People Can't Stop Talking About This 'Honest' Canadian Restaurant's Menu

With the constant state of superlatives in which the culinary scene seems to function, anything less than "the best," "the most amazing," and the like manages to stand out the most. Hence, a recent viral tweet. "Aunt Dai is my [favorite] Chinese restaurant in Montreal," Kim Belair, CEO of Sweet Baby Inc, wrote, "but the REAL treat is the menu, featuring extremely honest commentary from the owner."

The pleasure in the owner's menu of self-reviews range from self-deprecating, such as the admission of "I don't know why but peanut sauce chicken is liked by a lot of customers at AuntDai" to notes on Singapore noodles that would baffle most marketing: "It has curry [flavor], don't expect it to be SO tasty but it's a safe choice and make you happy" (via Aunt Dai). Other comments are simple descriptions of a meal, usually with a general suggestion of health or probable enjoyment.

As of this writing, the tweet has been retweeted well over 12,000 times and liked almost 76,000 times. Comments on it tend to coo along the lines of "That's wonderful" or "This is charming as hell." Most made a resolution to visit Aunt Dai upon their next visit to Montreal.

The owner's reaction

One Twitter response came from the owner himself, Feigang Fei, and was as sweet as the opinions shared on the menu: "Hey, I am the owner of Cuisine AuntDai, thanks to your tweet, I got a lot of press interviews. It has been a heck of few days in my whole life. Join Twitter to thank you. If you like I want to talk to you. You are my first person to follow on Twitter!!!"

According to an interview he gave Eater, Fei only realized the attention his restaurant was receiving when a German paper reached out to conduct a story about the menu. He explained that the reviews stemmed from an attempt to convey how spicy or greasy certain dishes were, citing the difficulties involved in ordering Chinese food. He also figured it was better to direct customers to dishes they would actually consume, thus reducing food waste.

Throughout the pandemic, a consistent influx of customers has helped stave off the worst-case scenarios, and apparently, customer traffic increased after the tweet became viral. However, Fei does emphasize that he hopes people don't get their hopes up too much regarding the food: "I just don't want people to be disappointed, and I don't want to oversell it."