I actually did not plan to write a review for this show but seeing the empty Review section made me a little sad so here goes...
My third Ken/Anne drama after 'Oum Rak' and 'Sawan Biang' and I think I have probably nailed their top 3 out of 5 now. I wasn't too keen to watch this initially because while this was a rom-com, it seemed that food/cooking was a main overarching theme and it was not one which particularly appealed to me (alongside medical themed dramas), because I find that most shows with a chef don't tend to do realistic portrayals of proper chefs and their difficult and highly-skilled work in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I can't really say that this show made the cut in this aspect, so for those who are a bit more picky in terms of accuracy of portrayals of people in a professional capacity, you might want to close one eye and shut the other on this show.
So, toss accuracy of the chef profession aside and use the cooking theme as the main storyboard on which the whole show rests on. Or rather, use the cooking theme as a main storyboard on which the character of Alin rests on, because this show is really about her.
Alin is an interesting, quirky and rather funny main character on which the whole show revolves around. But what, I think, makes her character pop and stand-out for me (and probably a lot of viewers too), is that she is surprisingly headstrong, assertive and quite marvellously able to stand on her own two feet throughout the entire show. She fights her own cat-fights, and is practically fearless in action whether it be facing down a sea of reporters in press conferences, or facing off against her potential mother-in-law, or in making demands and throwing a tantrum at the point of a gun. She's such a Diva, but yet we can't really hate her, even in her most manipulative, exploitative moments. For crafting a memorable leading lady, this show is pure gold.
The pacing of this show is steady and solid, with side characters and story-arcs being given more than enough air-time to establish personalities, character motivations, back-stories, and forward-movement of plots. I also thought that the script and the way the show evolved was very well-written and I was actually so absorbed in watching the first two-thirds of the show that I hardly used the fast-forward button (which is normally in action for stock character appearances). I personally thought that the show lost some of its amazing momentum in the later one-third, and I wished they could have fleshed out the ending a bit better so that we could sit back and sigh in bliss as we watched our main leads together, but these are minor gripes in the whole scheme of things.
Overall, this is a solid romantic-comedy with a scintillating main character who brings lots of sparkle and pop to this show.
Most of the supporting cast of characters are great. You do have your villains in this show and they can be pretty one-note in terms of character and rather over-exaggerated in terms of portrayal - typical of Thai lakorns - but the main characters are all well-rounded and well-done.
KEN THEERADETH - as Kru Cook/ Pasu/ Din. Ken won another acting award for his role here, and while I can appreciate why because Ken is as good as ever with his ability to emote on-screen, I personally enjoyed his earlier character portrayals in his earlier dramas ('Oum Rak' and 'Sawan Biang') more. His character here is less of a stand-out compared to the main female lead, so I think he was a little over-shadowed here. But still, over-shadowed or not, Ken is as good as ever in being able to bring to life his characters to the screen and make them as different and as distinguishable from other characters he has played in the past. His versatility in the acting department is truly outstanding.
ANNE THONGPRASOM - as Alin. This is Anne's show, without a doubt, and she deserved her best actress acting award in spades. Alin is such a multi-faceted and mercurial character, with mood changes and temperaments as changeable as the wind, but yet Anne is able to hold it all together and knit the various clashing colours of the character into one amazing garment. She is somehow able to make the character of Alin winsome despite all that diva temper-throwing and self-entitled arrogant huffs. We can see why Kru Cook fell in love with Alin despite her crazy character flaws, and in the hands of a lesser actress, this show could have gone completely off the rails and self-destructed. Anne was brilliant here, just absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Standing ovation from the floor.
Chemistry-wise, both Ken and Anne had them in spades, which I've come to expect as par for the course for this pairing. This on-screen couple is incredible at generating that kind of gravitational force that pulls you into their orbit and every single one of their scenes together, regardless of which drama, is just mesmerising.
I admit that the music did not really catch my attention in this show. There was not a lot of over-playing of character theme songs or repetitive soundtracks here which is also a nice change from some of the dramas which bludgeon you over the head with their music score. I guess it must have been sufficiently subtle and good enough to have passed unnoticed and yet not jarring the show or the scenes.
I confess that among the 3 Ken/Anne dramas I've seen, this one currently stands lowest on my re-watch list. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic romantic-comedy show, and Anne is just outstanding here, but the relationship dynamic and the emotional feels this show and this coupling incites was not as mesmerising nor as emotionally-provoking as 'Oum Rak' and 'Sawan Biang', for me. But as a stand-alone Thai lakorn, this is still one of the best out there, because really, the Ken/Anne coupling is just head-and-shoulders above their compatriots. Simply unmatchable.