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Delicacies Destiny chinese drama review
Delicacies Destiny
21 people found this review helpful
by JulesL
May 2, 2022
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.0

Charmingly funny show with two endings

Delicacies Destiny was not a big-budget production, with nondescript sets and unmemorable costumes and props. Still, those factors did not detract from the show's charm, and one can tell that quite a bit of the budget was invested in the cooking scenes and the resulting dishes.

This light-hearted story was primarily about the relationship between a Crown Prince and his Imperial Chef, with a side focus on the female lead's ambition to be the best Imperial Chef in the palace regardless of her gender. It was not a typical historical rom-com with strict palace rules and protocols. The royals in this show interacted casually with their servants and the Queen was not the usual domineering character who controlled her son's harem and marriage. She was unexpectedly very supportive of her son and prioritized his happiness. It was refreshing to see some emphasis on on positive body image.

I was thoroughly entertained with the food porn, cute romance, on-point comedy, and catchy OSTs...until the last episode.

From episodes 1 to 15, I found this drama hilarious and quirky. Still, the ending left me so dissatisfied that it took me time to calm down before I could write a reasonably objective review. Without spoilers, I can say that it was an open ending that irritated me so much that it dimmed my anticipation for a potential season 2 and, like the male lead, left me angry at the female lead.

EDIT: I increased my rating after watching the alternate ending. While it was not the best ending, it provided a proper happy closure that was much better than a clumsily executed open ending.

Our main couple was lovable and dorky. The slow-burn, sincere, and simple romance between them was endearing and fun to watch. Both lead characters were emotionally immature in their own ways which created plenty of opportunities for funny scenes. I smiled and laughed so much throughout the show.

The male lead, Zhu Shou Kui, the Crown Prince, started off being spoiled and entitled and was used to throwing tantrums. Yet, at the same time, he was compassionate and often protected the people he cared about at his own expense. It was great to see his character develop and mature. With the female lead's help, he realized that it was not always about him, and it was all right to let other people share his burdens. As for the female lead, Ling Xiao Xiao, who ended up as the Imperial Chef of the prince's kitchen, she was initially clueless about love. It took more than halfway through the drama for her to finally "kāi qiào" or realize her feelings for the prince.

He Rui Xian as Xiao Xiao is lovely, but she does not quite have the aura of a female lead yet. Her acting was pretty decent, though, and with a few more dramas under her belt, I think that she will get to the next level. I first watched her in the Royal Feast and liked her character there. Her acting range was wider in that drama compared to this show. In Delicacies Destiny, as Xiao-Xiao, she has too much of the wide-eyed, huh? look or a deadpan look, and it was towards the last couple of episodes when I saw more emotional acting from her.

It is my first time watching Wang Xing Yue, and like He Rui Xian, there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to his micro-expressions. I find it hard to believe that he is only 20 years old since he exudes a level of maturity beyond his age. He definitely has potential with his good looks for more male lead roles.

The supporting cast was fine, doing what they needed to do. There was some over-acting but nothing much to complain about and nothing much to praise. A secondary couple provided extra entertainment but did not distract from the main couple's journey.

Music-wise, the tracks were great, and a couple of them were not what you would expect from a historical drama. Still, they were fitting for this drama. For posterity, I have recorded the main tracks after my review.

Overall, I would recommend this show. If you don't like a ridiculous open ending, I would advise to stop watching before the last 4 minutes of the final episode. Or you could watch the alternate ending if you prefer to have closure.
00:00 陆虎 - 珍馐记 (Lu Hu - Delicacies Destiny)
03:03 锤娜丽莎 - 吃货一枚 (Jiahe Ji - A Foodie)
06:35 徐均朔 - 落尘 (Xu Junshuo - Falling Dust)
10:15 银临 - 七夕 (Yin Lin - Tanabata)
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