Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Chinese restaurant’s brutally honest menu generates clicks and crowds

The restaurant has a lot of traditional Chinese dishes on the menu, and customers would order things and discover they didn't like it.

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A Chinese restaurant in Montreal has gone viral for its “extremely honest” dish descriptions on the menu.

Earlier this week, customer Kim Belair tweeted pictures of a few of the descriptions from the menu, saying: “Aunt Dai is my favourite Chinese restaurant in Montreal, but the REAL treat is the menu, featuring extremely honest commentary from the owner.”

Orange Beef is described as “not THAT good”, and the owner is “not a huge fan” of his General Tao chicken because it’s not as tasty as the version he lived on when he was a student back in China.

The owner warns that the braised pork belly with sweet potato noodles should be avoided “if you are watching your weight because you know you cannot stop if you start on this one.”

A screenshot of part of Aunt Dai’s very honest online menu.

The restaurant’s Singapore noodles are a “safe choice” but customers “shouldn’t expect it to be SO tasty”.

Since Belair posted the tweet on Sunday, it has been retweeted many thousand of times.

Feigang Fei, Aunt Dai’s owner, told NBC Today that the attention online has brought in crowds of customers to the restaurant.

“It’s very, very good for our business,” he said.

Fei started writing the dish descriptions because a lot of Canadian customers were unfamiliar with some of the traditional Chinese items on the menu and would order things they ended up not actually liking which often caused awkwardness with famously polite Canadians.

“We had a lot of traditional items on the menu, and customers would order something totally not what they wanted,” Fei said. “Something would be really greasy, or really spicy, or have bones, and customers would not touch it all, so I asked them why. I saw a lot of frustration, so after that I started writing the comments.

“The whole idea is just to let people know what they’re ordering,” he told Today. “A lot of people found it very funny and very helpful. I was so encouraged by them. I didn’t think I needed to write descriptions for each item, but I was encouraged by their feedback, so I finished all of them.”

Ultimately, Fei said the restaurant wants to be “very honest, very true to ourselves and our customers.”

“We don’t want customers to come with high expectations and then feel disappointed,” he said. “We are not always the best food restaurant, but we try to do our best every day and to satisfy our customers and not oversell anything.”

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