In a restaurant I asked for dry fried green beans (干煸豆角) with no salt. The woman was very kind and asked if hot peppers are okay (yes) and when she told the cook I heard her say don’t add salt. When they came though they had very much salt. Delicious but I should not eat that. She said they had not added salt, which was true in a way. But of course the cook had made up the peppers-and-meat seasoning at the start of the day. It had a lot of salt in it.
I fear I did not explain the problem very well to her, because that past-perfect construction was beyond me. How can I say “there was already a lot of salt in the meat”?
The people were so kind I want to go back. But I have to be able to explain this to them.
Henry HO and user6065 give good ideas of what I should have said yesterday in the first place. And I will use those suggestions in the future at other restaurants.
But when it happened, the woman was very concerned to say "He did not add any salt." And I tried to agree "Yes, I know he did not add any. The meat was already salty." She really wanted to help me and I wanted to explain that I appreciated that even though the result was too salty for me to eat.
I can easily say I know he did not add any. The second part is harder for me.