Chapter 118 – Yuehong Restaurant’s Roast Duck (1)
Chu Lian didn’t expect the regal, aloof Royal Princess Duanjia from Mei Court to turn out more like an awkward, endearingly haughty child.
Her smile grew even wider. “Of course, I understand.”
“Right, I’m the only one you can make cat cookies for! Otherwise, I’ll make you answer for your crime!”
Chu Lian took a mental note: Royal Princess Duanjia was not only awkward and endearingly haughty; she was also very possessive.
The two of them dined on sweet desserts and honey water as they sat in the parlour. Sometime during their tête-à-tête, Princess Wei belatedly brought over some cherries as additional snacks for them, but upon seeing her daughter on a rare play date, she chose not to disturb them. It wasn’t a common sight to see her daughter get along so well with someone.
Royal Princess Duanjia noticed that it was already the middle of the afternoon, so she coughed gently and prompted, “Chu Liu, how about I bring you out to eat somewhere today?”
Chu Lian really didn’t know how to react. Royal Princess Duanjia’s personality was too different from the norm. When inviting guests to lunch, wasn’t it more natural to eat inside the estate rather than somewhere else? Why was the princess asking her out to eat?
Since Chu Lian’s response was only a wordless, wide-eyed stare, Royal Princess Duanjia could only pout and add, “Fine, I just wanted to eat Yuehong Restaurant’s roast duck. Are you coming or not?”
It was one of the best restaurants in the capital, and similar to the modern world’s famous Quanjude roast duck restaurant, it was also famed for its roast duck.
Chu Lian still had her Guilin Restaurant to manage. It would be a good idea to take a look at what the best restaurant in the capital was like.
She smiled and nodded.
Royal Princess Duanjia excitedly sent one of her maidservants off to inform Princess Wei before sending another senior servant to the outer court to prepare a carriage.
Royal Princess Duanjia and Chu Lian arrived at the side entrance of Yuehong Restaurant before 11am. The two of them were supported off the carriage by their servants. Chu Lian’s eyes widened as she looked around.
As expected, this Yuehong Restaurant was extraordinary. It was located in the best spot of the whole Zhuque Main Street. There were customers ranging in the hundreds coming in and out every day. From where they were standing, Chu Lian could see that the first floor’s main hall was already full.
A special waiter ushered them in from the side entrance. Royal Princess Duanjia seemed to be a regular customer of Yuehong Restaurant, as the two of them were guided by the waiter into a private room labelled ‘Heaven’.
Royal Princess Duanjia rattled off a list of dishes to the waiter, some of which Chu Lian had never even heard of before.
She observed how this private room was decorated. It was sumptuously furnished; there were even expensive bonsai trees placed on the side tables next to the window. Although it looked very elegant and high class, she still had to see if their food could match up to the restaurant’s appearance.
Royal Princess Duanjia rested her chin on one hand while her clever eyes were fixed onto Chu Lian. “Chu Liu, you’ve never been to a place like this?”
Chu Lian hadn’t expected Royal Princess Duanjia to be so direct. She simply smiled and shook her head. “I’ve never been to a place like this before. It’s my first time!”
The original ‘Chu Lian’ hadn’t been on very good terms with the other ladies in her family. She had also been suppressed by her stepmother, so she didn’t have much money. Setting aside the question of whether she would even have the chance to leave the estate, she couldn’t even afford to tip the servants if she went out, nevermind dine at a luxurious restaurant like Yuehong.
When Royal Princess Duanjia heard her honest confession, she could guess that her days at the Ying Estate hadn’t been too great. However, seeing that her eyes were bright and clear, without a hint of darkness or resentment, the princess admired her carefree personality even more.
“Then eat more today. When we’re done, let’s go to Defeng Teahouse for a bit. I heard that someone will be performing ‘The Phoenix Seeks His Soulmate’ there today.”
It was rare for her to find someone she could get along with to go out and play. Chu Lian wasn’t too bothered about things like differences in social status either. The two of them were just like two best friends on a shopping trip, so Chu Lian agreed without thinking too much.
When all the dishes were served, the hopeful Chu Lian couldn’t hold back the twitch at the corners of her mouth.
There were over ten signature dishes on the table, but only the roast duck looked passable. The rest of the dishes were about the same as what she had in the Jing’an Estate.
On the other hand, Royal Princess Duanjia’s eyes were alight as she took in this poor spread. Her handmaid had already started placing pieces of roast duck in Royal Princess Duanjia’s personal dish, as well as Chu Lian’s.
There were two other small dishes placed in front of them. One of them was filled with a dark soy sauce, while fine salt crystals were piled on top of the other.
Royal Princess Duanjia pointed at the two white dishes and said, “Chu Liu, you have to dip the roast duck into the dark soy sauce and the fine salt. It’s delicious! Try it out!”
As she finished speaking, she quickly picked up a piece of roast duck on her plate, dipped it into the sauce, and then stuffed it right into her mouth. Royal Princess Duanjia closed her eyes as she savoured it.
Upon finishing that one single piece, she smacked her lips like she was recording the flavour into her memory. Then she turned her expectant eyes towards Chu Lian.