"Young master Bu, originally, according to the rules, you're not qualified to enter the third floor of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant. That's because up till now, this supreme area has only admitted the court ministers, His Majesty as well as the prince. I've only allowed young master to enter due to your ability to assess dishes. Otherwise, even if you had acted shamelessly, I would never allow you to enter the third floor."
Qian Bao said in a serious manner. He regarded the supreme area as important, which is why he acted prudently.
If the general area and the distinguished guest area were the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant's basis for establishing itself within the imperial city, then the supreme area on the third floor would be the basis of its reputation.
Qian Bao was only solemnly regarding Bu Fang since he was able to easily list out the flaws within the cooking process of the Dry-Fried Rock Carp that even Master Chen could not detect.
Bu Fang's assessment of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant's dishes as he made his way to the third floor could be considered a huge insult to their reputation. Qian Bao could not let this humiliation live down. He must find a way to save his reputation and the only way was the third floor.
Bu Fang glanced at Qian Bao and expressionlessly said, "If someone wishes for me to evaluate their dishes, I might not be in the mood to care about it. If it wasn't for special circumstances, I really can't be bothered to taste your garbage dishes."
Bu Fang's tone was extremely indifferent. Even though his words sounded like ridicule, there was no intention to ridicule in the slightest. It was as if he was stating the truth.
Qian Bao suddenly froze for a moment and he was speechless. However, his narrowed eyes as he suddenly laughed and said, "Then would young master Bu please taste these three dishes?
"These are the top three dishes of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant."
Xiao Xiaolong and the others were blinking as they yearningly looked at the three dishes that had alluring appearances.
The dishes from the supreme area of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant were not something they could normally see. Even though these dishes might not be as delicious as the food in Bu Fang's store, eating at the third floor was not about enjoying the taste of the food. It was about enjoying the identity and status.
Firstly, Bu Fang tasted the first dish, the Braised Spirit Pork. This was a dish made using an ingredient from a spirit beast, although it was only the low-end meat from the first grade spirit beast, Battle Boar. However, the chef's skills were pretty good and the meat was succulent after cooking. It was comparable to the Dry-Fried Rock Carp.
"Since this is the meat from a spirit beast, then the choice of the ingredient should be very prudent. For this dish, choosing the meat from the Battle Boar is the wrong choice. The meat from the Battle Boar is more suited for making stews, while the meat from the Flame Boar is the best choice for braising. Also, the control over the heat during the braising process is still lacking and the braising liquid is… too sweet."
After having a bite of the dish, Bu Fang expressionlessly put down his chopsticks and mercilessly gave his assessment. Suddenly, several flaws of this first-rate cuisine were pointed out by Bu Fang.
Qian Bao was dumbfounded. He hurriedly ordered the servant girl to record down the flaws mentioned by Bu Fang.
Qian Bao was not too surprised that Bu Fang was able to find so many flaws within the Braised Spirit Pork. After all, the level of this dish was almost the same as the Dry-Fried Rock Carp.
"Young master Bu, try this dish as well, Sweet 'n' Sour Drunken Ribs," Qian Bao said.
However, the result was beyond his expectations. Bu Fang's assessment of this dish was extremely low and the flaws he found were even more numerous than in the Braised Spirit Pork.
Qian Bao was stunned. He thought, "Why? Sweet 'n' Sour Drunken Ribs is definitely slightly more delicious than Braised Spirit Pork..."
Xiao Xiaolong and the others were stifling their smiles. Showing off Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs in front of Owner Bu, it was like he was asking for a scolding. From their point of view, Bu Fang's Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs was unsurpassable.
Bu Fang ignored Qian Bao as his gaze shifted toward the Roasted Flower Duck that seemed to wish for ascension.
"This food presentation… is slightly interesting." The corner of Bu Fang's mouth twitched as he used his chopsticks to poke the duck's body. A slight rebound force was transmitted to his hands through the chopsticks.
"Clap clap!" When Qian Bao saw that Bu Fang was about to try the signature dish, Roasted Flower Duck, he suddenly and energetically clapped his hands.
Then, that voluptuous servant girl who was wearing the dress that revealed her legs gracefully walked next to Bu Fang. A burst of fragrance exuded from her body.
Bu Fang frowned as he indifferently said, "Don't get so close to me. The fragrance coming from you is affecting my judgement toward this dish."
"Ah?" That servant was startled and her pretty face was filled with confusion. Her hand that was holding the dagger stopped in mid-air and she seemed a little helpless.
Qian Bao was stunned for a moment and then started to frown. He employed these beautiful servant girls for the sake of attending to those high officials and dignitaries. He even specially spent huge amount of money to buy high grade cosmetic products for these servants girls to become even more lively and charming. He did not think that his methods would negatively affect the customers' appetite instead.
