This Montreal Resto's Menu Is So Brutally Honest Harvard Decided To Preserve It Forever
The Montreal restaurant that went viral for its brutally honest menu is officially going down in food history. Cuisine AuntDai's hilarious menu will be archived at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Harvard University.
It will join the Schlesinger Library's collection of historical menus so it can be used as an artifact for food history buffs and researchers — meaning a little piece of Montreal culture has found a new home at Harvard.
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"I think it's pretty cool ... like I can make something lasting," said owner Feigang Fei, the man behind the menu that made waves around the world — garnering attention from The Guardian, CNN, The New York Times, and more.
It was after reading The New York Times' article that a Harvard history professor reached out to Fei, asking for a copy of his menu to add to the archives.
Aunt Dai is my favourite Chinese restaurant in Montreal, but the REAL treat is the menu, featuring extremely honest… https://t.co/N5dZlilil0— Kim Belair (@Kim Belair) 1610317945.0
"When I look back at least seven or eight of the [menu comments] — pretty funny," Fei told MTL Blog.
"I wrote them five years ago, or maybe some of them even six years ago. I didn't realize ... it's not appropriate."
For example, Fei said he's always watching his weight, leading him to caption the Braised Pork Belly with: "You may not want to have it every time if you are watching your weight because you know you cannot stop if you have started on this one."
The Orange Beef is a fan favourite: "This one is not THAT good," Fei wrote.
Fei said his blunt comments started when customers were confused by traditional Chinese dishes on the menu. They'd order things with familiar names not knowing what to expect, only to be disappointed.
"That's why I have to put more information [...] on the website, to kind of let them know," he said.
"But as I always like to joke around, [...] I sometimes probably went astray."
Prior to his newfound fame, Fei said he liked to stay behind the scenes. But now that his face has been on TV and all over the internet, he said the "floodgates have opened," and he's no longer afraid to step into the spotlight.
Fei is now regularly blogging as well as posting on YouTube where he reviews his restaurant's dishes.
His goal is to start reviewing other restaurants' menus, dishes and dining room experiences on social media, so he can use his growing platform to support and promote other businesses.
But restauranteurs beware: "I will be really honest, please contact me if you are ready and willing to face my honest reviews," wrote Fei in an Instagram post.
He also said he wants to start interviewing people on his channels.
"Just ordinary people, ordinary things, but ... when we are old, or several years later, when we look back, we'll have something to laugh at," Fei said.
Soon, anyone who accesses Harvard's archives will be able to do the same as they look at Aunt Dai's menu.