OCN C69 How about Dating?

As for Si Shi Wu’s date, things were naturally not as difficult to handle as the dinner with Si Shi Qi’s sister since Mister Yu’s granddaughter definitely wasn’t out to get any dirt on them.

When Si Shi Wu arrived at the restaurant, there was still quite a bit of time until they were supposed to meet up. He went to the room already, sitting down while he pondered how to go about this.

In fact, he didn’t know much about Mister Yu’s granddaughter. He probably could’ve asked Si Er to find out more about her but he hadn’t wanted to do that if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. While it could help with finding subjects to talk about, it might also make things more artificial. In the worst case, she would figure out that he had somehow looked into her which might scare her off. Then, his plan wouldn’t work.

No, it was better to facilitate a good relationship with her even if it didn’t end up being anything romantic. Thus, he went in without any kind of preparation. The only thing he knew about her was what Mister Yu had told him himself: That she also had an interest in cooking and was on her way to becoming a chef. It seemed he would have to go with that at first.

Mister Yu’s granddaughter finally arrived when it was almost the agreed-upon time. When she came into the room, Si Shi Wu got up and inclined his head, motioning for her to sit down. “Miss Yu. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I hope it wasn’t a problem to come here on such short notice.”

Yu Lin gave him a once over. Her grandfather had told her who it was that she would be meeting up with and she had taken the time to have a look at his restaurant’s website which also had a photo of him so she had known that she would be able to recognize him. Looking at him in real life, she felt that the photo was quite truthful.

Sitting down, she raised the corners of her lips in a polite smile. “Don’t worry about it. In any case, I should be the one to apologize for that. I’m just afraid that tomorrow wouldn’t have worked out well for me so I suggested this evening instead.”

“I don’t mind either way. I’m just glad that we were able to make it work.”

The two of them fell silent and Si Shi Wu finally just picked up the menu, sliding it over to her. “Your grandfather told me that you are also preparing to become a chef. I guess I can only hope that this restaurant will be up to our standards.” He had chosen the same restaurant for this as Si Yi and the others had chosen for their meeting since it was hailed as the best one in the city. He actually had high hopes but considering their jobs, it might be that they would have a different perspective on this than most people.

Yu Lin chuckled at that. “Well, this might surprise you but I’m not a picky eater. I think that you can find good food everywhere. Even street foods can be delicious if prepared right. And the impact it has on culture is often more important than that of highly-rated restaurants. No offense.”

Si Shi Wu smiled faintly. “None taken. To be honest, I have to agree somewhat.” He opened the menu and glanced over the dishes even though he had already taken a look at home. “The dishes presented in this kind of restaurant aren’t available to everyone. The majority of people in a country will be acquainted with street food though.

“So you could say that if there is a national dish in a country, it is more likely to be that what the common people can eat rather than what only those wealthy have a chance of eating.

“And while some dishes will be expensive just based on the ingredients used, many dishes will not require those but will be able to be made in large quantities while still retaining a specific taste. And memorable dishes are good ones I think.”

“Unless they are memorable because they were prepared so badly that you could hardly gulp them down.” You Lin closed the menu and put it down, giving him a smile. “I’m afraid that the two of us will only talk about food if things continue like this. That probably wasn’t what my grandfather had in mind.”

Si Shi Wu closed the menu as well but didn’t put it away immediately and instead continued to hold it while giving her a pensive look over the edge. “Is Miss Yu interested in dating?”

Yu Lin laughed at that. “Mister Ai is asking some interesting questions there. To be honest, I’m not that concerned with it. If it fits, I wouldn’t mind it. And I do have to say that Mister Ai seems like a very kind man. We might get along.

“But on the other hand, that isn’t where my focus in life is right now. I’ve just finished culinary school and I want to go and get some work experience, travel maybe, then open up my own restaurant one day. That will take a lot of time and energy. I’m just afraid that most relationships wouldn’t be able to accommodate that. So I’m not sure if this would work out even if the two of us have some chemistry between us.”

