This drama tells the story of the family of Chunjiin (Heaven, Earth and Man), who own a traditional restaurant famous for its Kimchi, and their suspicious guests. As an abandoned child, Ho Tae grew up in an orphanage and became a gangster. One day, he becomes fascinated by Chunjiin when he visits the place, but is attacked by opposing thugs, only to be saved by Kang San, a daughter of the restaurant’s owner. After Kang San accepts Ho Tae into her family, he begins to grow attached to the place and his new surroundings, gradually recovering long-lost memories of his childhood. This heartwarming story depicts love, Kimchi philosophy, and the struggles the Chunjiin family face as they try to deal with the threat of rival restaurants. It also deals with Ho Tae’s dark past which comes back to haunt him, and the mystery of Kang San’s father, who abruptly disappears as Ho Tae is accepted into the family. (Source: JTBC) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Kimchi Family is a real family drama with an extremely well written mystery and lovely little romance wrapped up inside. Every episode highlights a recipe for a type of Kimchi or on some occasions, a traditional Korean dish. Every type of kimchi and how it is prepared is mixed with a lesson about family, forgiveness, friendship, love, trust and on and on. The writing and acting are extremely well done. The way the plot advances and moves toward its conclusion is not rushed and no story line is left hanging. The pacing is perfect. This is a rare thing, even for the best Kdrama.
The thing that struck me about this drama is it's mix of corny and wise, silly and serious, tender and real. The well played out mysteries are what ended up surprising me. There were actually two! Ki Ho Tae and his search for his roots and another, slightly darker mystery that I won't spoil here. The great thing about how they were written is the subtlety and rationale of the characters. Each actors' dialog and reactions weren't over melodramatic and maudlin and yet still emotional and moving. I was excited to see how they would be solved.
I also loved how every episode was all about food, it's preparation, it's healing qualities for body and soul and it's ability to bring family together; both blood family and the family you choose with your heart.
Song Il Gook and Park Jin Hee were great. Their romance was sweet and their chemistry was lovely. Every actor did a great job. I have not one complaint.
The cinematography and lighting, the set designs were all so well done. I'm almost sad it's over now because I'm going to miss Earth and Man Restaurant.
The music was great! There is one song in particular that I absolutely loved. I don't know the name but it was a mix of traditional Korean, modern pop and rap! It was so catchy that I was actually bummed when an episode passed and it wasn't played.
I gave the re-watch value a 10 because even though I might not watch this again, it certainly is as far from a 1 (pathetic) as you could get.
I recommend this highly for anyone who is looking for an original (yes, original!) story and one that is maturely written and very well told.
Story- The first episode was just really interesting and the chemistry between the leads was so good. The possibility of a romance between them led me to want to continue watching and see what this drama was all about. As the drama unfolded I became more intrigued as there was a bit of mystery to some characters and how they were connected. . The romance was sweet and subtle as the plot was more about the main character finding out who he is and about his past. The synopsis doesn’t do this show justice, as yes its about the family ties that develop between the people who work and live at Earth and Man but its so much more. It’s heartwarming, engaging, and emotional. The ending is bittersweet.
Acting/Cast- Wonderful acting by the entire cast. Not just the main actors but the supporting cast as well. Everyone made their characters stand out. I loved all the characters and they really felt like a family to me. I'm glad I got introduced to SIG because I’ll definitely be watching out for other things he’s in=)
Music- Interesting score that fit the scenes really well. The OST was very good but nothing I’d listen to out of the show.
Rewatch- I’d definitely watch this again but not too soon.
Overall Kimchi Family was a pleasure to watch and I will definitely miss watching every week.