They say an honest man has nothing to fear, and that’s certainly the case for Feigang Fei, the owner of a Cuisine Aunt Dai, a Chinese restaurant in Montreal.
Aunt Dai has been in operation since 2014 and has received newfound attention thanks to Fei’s brutally honest “owner’s words” written under the restaurant’s online menu items.
Fei says he started writing the food descriptions “about four or five years ago,” having completed notes for all 66 menu items last year.
In a phone call with Daily Hive, Fei says he’s a “transparent guy” and wanted to be honest with his customers, specifically to warn them about “greasy dishes, food that is too spicy, and dishes that contain bones.” He says it can be difficult to order traditional Chinese dishes in restaurants; he wanted to ensure people were ordering items they wanted, “so we didn’t waste food and throw it away.”
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Fei says the feedback from clients has been positive. “Customers said it’s really interesting and very nice,” he said. “Once in a while, customers will ask me, ‘Who wrote that? It’s very funny.'”
The owner recently appeared on a local Montreal radio station regarding his honest descriptions and said a German journalist recently reached out to cover his truthfulness.
“A lot of new customers are coming in,” says Fei. “Some days that are usually quiet are getting really busy. If it stays like this, we will be very happy.”
Aunt Dai is available for takeout and delivery and is active across Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes, and DoorDash. Fei says he hopes all the publicity doesn’t get customers thinking, “‘Wow, that place must be really good.’ I just don’t want customers to be disappointed. I don’t want to oversell anything.”
The restaurant, named after Fei’s friend Dai — who’s featured as the restaurant’s logo — only has Fei’s “owner’s words” on the website menu.
In regards to Aunt Dai’s orange beef (Chén Pí Niú Ròu), Fei’s honest description says “comparing to our General Tao Chicken, this one is not THAT good. Anyway, I am not big fan of North American Chinese food and it’s your call.”
A few delightful menu descriptions can be found below.