Royal Feast (2022) poster
7.9
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,148 users
# of Watchers: 7,643
Reviews: 38 users
Ranked #2725
Popularity #1972
Watchers 2,148

Set during the Ming dynasty during the rule of the Yongle Emperor, it tells the story of a young girl named Yao Zi Jin, who entered the palace to become a maid of the food bureau. In the deep palace, she remains determined and slowly works her way up while perfecting her craft, making friends and encountering an unexpected romance at the same time. Through her romantic entanglement with Zhu Zhan Ji, the drama also showcases the historical achievements and family life of three outstanding emperors of the Ming Dynasty, portraying a gourmet Forbidden City full of rich family affection, friendship, love and humanity. (Source: DramaWiki) Edit Translation

  • English
  • Türkçe
  • Polski
  • Română
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 40
  • Aired: Feb 22, 2022 - Mar 26, 2022
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Hunan TV Mango TV
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 2,148 users)
  • Ranked: #2725
  • Popularity: #1972
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Royal Feast

China Huanyu Ent. Official
Subscription (sub)
WeTV
Free (sub)
Tubi
Free (sub)
MGTV
Free (sub)

Cast & Credits

Photos

Royal Feast (2022) photo
Royal Feast (2022) photo
Royal Feast (2022) photo
Royal Feast (2022) photo
Royal Feast (2022) photo
Royal Feast (2022) photo

Reviews

Completed
Xiao Zi
71 people found this review helpful
Mar 25, 2022
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 8
Overall 5.5
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 1.0

Only the cast, costumes, and food earn this drama 5.5 out of 10. Otherwise, a waste of time!

Royal Feast was one of the most anticipated dramas of 2022, mainly because of its star-studded cast. I believe the majority of the "Yanxi Palace victims" have come to see this to heal their broken hearts. I, too, came with high expectations, only to be disappointed by the poor screenplay and writers.

From my point of view, the entire show was about some people cooking and delivering food, jealousy, plotting, stupid cooking competitions, characters being stupid, and so on. To be honest, this drama doesn't deserve to be classified as a romance because the leads had so little screen time together. Most of the time, one would be resisting the other's love, and when they finally get together, they would either quarrel or become sassy. They don't understand each other, and I'm not sure how they fell in love!

Let's move to the characters. The character of the FL, Yao Zi Jin, irritated me the most. She's far too nice for her own good. She got herself into trouble most of the time because of her annoyingly forgiving nature. I sometimes wonder why she did this or why she did that. I agree that this is most likely due to the fact that this drama is based on true events and real people, which cannot be changed at will, but I couldn't stand her.

When it came to the ML, he was more tolerable. But,  I got annoyed with him from time to time because of his lack of tact and his treatment of his cocubines. When his father became Emperor, I burst out laughing. How could a king behave in such a way? He was a complete moron.

Except for Meng Shang Shi, most people in the food bureau were annoying as well. I believe she and the ML's grandfather were the only two rational characters in the entire show. Su Ye Hua and Yin Zi Ping were complete idiots, constantly quarrelling, plotting, and gossiping behind each other's backs.

In short, this drama is full of idiotic, annoying, and stupid characters.

Of course, the acting was superb. The performances of Xu Kai and Wu Jin Yan, as well as the supporting cast, were outstanding. However, believe me when I say that this drama plot does not deserve their acting abilities. What a waste of talent!

The only things that I believe the production team put a lot of effort into were the costumes and the food. I'm sure the actors ate well while they were filming. The food items looked delicious, and I think I was drooling over the food they were eating. (I'm not sure because I was sleepy most of the time.) The costumes were stunning. I particularly liked the war costume that ML wore in the final episodes.

This appears to be a large-budget drama. It's a shame it goes to waste. I think I would have liked this drama a lot more if the writers hadn't been so confused most of the time. I'm giving this drama a 5.5 just for the cast, costumes, OSTs, and, of course, the food. This drama is nothing more than pleasing to the eyes and stomach. If you like any of the actors, this could be a good drama, but if you came here for the plot, don't waste your time.

P.S. I think this is the first time I'm using this much 'annoyed's, 'stupid's and 'moron's in a review.

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Completed
ChineseDramaFan Flower Award1
21 people found this review helpful
Mar 27, 2022
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 7.5

Exquisite Costumes, Mouth-Watering Culinary, Cat Fights from Royal Harem to Royal Kitchen

Royal Feast is a story of Zhu Zhanji (Xu Kai), the Ming Dynasty Emperor Xuande (reigned 1425 to 1435) and his fictionalized romance with the woman he loves, who later becomes his empress, Empress Xiaogongzhang (Wu Jinyan) of the Sun clan, and (not shown in this drama) bares him his successor, Zhu Qizhen (Emperor Yingzong). Apart from the very authentic looking exquisite costumes of Ming Dynasty and mouth-watering culinary, the whole script is poor with very little substance and it is frustrating to watch. In fact while watching the emperors and their harem enjoy laboriously prepared culinary to fill their stomachs, I'm filled with a stomach full of “qi” (anger).

