The menu at this restaurant offers frankly honest descriptions of the dishes | Food and cooking
By Leah Asmelash, CNN
Feigang Fei, owner of Cuisine AuntDai in Montreal, wants to be honest with you.
Orange beef? Not very good, especially compared to the restaurant’s General Tao chicken. But Fei isn’t a big fan of North American Chinese food anyway, so, “It’s your choice.”
What about the sweet and spicy pork strips? Well, Fei has high expectations. It was one of his favorites in China.
âSince I expect so much from this dish, I’m not a huge fan of our version, to be honest,â he says bluntly.
It’s all listed on AuntDai’s online menu, which serves a variety of traditional and non-traditional Chinese dishes, with each item including a few lines of commentary from Fei. When Kim Belair, writer, posted the menu to Twitter last week, Fei’s descriptions quickly exploded, with tens of thousands enjoying his words.
Mainly, her ratings are helpful, pointing out which dishes aren’t really as spicy as they seem, which are popular, and which are her favorites.
Under a photo of Tofu Skin Salad, for example, he gives a brief history: âQianZhang is translated into thousands of layers. It’s a big sheet of tofu and it’s magical that the Chinese can prepare so many different foods using soybeans. We cut QianZhang leaves into thin julienne. This plate is very tasty and healthy and it is widely accepted. I totally recommend this one. “
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Others, he writes, he hasn’t even had a chance to try.
And these honest descriptions of the dishes are nothing new. Most of them that he wrote years ago, he told CNN partner CBC News. He just didn’t want customers to be disappointed.
“A lot of people want to be the best (…) and we’re just not the best. That’s a fact,” he said. “We’re just trying to be a little better every day. And that’s how I see it.”
Now, as news of Fei’s brilliant menu and commentary has gone viral, business has grown as well.
“Friday and Saturday we saw a lot of new customers, and a lot of them told me that they heard me on the radio or saw me on TV and that they loved it”, Fei wrote in a statement. Monday blog post, after his hectic week.
This is good news for the restaurant, which has spent months taking out only in the midst of the pandemic. Even though Aunt Dai was doing well, other restaurants and small businesses in Canada, such as those in the United States, were hit hard. In British Columbia alone, for example, more than 25,000 businesses closed in March and April 2020, the first two months of the pandemic, according to to CBC reports.
âWe’re very lucky to be alive,â Fei told CBC.
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