I read a review of this movie and they called it “cook fu”, which I found quite appropriate. The film had some amazing culinary scenes. The story is about a fallen master chef who once ruled the culinary scene with his prowess. He got caught in a dilemma when he was forced to choose between his lover and career. He chose career and fell from grace, because he realized that a career is nothing if you cannot share it with your partner. He lost it all, became a drunk and was all but forgotten.
Meanwhile, a powerful conglomeration (called Super Group) is going around trying to buy up all the restaurants. Their plan is to create a group so powerful (dominating all of Asia), so that no one would be able to operate or compete with them. They approach a famous Hong Kong eatery in the hopes of adding it to their portfolio, but are flatly denied by the owner.
The cleaver is thrown down as Super Group challenges them to the ultimate cooking contest, the winner of which will rule the restaurant scene. The challenge is to cook the Manchu Han Imperial Feast (a rare and regal feast that few even know how to compose).
How will they acquire the skills to cook a feast so rare that only 1 or 2 chefs know how to cook and assemble? Watch this and find out.
There are some fantastic cooking scenes here-fast and beautiful. The camera work is a joy and at some point, you think you are watching a John Woo Production. I really liked the use of modern techniques verses the classical approach during the competition. As I always say, some things are just not meant to be cooked in a bag.
Writers: Philip Cheng, Ng Man-Fai, Tsui Hark, Yuen Kai-chi