressed by the mellow white wine, and mixed with the flavor of the fried shrimp ball!
Everyone, including Old Yu and several chefs who didn’t trust Gu YuMian, swallowed.
… It was really… fragrant.
The little snow leopard woke up at this time. The tip of his nose moved, and his long tail caught Gu YuMian’s wrist.
After all the shrimp balls were fried, and the oil drained off of them, they were put on a dish. Gu YuMian put four shrimp balls into a small plate and set six other similar plates. Gu YuMian then added crystal sugar, salt, vinegar, tomato paste, glutinous rice flour into the leftover oil and then boiled it. He squeezed in a little lemon, and soon the crystal sugar mix turned into a brick red color. The liquid originally flowing at the bottom of the pot gradually became a thick red orange sauce. 2
“This is sweet and sour sauce, which can also be prepared in a large batch. Just heat it up before use.”
The sour and sweet sauce was poured out of the pot, evenly sprinkled on the surface of the golden crispy shrimp ball, and a plate of sour and sweet cheese shrimp balls was finished. Under the natural light, the sweet and sour sauce on the surface was lustrous, colorful and lovely. Just the fragrant scent made those in the room salivate.
People were already in a daze, and even some of their stomachs made uncontrollable growls.
The little snow leopard’s paw grabbed Gu YuMian’s wrist and urged him to feed him. Gu YuMian, of course, left a portion for his baby since the baby panda was still sleeping. Gu YuMian separated one of the plates and picked up a small piece for the little snow leopard to taste.
After a while, the little snow leopard squinted with satisfaction, and his fluffy ears rubbed against Gu YuMian’s chin.
Dozens of envious eyes turned to the cub on Gu YuMian’s shoulder. Not only because he could eat the shrimp balls, but also because he could be so close to Gu YuMian, they were jealous of a cub.
Old Yu really didn’t want to believe it. The tiger went up and asked Gu YuMian if he could taste it. After getting a positive reply, he also took a plate back and gave it to a few chefs who were equally dubious. Everyone had a taste of it.
A moment later.
The crisp skin was not greasy at all, covered with the sour and sweet sauce. However, even though the outer surface was fried to golden yellow, the inside of the shrimp ball was still delicious, tender and juicy. If they bit it, the hot juice would flow out.
The cheese soaked in the white wine purified the milky aroma and also blended with the sweet wine, creating a seamless integration with the fresh shrimp. The taste of the shrimp was tender and refreshing. The taste of the sour and sweet sauce was very appetizing. It not only filled their hunger a little, but also paved the way for the next plate.
“Delicious.” Old Yu murmured.
“It tastes good. It’s not bad at all.”
“Is this really cheese? It’s totally different. It’s mellow.”
——What’s more, the whole process was carried out under everyone’s eyes. Gu YuMian didn’t hide it at all, and everyone had seen the process clearly. The technique was simple, the production time was short, the final effect was amazing.
Moreover, if the ‘fried batter’ and ‘sweet and sour sauce’ Gu YuMian showed them were prepared in advance in the future, along with the shrimp balls, it would take only a few minutes to finish the whole dish!
The chefs were knowledgeable and quickly figured out the benefits. Even Old Yu, who was a bit stubborn and rigid, couldn’t help admiring Gu YuMian.
The likes and dislikes of craftsmen were pure.
“Okay,” Gu YuMian smiled, “will you listen to me now?”
They answered in a unified voice, “Yes!!!”
After dealing with the restaurant for most of the day, Gu YuMian finally returned home with the children in the evening. He was lying on the sofa with a sore back. The baby panda also woke up and plopped into Gu YuMian’s arms. The little snow leopard slept for most of the day, and was not sleepy at all at this moment. His little paws stepped on Gu YuMian’s stomach and shoulders.
Gu YuMian thought to himself, was this kneading for milk? But it was very comfortable. It was like a massage, just like it. Exhausted, he boarded the Starry Sky live platform backstage, and soon received good news and bad news.
[Starry Sky Platform Rookie Team V: Mr. Gu, congratulations on your promotion to the second round of the rookie competition.]
This was good news, which meant that his live broadcast could be a little bit relaxed until the next week.
[Starry Sky Platform Rookie Team V: In addition, due to your outstanding performance, you have opened a hidden task. You can choose whether to participate or not. There will be a lot of rewards and discounts, and you can directly advance to the top 20 of the rookie competition.]
In fact, what the project team discussed before was whether to directly make him advance to the championship — because the top ten must include Gu YuMian. There was no suspense, but this competition would become meaningless if he participated.
Gu YuMian, “Hidden task? What is it?”
[Starry Sky Platform Rookie Team V: You must visit a randomly selected place for a live broadcast, and your popularity must enter the top 10 of this week. Of course, it’s not a dangerous or illegal place. These places are all partners of Starry Sky, with some indoor and outdoor safe places.]
Gu YuMian, “Can I draw lots first and then decide whether to go or not?”
Project team member: “…”
Gu YuMian casually pressed the small program sent by the other party, and after a few seconds, the line above was fixed——
“Upper Urban District, Academy of Sciences.”
Gu YuMian repeated the words.
He didn’t feel that much himself, but was surprised by the ‘Upper Urban District.’
Instead, the baby panda in his arms moved his ears, and the little snow leopard stopped, his eyes narrowING slightly.
The Academy of Science was not the only thing in the Upper Urban District.
There was also the old house of the Guo family, and…
The Royal Palace.