“Alright!” Tang Wulin grinned; he was already starting to feel hungry.
The stewed beef dish was prepared by boiling the meat in a light brown coloured earthen jar. After the meat was cleaned, slices of onions and ginger were added inside. The jar was used to trap the moisture in and keep the flavours during the stewing process. As soon as the meat changes colour, ten or so different types of spices were sprinkled into the jar before the long duration of stewing began. The meat would then turn soft and tender, and the flavours of the spices would combine well with the meat. This was a well-known dish within Eastsea City.
The shop was small in size, and the cooking table was situated outside the shop. There were a hundred little flames, and on top of the table were earthen jars filled with the savoury stewed beef. The steam coming out from these jars caused small vibrations upon the lids. Soft humming sounds echoed from the jars as a sweet and pungent fragrance lured passersby on the road.
Inside the shop, there were only five mediocre-sized square tables. With a maximum occupancy of twenty or so customers, half of the shop was already filled at this time.
It was now mid-autumn and the temperature was dropping as the days went by. The entrance welcomed customers with a gush of warmth and the fragrance of stewed beef. This was a comfortable feeling to experience.
Gu Yue showed a shocked expression to Xie Xie. “I’m surprised that a rich young master like you would eat at a roadside shop!”
Xie Xie didn’t bother to argue with her this time round. “The stewed beef from this shop used to be my mother’s favourite, and I ventured here occasionally.” As he spoke, he had already moved into the shop and chose a seat at the table furthest inside the shop.
Tang Wulin nudged Gu Yue before following Xie Xie into the shop. He sat opposite Xie Xie.
“Oh! Xie Xie has come, and he brought friends with him. The usual dishes?” The boss was a middle-aged man. He had an oil-stained apron tied around his waist and a wide grin on his face.
“En. Uncle Li, thanks.” Xie Xie grinned back as he gave his thanks.
Three portions of stewed beef were delivered to them in a short moment, together with three bowls of rice and two vegetable side dishes.
“It’s a first to see you’ve bring friends with you. These side dishes are on the house.” Uncle Li grinned as he spoke, stroking Xie Xie’s head as if Xie Xie was his own nephew.
Tang Wulin was shocked as he looked at Xie Xie. Xie Xie was obsessed with cleanliness, and his bed was by far the cleanest in the dorm. But at this moment, it didn’t seem to matter to him that this roadside shop owner was touching him. Furthermore, he grinned without any signs of cringing. “Thank you Uncle Li”
Both Tang Wulin and Gu Yu’s image of Xie Xie was overturned by his current behaviour.
Xie Xie questioned them, “What are you waiting for? Hurry up and eat.
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