Chapter 25: Not Bad, This Is the Taste!
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Qian Ge Headquarters Building, Tianjing City Central, Level 16.
“CEO Hong, the proposal for the development of West Four Loops is out. Please take a look.” The secretary gently put a 10-page document on Hong Weiguo’s desk, turned around, and left the room, closing the door softly.
“Let me look at the estimate.” Hong Weiguo picked up the proposal and started reading. “West Four Loops is located 25 kilometers west of Tianjing City Central; Bohua Outer Street is to the east, with Rending Lane on the boundary; Beiyi South River and Xisheng Gate West Street are to the north, with Haiyang District adjacent to them; Sanwu River and Hongwu Mountain are to the west; and Yongsheng Gate West River Road is to the south, with Chengan Gate on the boundary. That is connected to East Three Loops. Altogether, there are 12 streets and 178 communities within its jurisdiction. West Four Loops takes up 74 square kilometers. The sixth census in 2010 estimated the population of West Four Loops to be about 1.819 million.
“Garden area, 16.67%. Forest area, 25.08%. Residential and commercial land, 30.1%. Land used for transportation, 5.46%. Water storage, 8.51%. Unused land, 14.18%. No farming land. Suggestion for a potential landlord to focus on residential and unused land. However, unused land is in the outskirts and not suitable for investment. Focus of investment should be on residential area.”
Looking at the financial proposal, Hong Weiguo tapped his fingers on the table lightly. “Thirty percent of the land is residential or commercial, which is about 22 square kilometers. That’s certainly not a small figure.”
Twenty-two square kilometers might not seem large, but in practice, taking over such a large plot of land was almost impossible. It was an astronomical amount that even the Hong family might not be able to handle.
Of course, Hong Weiguo did not possess such a huge appetite. He only wanted to purchase as much land as possible before the state policy was implemented. All he would need to do after that was wait for the value of the land to go up and he would earn a fortune.
Hong Weiguo continued reading. “West Four Loops is not suitable for investing. There is too much land for commercial purposes. Central is the busiest area, but the land is too expensive there. The southern area is less busy, but it has fewer prospects too.” Next would be to estimate the amount needed to acquire that piece of land.
“It seems like it is not so easy to bite off such a big piece of cake.” Hong Weiguo rubbed his temples. “The place is too big. To invest only 300 million is equivalent to putting it in jeopardy. But if I invest more money, it’ll affect the liquid funds. This is tough to figure out.”
Hong Weiguo could very well afford the funds, but he was a businessman, after all. His goal was to spend the minimum and earn the maximum. Although the document stated that the government intended to develop the area, who knew when that would be? It would be an easy task to raise a few billion yuan, but if that amount were to get tied up…
Without liquid funds, it would be dangerous if something happened to the company. If the government changed their mind and retracted the development plans, that would really be throwing money into the sea.
“Forget it, I’ll invest 200,000 to 300,000 million for a start and see how much I can get out of it. The government’s development plans are too unstable; I’d better not get too involved.” Hong Weiguo finally decided after thinking for a while. “I’ll acquire a few good plots of land, then wait and see.”
While Hong Weiguo was pondering over the acquisition and development of the plots of land, Hong Dali was squandering to his heart’s content.
With just one instruction, everyone in Hung Lung Hotel scrambled. Within 20 minutes, 108 main dishes and 54 side dishes were served, filling up four large tables. The most luxurious and sumptuous banquet was nothing compared to this.
Hong Dali brought Tang Muxin to the front of the dishes. “Xinxin, try and see which dish suits your taste the best.” The lackeys had already prepared their bowls and cutleries. Hong Dali picked up a piece of sweet and sour pickled Chinese bellflower with his chopsticks and took a bite. “Um, not bad, this tastes good. This is how it should taste!”
The floor manager almost slumped to the ground. Oh my god, you instructed the chefs to prepare so many dishes, but the first thing you tasted was pickled Chinese bellflowers?!
While the floor manager was making a fuss, the nine lackeys were indifferent.See how shocked you are? Clearly, you have not seen what our young master is capable of. Our young master spent over 30 million just last night buying properties to rear dogs. This is just a meal, there’s no reason to kick up a big fuss.
Tang Muxin kept her silence and picked up a pair of chopsticks with her pale fingers. She picked up a slice of meat and took a bite out of it. “This red-fermented-yeast sliced conch is crisp and light—very fragrant yet simple. It’s a pity it was a little over-fried, which caused it to lose a little of its original taste.”
Hong Dali was surprised by Tang Muxin’s review of the food. “Eh, Xinxin, I didn’t know you possessed such talent. What is it about this red-fermented-yeast sliced conch? Tell me about it.”
Tang Muxin pursed her lips and smiled. Her coquette expression dazed everyone around her. They thought: It’s no wonder she could become the young master’s fiancée. Only a girl like that is worthy of Young Master’s status.
Tang Muxin warmly explained, “This dish was made by removing the ends of the conch flesh, slicing it thinly, and blanching it in hot water. Thereafter, slice and blanch winter bamboo shoots in hot oil. Fry chopped garlic and minced ginger till fragrant, add red fermented yeast and stir-fry. Add dried shiitake mushrooms and fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms blanched in oil, and pour in a marinade made using soup stock, MSG, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and starch. Mix in evenly and let it boil slightly, then add in the sliced conch. Fry till everything is mixed evenly together. Snow-white sliced conch with red fermented rice, not only does it look good, it tastes good too. It’s a famous dish passed down from the olden days, and not many people know the existence of such a dish.”
It was indeed surprising. This hotel that had been bought on impulse came with a chef that could make a dish like this.
Hong Dali would not miss an opportunity like this. He instructed the floor manager. “Ask the chef that made this dish to come out and see me.”
Very soon, a plump chef walked out and bowed awkwardly upon seeing Hong Dali. “Young Master, I’m Chef Wei Bao.”
Wei Bao, eating one’s fill 1 , what a good name. Hong Dali sized him up. This person almost looked like a meatball. He couldn’t see his toes when he stood straight. His face was so chubby that his eyes could only be seen as a line. With lips thick like sausages, he looked comical.
Hong Dali tried not to laugh. “Good skills. Let me ask you, I have some recipes for a few dishes. If I told you the recipes, would you be able to make them?”