9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A lovely delicacy of a dish!
Lester Mak (leekandham) from London, UK
14 October 2009
Ageing cook, Wan (Fuji Tatsuya) is the chef-owner a popular local
Chinese restaurant called Little Shanghai. Cooking his favourite dishes
from his native Shaoxing in China, his restaurant is favourite with the
regular locals which beings it to the attention attention of a
department store, who wants to create a range of dishes for retail.
Their rep, widowed mother Takako (Nakatani Miki), is sent to visit Wan,
but she is unable to convince him to do a deal. Persistently visiting
his restaurant she tries each of the dishes and falls in love with the
restaurant, whilst uncovering her own desire to learn how to cook for
herself. When Wan suffers a stroke and the restaurant is threatened
with closure, Takako quits her job and offers to be Wan's apprentice.
Reluctant at first, Wan finally accepts, and Takako's major task is to
impress some very important clients.
Admittedly not the most original plot (we've had "apprentice" story
lines stretching from dance/music/singing/office/fashion students as
far as you can get), this one does provides a nice twist on the idea.
Not just focusing on the usual apprentice-will-succeed story, director
Mihara Mitsuhiro focuses on exploring the senses. Of course, we could
have done with a bit of smelly-vision and tasting the food, but being a
film Mihara does his best by taking us also on a beautiful visual and
aural journey, not only in the kitchen, but to different parts of Japan
and Shaoxing in China as well. In many ways this is as much a cultural
eye-opener as a culinary one.
The backgrounds to the characters provide for some neat and touching
moments throughout the movie, and the chemistry between the actors is
excellent, all brought together to complement Miharo's story and
For me this was one very delightful film, tickling all my senses of
pleasure, and I would be happy to revisit this establishment again any
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