A must read, if you don't already know ...

Written by Funn Lim

This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of this series. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


Chinese Title
Hup Foo Thung Cheng

How Long
15 tapes

Who’s in it
Wong Hei,Fannie Yuen,Marco Ngai,Cheung Siu Fai,Kwok Hoi Ying,and plenty more of veteran actors.

What’s it about
Modern day chefs with love stories that isn’t that complicated and friendships.

Really,what’s the plot
It starts of with Wong Hei’s character,OK Tak,a young man who helps with his Father’s business but actually,his greatest wish is to be a chef.He has talent in that area but he needs a good sifu,in the form of his ubcle(mom’s brother) whom his father despises because of some old rivalry.But as you would have guessed his father allowed him to pursue his ambition,since after all he is the youngest of his three children and he,I would assume is the most beloved one.But he didn’t have his uncle as his sifu but instead he has his uncle’s good friend as a sifu,who is the chief chef in a fancy restaurant owned by Marco Ngai,the rich man’s step son.All is well,and he even became good friends with Marco and he even met his old school buddy,Cheung Siu Fai who seemed too helpful as a friend but actually has his own agenda,which you’ll find out very much later into the serials.All is well,until Marco had a very nasty fight with his uncle so he set up his own restaurant,with Ah Hei as his chief chef and Cheung Siu Fai as the Manager.But things didn’t go well with the three of them and somewhere in the middle,Cheung Siu Fai and Ah Hei stop talking to Marco and they even became enemies of some sort.Anyway,other than this,there’s plenty of sub-plots and love stories.The one with Ah Hei ‘s older brother who isn’t really educated and lost his job but thankfully,he has a supportive wife.Then there’s Ah Hei’s sister who fell very much in love with Cheung Siu Fai,willing to be the step mom to his son but later on,she discovered that Cheung isns’t what we think he is as a person.Then there’s Ah Hei,who has a big crush on Kenix,who is actually a famous TV personality who liked him but don’t really love him.But he pursued her and pursued her and he got the girl at last.The problem is Ah Hei has Fannie Yuen,his best best friend whom he had known for years but the girl is actually secretly in love with him.Then there’s Marco who is in love and pursued and got Fannie at the end but of course,as fate would have it,they broke up coz she doesn’t really love him.Quite complicated really.

Any irritating factors
Yep.You see,Ah Hei loves Kenix,Kenix likes him,Fannie loves him,Marco loves her….anyway,later Kenix broke up with Ah Hei coz he’s a bit too affectionate towards her and she left for some place for a few months.During that time,Ah Hei found out Fannie loves him so he went for her,after a very long consideration.Then Kenix came back,begging for Ah Hei to go back to her,even kissed him and he almost wanted to coz you see deep down,I think he loves her but feel obligated towards Fannie.This is what that irritates me the most.First best of friends but when found out the girl is in love with the guy,and the guy loves somebody else,ALL OF A SUDDEN,they stopped being friends but feel shy.SHY!I mean,can’t they just be friends again like in DIF IV,be friendly with each other?

Hate factors
Fannie yuen.I don’t care what everybody thinks but I just feel for ONCE,the best friend should lose and the ex-girlfriend should win.She’s the reason Kenix and Ah Hei cannot get back together.

Pity factors
Marco Ngai for one.He’s the rich man’s step son and all is well until his younger brother,of pure blood with his step father,came back from the USA.All of a sudden,his father stopped giving him authority which he one has,shut him out of the business.And his brother has an attitude problem.Later on,because of this ,he went and open his own restaurant but faced with financial problems,he had to forget his pride and ask his step father for help and My God,his step father was such a jerk!So you can’t blame him for being a little bit angry and became a little bit bad.It’s like in one day,he lost everything,a man whom he thought actually treated him as his own son and everything else.poor guy.Another to Kenix.Sure she gave up on a good guy for trivial reasons,for career but later she regretted it,even wrote a letter that never arrived to Ah Hei if not Fannie wouldn’t have a chance.Sure Fannie helped Ah Hei a lot,but this woman,she even kissed him thinking they would get back together and at the end,the guy said,Sorry,I’m in love with someone else.And she cried and we dunno what happened to her after that.MAN!

Cute factors
Ah Hei.He’s cute,he’s too good at being too nice that sometimes,you just can’t believe there could be such persons alive in the REAL world.He’s not good looking but he has the ‘X’ factor.

Fave couple
Some may say Fannie and Ah Hei coz admittedly,they looked compatible but my personal vote to Kenix and Ah Hei.Sure they looked mismatched,one old one young but you just wish they had a chance together.

The award for Best Actor goes to
Ah Hei,definitely.Everyone else also very very good.

Fave scene
Whenever the three guys are together.Also the scenes where Ah Hei pursued Kenix,where he waited in the rain just to give her an umbrella,cooked for her when she is sick,a lot of stuffs.The scene where Marco suggested to a mafia boss from Taiwan to beat up Ah Hei coz Ah Hei refused to cook for him anymore due to some disputes and Amrco,having realised his mistakes,ran to Ah Hei who was with Cheung then and the three of them fought the gang members,and Marco even jumped on top of Ah Hei to shield him from the beatings.And also where at last his Step father having realised his own arrogance called Marco his son and helped him with his financial problems.Very poignant and very dramatic.If you don’t wanna watch all of the episodes,watch the last tape then.

Least fave scene
The ending. It's like TVB is like running out of ideas .Must they end almost all serials with a big gathering of every actors in the serials in one scene? Like in Burning Flame?

So,the verdict
Actually I watched this for Ah Hei and I was not disappointed. Sure the love story stinks, the ending stale the food not that tempting but I loved it! Don't ask me why. You'll like it, so do watch it.

Was it any better than..
Recipe For the Heart? Definitely. Happy Every After? Different time period but admittedly, I liked Happy Ever After much much better. The food looked nicer there.

Any interesting facts
This serials was a big hit when it was released so you can guess why Ah Hei became like a household name. It was a bigger hit than Recipe For The Heart and I must say-so much more better in the drama department.


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