More than 50% of the time is spent on food - cuisine preparation and presentation, food tasting, picky mouths, food wasting etc. Granted. The title of the drama is also named Royal Feast, so food is to be expected. But I've never expected to watch a drama that focuses so much on deliciously looking cuisines with tons of boring cat fights from the royal harem to the kitchen. Each episode, especially for the first 30 episodes, gives me a full stomach of fire. (I know I keep referring to my own stomach, well, you get what I mean.)

Here we have a prince who is groomed to be an emperor (Xu Kai) since he was born because his grandfather, the Emperor, favors him. He is powerful, and yet what he says doesn’t match with what he wants, especially when dealing with his relationship, be it with the woman he loves or with his friend and subordinates, and this has created a lot of misunderstandings that make him brood. Then we have a palace chef that turns empress who plays hard-to-catch with the broody prince all the time.

The plot is a mix of real and fictional events with real and fictional historical figures. Many of the fictional events are illogical with overdone plot twists. None of the characters are impressive and likable except only, perhaps for me, the eunuch, Chen Wu (Zhu Zhi Ling) who is a very small side character (you can see how poor the overall character development is for everyone).

By episode 29, the plot thickens slightly when Zhu Zhanji becomes the Emperor, and the romance improves after episode 33 when the main couple comes closer together, and there are fewer kitchen and food preparation scenes though many bad logics still remain. The whole drama doesn't show much what Zhu Zhanji has done politically and in running the country or defending his throne from his uncles, though briefly shown he does visit the farmers in plain clothes and puts down a revolt by one of his uncles.

Xu Kai’s acting is decent here. We know he broods because he shows it on his face and in his body language. But the female lead character is quite another thing. I really don’t like Wu Jinyan’s acting here. She looks pretentious and her acting is confusing. Maybe that's how her character is being written. There are so many ironies and inconsistencies with this character. She is initially the chosen one for Zhu Zhanji as his Empress. After years of grooming, she is being replaced by another girl who is said to be very auspicious. She is bitter, so she changes her name to Yao Zijin (Wu Jinyan) and enters the palace as a royal cook (what the heck for?). As a kitchen chef, Yao Zijin is kind and cheery, and yet at the same time, secretly schemy. How can a person be still cheery when a friend she trusts attempts to kill her? Seemingly innocent, she also schemes to plot against her main competitor in the kitchen. She says she doesn’t want to be married to Zhu Zhanji and wants to stay in the kitchen to do what she loves. Then, immediately, to attract the prince’s attention, she purposely falls in front of him (roll eyes). Time and time again, those who try to murder her escape with impunity and continue to live normal lives. And in the kitchen, when the emperors hate everyone’s cooking, she’s the one who always saves the day. There are always incidence happening at the elaborate royal feasts -- assassinations, poisoning, allergies, deaths etc. Yes, you get the gist, an utterly ridiculous script and terrible plotline. Oh, have I mentioned Wang Yizhe’s acting as You Yifan, head of the Imperial Guard? His portrayal is really poor – stiff and awkward, and constantly showing a sulky face doesn’t pass as a cold and bitter man as the character is supposed to possess.

My Verdict

At the beginning, many viewers claim Royal Feast is similar to the Korean drama, Jewel In the Palace (Dae Janggeum, 2003). Far from it. A bad script and shitty plot can hardly save a drama despite its exquisite costumes, culinary arts and big-name actors. In fact I continue watching because of Xu Kai and I like the concept of “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” which is quite elaborately displayed here, explaining how each cuisine is being made and its medicinal benefits for the body. Apart from these, there is very little meat, and I’m sorry for spoiling the soup.

The drama stops short before the Empress bares Zhu Zhanji his first son, and the Emperor’s untimely death at 38, so this may have saved a lot of broken hearts. Historically, Emperor Xuande (Zhu Zhanji) had many consorts and at least 10 died with him under the Ming’s royal house tradition when he died. He also didn’t dispose of his first Empress the way it is shown in the drama, and the revolt from his uncle is a joke here.

Overall, I am neutral on this drama. My score here is all awarded to the costumes, food and official sound tracks only, and zero to the story and the script.

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Recent Discussions

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XU KAI & BAI LU by hjellybean2 8 0
MissCristina45
Jan 2, 2021

Details

  • Drama: Royal Feast
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 40
  • Aired: Feb 22, 2022 - Mar 26, 2022
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Hunan TV, Mango TV
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 2,148 users)
  • Ranked: #2725
  • Popularity: #1972
  • Watchers: 7,643

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