He pondered for a moment and then let the servant girl withdraw. Then he personally held the dagger and began to handle the duck.
Qian Bao evidently had some knowledge of handling this dish. His hands were steady as he quickly sliced off a portion of the meat and served it to Bu Fang.
Bu Fang wrapped the meat within a spring roll wrapper with some cabbage and added a little vinegar. Then, he swallowed the entire thing.
The taste of the duck meat and the cabbage when mixed together was just perfect and created an indescribable texture. When added with the chewiness of the spring roll wrapper, Bu Fang experienced an ineffably delicious taste.
He had to admit that the taste of the Roasted Flower Duck was extremely good.
"Young master Bu, how is the taste of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant's signature dish?" Qian Bao licked his lips as he intensely stared at Bu Fang. He was confident that this dish that the emperor praised as the number one duck within the Light Wind Empire would be able to subdue this fellow.
"Hmm, this dish is indeed pretty good," Bu Fang once again sliced off another piece of duck meat. This time, he did not wrap it with the spring roll wrapper and directly ate it.
He was someone that enjoyed delicious food as well. Every single chef was an authentic glutton.
"Then, young master Bu… Could you point out any flaws within this dish?" Qian Bao took a deep breath and said, as he closely stared at Bu Fang.
Bu Fang leisurely drank a mouthful of water and simply said, "This dish can be said to be the most perfect dish within the entire Immortal Phoenix Restaurant. The taste is very good.
"I can guess, this dish is made by strictly following the steps of a recipe. Not a single character was missed and every single detail was taken note," Bu Fang said.
Qian Bao's pupils suddenly constricted as he stood up. He was intensely staring at Bu Fang and the deepest parts of his eyes were filled with incredulity.
That was right! This dish of Colored-glass Roasted Flower Duck was from a recipe that he obtained by chance. It was because of this recipe that he could operate the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant to its current state and obtain the support of that distinguished person.
"You're not wrong by following the steps of the recipe. However, as you're too rigid and lacked a certain flexibility, you overlooked a few important points. You need to understand that every single recipe underwent numerous revisions and attempts before they were recorded. They are not perfect and there's still room for improvement as well. Just like this dish, a mistake appeared in the choice of ingredients."
"The choice of ingredients?"
"That's right, the recipe stated that mature ducks should be used, correct? Furthermore, it should be high quality spirit ducks. However, choosing young ducks is actually better. The skin of the mature ducks is too tight and the flesh is too tough. As for the other flaws, they're not important so I won't mention them," Bu Fang expressionlessly said.
Qian Bao took a deep breath and calmed himself down. However, his complexion was not very pleasant.
He did not agree with Bu Fang's statement. "Young master Bu, this dish of Roasted Flower Duck, as the signature dish of our restaurant, has already gone through numerous trials. I do not agree with your argument of cooking with young ducks. I believe even more in the method recorded in the recipe."
Even though Bu Fang's words sounded reasonable, Qian Bao would not easily believe him. After all, it was the signature dish, so how could he lightly make amendments?
Bu Fang indifferently glanced at him and said, "Whether you believe it or not has nothing to do with me. I was only assessing the dish. Alright, I've already assessed all of the dishes. Then, I shall take my leave. This is for my bill."
Bu Fang stood up and placed five crystals on the table. Then, he elegantly headed down the stairs.
Qian Bao's expression was sullen as he stood on the spot. As he looked at the three dishes on the table that were basically untouched, the emotions in his eyes were wavering.
"Young master Bu… Who exactly are you!" Qian Bao took a deep breath and muttered to himself. Then his gaze shifted toward Xiao Xiaolong who was just about to leave.
"Young master Xiao, could you tell me the identity of young master Bu… Someone who could point out the flaws of a dish in such a detailed manner is definitely not an ordinary person. Is he an imperial chef from the imperial kitchen?" Qian Bao asked as he performed a fist and palm salute.
Xiao Xiaolong was stunned for a moment and a mischievous smile suddenly appeared on his face. He narrowed his eyes and said, "Isn't Owner Bu really awesome? Not only are his culinary skills high, his ability to assess dishes is first-rate as well. I was truly impressed."
"Owner Bu?!" Qian Bao knitted his eyebrows together. Then he narrowed his eyes as he sucked in his breath and said, "Is this person… the owner of the black-hearted store?"
Xiao Xiaolong mysteriously smiled and did not reply. He turned around and followed after Bu Fang's back figure.
At that moment, Bu Fang was slowly walking with his hands behind his back. The system's solemn voice was resounding within his mind.
"Congratulations to the host for completing the abrupt mission: taste the thirteen dishes of the Immortal Phoenix Restaurant and find out their inadequacies. The mission reward will now be released."