Mo Fang leaned against the bar and smiled unconsciously when he saw Yao Chen working behind it. “I was gone for three years but Brother Yao is still here. It’s the first time since coming back that I feel like nothing much has changed.”
Yao Chen was the type to keep an eye out even while mixing drinks so he had naturally seen Mo Fang approach. He smiled back but finished with the drink before turning toward him. “I heard you came back a few weeks ago. How come you’re only here now?”
Mo Fang sat down and gave a hum. “I was busy with a few things. Today, Ah Tao invited me here. It’s a pity he is late as usual.”
Yao Chen could only smile wryly. Actually, ‘late’ wasn’t really a word to describe Si Tao if you asked him. The problem was rather that their boss appeared whenever and wherever he wanted. If he didn’t feel like it, you might not see him for weeks on end. If he had some sudden inspiration, he might come to hang out in the restaurant for half the day several days in a row though. Could that type of person really be late?
He shook his head at his own thoughts and motioned at the drinks behind him. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon. What do you want in the meantime?”
Mo Fang shook his head. “Ah, just give me something to eat. Is there anything new on the menu?”
Yao Chen didn’t answer him but pulled out the menu from behind the counter. “Well, have a look.” His gaze slipped behind Mo Fang to where Linghu Jiahao was still sitting. “Does Mr. Linghu want something as well?”
Needless to say, the two of them were also familiar with each other. After all, Linghu Jiahao was Mo Fang’s ex so he had naturally been dragged here in the past, and he was also familiar with the boss. Not to mention that he tended to come here on his own every once in a while to find somebody. How could Yao Chen not be familiar with him?
Mo Fang shook his head. He hadn’t really waited for Linghu Jiahao to say anything but then, he didn’t think that he would. Otherwise, he would have ordered something already. If not … well, when Si Tao came, the two of them could still eat together.
He opened the menu that was bound in shining black leather, his gaze roaming over the page. Actually, he wasn’t that hungry either but he hadn’t wanted to continue that conversation just now and this had seemed like the best excuse to get away that he currently had on hand. If he wanted to change the topic after coming back, he’d have to spend some time on this though. Thus, he carefully looked over every single item on the menu.
Three years were neither that long nor a short amount of time. The signature dishes of the restaurant were still the same as back then but some others had been thrown off and exchanged for new ones. Seeing this, Mo Fang couldn’t help but click his tongue. “Is Si Tao going new ways? It seems he has mostly added vegan dishes?”
Yao Chen laughed. “He’s always been shrewd. If there’s money in it, he’ll definitely go for it.”
Mo Fang’s lips curved up. “I can’t deny that. I’m just surprised he came up with this.” Of course, he believed that Si Tao had the skills to see that this was a chance to earn money. But from how he knew him, Si Tao wasn’t somebody who took needless risks. Rather than changing a system that worked well to a high degree, he’d rather buy the building next door and turn it into a vegan venue instead. So this was a bit surprising after all.
Yao Chen looked in both directions and then leaned over the counter, lowering his voice. “I think the idea came from his fiancee but he insisted on going through with it in the end. In his words ‘you better bet there’s a vegan person in every friend group’. So basically, he just wants a piece of that cake as well.”
Mo Fang chuckled. “So that was it. I was wondering why he didn’t open a completely vegan restaurant instead.”
Yao Chen gave a huff. “You really think he didn’t do that as well?” He pointed toward the door. “It’s two blocks down the street. Just look for the cheesiest name with a plant pun you can find.”
Mo Fang raised his brows. “I guess I’ll have to go and take a look then. Anyway …” He put down the menu without ordering anything in the end and looked Yao Chen up and down. “What about you?”
Yao Chen shrugged his shoulders. “Not much. I mean, you can see that I’m still working here. But then, I like it here so it’s not like I want to change.”
“What about your girlfriend? I remember you had just gotten into a relationship?” To be honest, even though he knew Yao Chen, they weren’t that close so he hadn’t kept up with what was going on in his life. Now, he had no idea how he was actually doing.
Yao Chen sighed. “Ah, that didn’t work out. I guess it’s fun flirting with the bartender but not so fun being in a relationship with him if you want to go out and he can’t come along.” He shrugged again, not thinking too much. “Well, it’s been three years since then so it’s almost not true anymore. I was in a few more relationships since then. Right now, I’m single again but it doesn’t bother me. Anyway, we’re all still young.”
Mo Fang nodded. “Yeah, we are. Well, it’s good as long as you’re happy.”
Yao Chen gave a hum and nodded at the menu. “Anyway, what do you want? Those vegan dishes actually aren’t bad in case you’re wondering. You can totally try.”
Mo Fang laughed. “If you’re already bringing it up like this, then I guess I shouldn’t say now. I’ll go back to Jiahao’s table then. Have one of the others bring it over, alright?”
“Sure thing!” Yao Chen motioned for him to go ahead and then got back to work himself.