May contain spoilers!
Overall opinion & Synopsis
A comedic light-hearted Mary Sue drama with dark overtones. This drama is set in the Song Dynasty and is about a girl named Song Yu Die who helps her Mother run a renowned restaurant but is an acclaimed chef herself in Hangzhou. Not only is she skilled in cooking, but she is also trained in the 4 arts, etiquette and also football. However her world is turned upside down when she meets Young Master Zhao who is the favorite prince of the Song Emperor and also the one he wishes to be his heir. However one day Song Yu Die’s family restaurant is burned down, Young Master Zhao disappears and her family was broken apart. From then on, she goes on a quest to find the truth behind this fire and she, her mother and her fiance gets embroiled in political affairs and also finding out about her actual birthright.
Although this drama hints that it’s a drama that’s mainly focused about romance and food but I would disagree, most of it is focused on the politics, the scheming villains, the fighting between the Wan Yan tribe/kingdom and the Song empire whilst introducing different types of chinese food and the romance was just in the background, reminding you of it’s presence now and then. The thing that attracts me most about this drama are the side characters, the 2nd ML the prince was really nice, his chef is so hilarious and Yu Die’s friend and maid, Gui’er was always the voice of reason when Yu Die starts becoming a saintess.
The pacing was also not the best, I felt that it had started to drag a little through the middle with all the countless kidnappings and Yu Die saving/ helping everyone and being a saint using the same method as well and then all the action occurred during the end including the marriage to the head of the Wan Yan army and her birthright too.
There are very few OTP moments and because they were apart for most of the drama, so when they were separated or suffered because of their love for each other, it didn’t affect me too much because I wasn’t attached to them as a couple until near the end. Also I didn’t really like some of Yu Die’s suitors/pairings. Whether it was the prince who likes her or Li Ma, Yu Die’s childhood sweetheart, both feels a little incesteous. The prince turned outto be her biological brother, who would’ve known what would happen if Yu Die wasn’t so faithful to Li Ma? Li Ma was her adopted mother’s actual son and they grew up together as siblings before falling in love apparently and her adopted mother wanted them to marry.
The acting was not too bad and the cast was pretty good. But I have to say this was probably not Zheng Shuang and Ma Tian Yu’s most standout drama(s). They did their best to convince us that they were in love but with the plot and knowing about how they grew up to me it feels as if they were more like family/siblings than lovers at times. But they are quite adorable when they are together. I quite like the acting of the mother and the 2nd ML/ the prince because they were quite convincing in their roles and Steven Jiang who plays the prince did quite well portraying the difficulties of being a royal and being carefree and indulging in the little freedom he enjoyed when in Hangzhou away from the palace.