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Dine with Love chinese drama review
Dine with Love
29 people found this review helpful
by ChineseDramaFan
Mar 30, 2022
16 of 16 episodes seen
Completed 9
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

Witty, Humorous, Philosophical, Fluffy Romance

For me, dining together with loved ones at home is my most enjoyable time of the day. This drama, Dine with Love, conveys the message that I most value. Home cooked meals need not be elaborate; a simple dish such as a tomato omelet, is suffice to whet appetite and satiate hungry stomachs. This drama emphasizes on the importance of sharing time as a family. What is better than sharing a meal?

Chinese people like to ask each other casually when they meet, “Have you eaten?” That’s because meals are so important, particularly in the Chinese culture. Sharing a meal, one can discover the background of new friends, and have better understanding of the people around us. Like music and visual arts, culinary art is a means of communication of love and happiness.

With only 16 episodes, this drama is easy to watch. The plot is straight forward: girl meets nasty boss and falls in love with him. Nasty boss gets attracted to girl because of her talents and wisdom. Both characters have flaws and they grow together to become better persons.

Yu Hao (Gao Hanyu) is an entrepreneur and a slave driver. He is a workaholic and to him, every minute is precious, and he would not waste time doing unproductive things including cooking a meal, so he thinks. He is aloof, unfriendly and fires anyone outright who doesn’t meet up to his standard. Everyone is frightened of him and calls him a demon head. Comes Su Kelan (Jade Cheng) who is one of the workers in public relation. She uses her wit and plays along with Yu Hao’s logic and feeds him his own poison. After spending some time with him, Su Kelan realizes Yu Hao is actually a very sweet and kind person; just that he doesn’t know how to communicate without hurting people. She falls in love with him. And with Su Kelan, Yu Hao is amazed by her wisdom and talents and soon falls for her too.

This is a great story writing. The author explains how one can convey a different concept to someone who normally doesn’t see or accept the view because no one has ever convinced him/her. Time and time again, the author uses the analogy of a bitter gourd, which can be so bitter that not many people appreciate its value. However, with imagination, a good cook can turn the bitter gourds into various delicious and nutritious dishes. I love how Su Kelan gently nudges Yu Hao along and uses his logic in a different scenario to help him see the picture. The interaction is hilarious and adorable, and Yu Hao is sold every time; the bitter gourd in him slowly becomes less bitter and more tasty.

The first time I watched Gao Hanyu was in Love is Sweet. I found him more charismatic than the main lead, Luo Yunxi (sorry fans), in that drama. Gao Hanyu has a face that makes him look cold, serious and mean, fitting the Yu Hao character perfectly. Therefore, having such a face, it is difficult for viewers to associate him with blunders, and when it (blunder) happens, it makes him so adorable as he stumbles time and time again. Gao Hanyu’s acting is amazing and very believable. I cannot have enough of him on screen. Jade Cheng is soft and beautiful, and her acting is convincing as the gentle Su Kelan. She has incredible CP chemistry with Gao Hanyu.

There are two gorgeous side couples. One pair tries to get Su Kelan and Yu Hao together, and the other pair tries to split them up as they each has love interest with our main couple. The outcome is hilarious.

My Verdict

Watching this drama is like seeping a cup of hot afternoon tea, soothing and enjoyable. The story hits a note with me because it shares a very simple principle - life philosophy through food. What seemingly a very simple dish such as the tomato omelet, is also a dish that can help the dinners bring back memories of home and warmth. There is no one right way in making the omelet, but each recipe brings back the memories of belonging as taste is the unforgettable memory. Mealtime can help reconcile relationships, putting down the past and bringing forth the future. It is the most important time of the day when family members and friends get together after a whole day of work and school, and enjoy their food.

Apart from the food philosophy, this drama also tries to convey the message of different point of views. When a value seems insignificant to one person, it can be of utmost important to another, and vice versa. Yu Hao feels it is important for him to be successful in his business so that he can take care of his family. He finds it hard to understand why Su Kelan thinks differently. He finally realizes why his father had worked so hard and neglected him and his mother when he was little, and the tragedy. He doesn’t want to make the same mistake as his father did. Su Kelan thinks she has to be perfect and to shoulder all the burdens. She learns that shouldering all the burdens herself is not what people want of her; people want to share her burden and it’s fine if she’s not perfect.

Rewatch? Absolutely! There's a lot of simple recipes for ordinary home cooked meals. This time round (rewatching), I would note down all the recipes and their simple steps, together with the philosophy behind each dish. I want to be able to use the author’s words to explain to my family so that they would appreciate the food on the table.

A reword of Hippocrates’s words: "Let food be thy happy memories and happy memories be thy food"

A great watch! Don’t miss it!

Spoiler: For romance buff, the main couple does separate for about 2 years before they come back together again.

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