Review Rating: 7.5
A story of the variances of life, love, cooking and it’s consequences, all wrapped around a contest of “Bandoh”, the traditional Taiwanese outdoor banquet!
So some time ago, Grandmasters of the “Bandoh” tradition existed, and Master Fly Spirit tried to pass on his sacred recipes to his daughter before he died. Wan (Kimi Hsia) however, only wants to escape the family catering business, and runs away to attempt to become a model. That doesn’t work out well, so now Wan is back with her Mother in the family restaurant, which is inevitably hopelessly in debt. Searching for a way to turn everything around, Mama and Wan decide to take one last all-or-nothing shot at winning the national Bandoh competition, which may just save their restaurant! In their way is Master Ghost Head, a Bandoh chef recently released from prison, and his adoring and ambitious assistant Ah-Hai (Yo Yang), who already has a thing for Wan when they discover they’re soon to be competing against eachother! The hapless would-be gangsters who’ve told Wan she owes them money and followed her to Mama’s place, get conscripted to help with the competition, and away we go!
As one might’ve guessed, everything in the film is over the top and adorable with it. The movie rather reminded me of Ratatouille, that Disney gem that stresses the way cooking can bring together the unlikeliest of peoples, all together to sit down and enjoy a meal that was made with love. Even Wan has to admit that, when all is said and done, everybody pulled together to help her in the Bandoh competition, with even a surprising roundabout aid from love interest Ah-Hai.