Si Shi Wu nodded and finally put away the menu as well. “I can imagine that. When I started my restaurant back then, there wasn’t time for anything else either. If you have a goal, you need to work toward it with all that you have. That is the only way to make it. Distractions … they might be too big to overcome. And sometimes, other things are just more important than relationships.

“Also, I believe that Miss Yu isn’t that old yet so whether you start dating immediately or not probably won’t make that much of a difference. You still have more than enough time to find the right partner.”

Yu Lin nodded, clearly agreeing with him in that regard. “I’m just afraid that my grandfather is of a different opinion in that regard.

Si Shi Wu gave a hum, not surprised by that. “Your grandfather is a good person, a very good cook, definitely somebody that I look up to. But he is also of an older generation. And in some regards, he is still very traditional and not quite open-minded yet.

“In the future, my change but I guess especially in regard to this, he feels like you are doing something wrong because you don’t follow things the way it was done back then and probably also in the generation of your parents.

“He’s probably afraid for your future well-being. Even though that is unnecessary. In these times, even without a husband, a woman is able to shape her own future. And I believe that Miss Yu will be able to do that.”

Yu Lin smiled. Even though she didn’t really like that her grandfather was always meddling, she did have to say that this time, he had found somebody who wasn’t that bad. “Then, might I ask what Mister Ai’s thoughts on dating are?” Since he was so forthright when it came to talking about this with her, she might as well see what the other side was thinking.

Si Shi Wu gave a wry smile and lowered his gaze before he cleared his throat. “To be honest, I might be in a similar situation. Most people would probably look at me and think that my situation is stable enough since I have my own restaurant and by gaining a star, I have even achieved something that many chefs older than me are unable to do. But I myself still think that focusing on my job right now isn’t too bad.

“The restaurant takes up a lot of my time. And I’m honestly not sure how to incorporate a dating life. If I was to find the right person, I wouldn’t be against it but I’m not searching actively. I agreed to this because it was Mister Yu asking and you did seem like a lovely young lady but, to be honest, I’m not that eager either.”

Yu Lin smiled, feeling that this time around, her grandfather had really done the right thing. She wasn’t sure if there was any chance of something happening between her and this man but at the very least, they could get along well enough. She would definitely be able to be friends with him. “Well, I guess we are in the same place then.”

“Yes, it sure seems that way.” Si Shi Wu folded his hands in his lap and then looked up at her again, seeming a bit hesitant.

“Just say it. In any case, I do like your open way of going about things. I would rather know what you think about this than for you to keep something hidden so as to not hurt my feelings. That wouldn’t lead us anywhere.”

Si Shi Wu nodded, feeling that she really wouldn’t be a bad choice as his wife. Somebody levelheaded was exactly what the Si clan needed. But he also still had Si Yi’s words at the back of his mind: He didn’t need to sacrifice his own personal life just for the Si clan. If it wasn’t absolutely necessary, nobody would expect that of him. And in this situation, he felt like there were indeed other ways to deal with this.

“There are two things. For one, I wouldn’t mind seeing where this leads. I think that because we have the same profession and you have also grown up in a family where you’ve seen how it is to be a chef, there’s an understanding between us that others might not have.

“If we were to find out that we match quite well, I think that neither of us would mind waiting for a while. So I would suggest meeting up a few more times if you don’t mind. It doesn’t need to be a regular thing, just giving it a try. Let’s see where things lead and then make a decision later on.

“If we don’t work out as a couple, I think it still wouldn’t be a problem to just spend some time together. We can talk about food, the culinary arts, or whatever else you’re interested in. I think that it would be quite interesting. You seem like a person that is easy to talk to.”

Yu Lin nodded, feeling even better about this. “Well, I wouldn’t mind going about things that way. Then, what was the other matter?”

Si Shi Wu gave a wry smile at that. “Usually, I am not somebody who gets involved in other people’s matters but I feel like this is something that you should know.”

Yu Lin raised her brows, not sure what to expect. “What could it be?”

“Originally, your grandfather was asking somebody else what he thought of you. I happened to know the person and he was looking a little uncomfortable with the situation so I went over to try and help him out. Who knew that your grandfather would switch his target to me instead? This is how this whole situation came about.”

Yu Lin raised her brows, feeling that this was actually a bit funny. “So you mean to say that I should be worried about my grandfather trying to push me off to other men at the same time?”

Si Shi Wu gave a smile at that. “I’m pretty sure that you don’t need my warning in that regard. Your grandfather seemed quite experienced in introducing you so I would assume this isn’t the first time you suddenly find yourself on a blind date.

“No, what I wanted to say is just about this specific person. You might know that your grandfather is currently a judge on that show ‘Golden Spoon’.”

Yu Lin nodded. “Yes, he asked my opinion when they first approached him. I suggested that he take the offer but be a bit careful. On TV, you never really know. My grandfather doesn’t have much experience with these things so I was slightly worried. From what I heard today, things went quite well in the casting though, right?”

Si Shi Wu nodded. “Yes, from the bit that I saw, your grandfather did really well. I also don’t think that the producer would want to make trouble for him. Your grandfather has many fans out there, especially in the older generation. And even quite a few young people who are into cooking admire him. It wouldn’t do them good to make any trouble there. Rather than that, it’s the other judge who might be in a bit of a pinch there. I don’t know if you have heard of him?”

Yu Lin shook her head. “To be honest, I didn’t pay too much attention. I told my grandfather some general things he should look out for but I didn’t follow the news too much.”

Si Shi Wu gave a hum. That was probably good. “The other judge, Xiao Ming, is a food anchor with his own channel, called ‘Bright Yellow Water’. He has been in the business for a few years. Originally, he also intended to go to culinary school and become a chef but his personal life was a bit of a tragedy so things turned out differently. In the end, this was the compromise he could find.

“I think he is a …” He thought for a bit, wondering how to put it. “I think he is a very kind person and somebody who works hard. It is just that being a food anchor online and with how his life turned out, there are also some hindrances.

“On the show, even though he is a main judge, I think the team doesn’t look upon him kindly. Be that as it may, your grandfather seems to have a high opinion of him as well. He’s actually the person that he asked before me.”

Yu Lin raised her brows but wasn’t that surprised. “Nine out of ten men that my grandfather suggests to me are somehow related to the culinary arts. There were other chefs, some were currently going through culinary school, the owner of a restaurant, some food critic, and even a food stylist. I’m not surprised by anything anymore. Next time, he might get me to go out with the owner of a rice plantation.”

Si Shi Wu chuckled at that. “Well, I guess he sees it as somewhat of a family tradition. He probably wants to make things easier for you. In any case, I’m just mentioning this so that you know.

“I have had some personal dealings with Mister Xiao so I wouldn’t want to see him unhappy. He … isn’t into women. So if your grandfather suggests it again, I hope you could let him down kindly.”

Yu Lin raised her brows, not having expected that. “Well, I don’t think he would agree then, would he?”

“Usually, yes. But I don’t think he is very good at saying ‘no’ to your grandfather. He seems like a more soft-spoken person. And he does admire your grandfather a great deal so it is probably even more difficult for him.

“Anyway, I just wanted to let you know. You don’t have to think anymore about it, maybe your grandfather won’t even bring it up considering that the two of us have gone out. I just wanted you to know.

“Oh, also, I probably don’t need to say this but please don’t tell anyone about this. It’s something that I happened to overhear when he was mentioning it privately so this really isn’t something that should be spread.”

In fact, he was worried that he had done the wrong thing by telling her but it was really better than letting something happen there. Although it was quite selfish to do this for his master. They weren’t really leaving Xiao Ming much of a choice. But in any case, he couldn’t change it. They had worked for five years to get where they were today so they were unwilling to back down now.

Yu Lin just waved. “Don’t worry about it. I don’t spread gossip. But I’m quite curious to see about that live stream now. I should take a closer look at that.

“Anyway, I don’t think we’re here to talk only about that. So, tell me a bit about yourself. I still need to go back to report to my grandfather after all.”

Si Shi Wu laughed again and the two of them finally moved on from talking about work and got to focus more on their private matters, actually having a lovely evening even though there didn’t seem to be the slightest hint of a romantic spark between them.

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