Friday, February 5, 2016

LET’S EAT! 開飯啦! Gala Premiere and Movie Review


Ah Yong Café, a reputable cafe famous for its Hainanese Chicken Rice, has been a popular eatery since the 80’s. While business now is nowhere near its heydays, it still attracts a steady flow of regular customers. Showing signs of dementia, restaurant owner Ah Yong (Lo Hoi Pang) decides to retire, he entrusts the café to his apprentice cum head Chef Dai Hung (Chapman To) and his daughter Rosemary (Aimee Chan), who has just returned from Europe. 

Rosemary is adamant about revolutionizing Ah Yong Café to cater to a younger crowd and has no qualms about using lower-grade ingredients to bring costs down. This infuriates Dai Hung, a principled chef who only serves food made from the freshest ingredients and focuses on keeping the tradition of the café. The two soon becomes loggerheads as they disapprove of each other’s style of working. 

Initially, the revamped Ah Yong Café bustles with business with the newly introduced menu and gimmicks, however, the lack-lustre food soon causes the business to suffer and draw flakes from customers and critics. One particular harsh review from the infamous but anonymous food blogger Michelin caused the dwindling business to suffer even further. The regular customers stop patronizing the café and the new customers are turned off. 

Indignant and determined to save the reputation of Ah Yong Café and revive its business, Rosemary decides to enter a cooking competition organized by a regional television channel. In the face of predicament, Dai Hung and Rosemary make up and join forces to create a dish for the competition. Rosemary finally understands the true meaning of good food and love, yet, Dai Hung goes missing on the day of the competition…


CHAPMAN TO 杜汶澤 ( Direct and Act )

Chapman To started out as a TV actor in Hong Kong and got his big break after acting in the popular TV series My Date With A Vampire. A multi-faceted artiste, Chapman was also a TV host, a radio DJ and a singer at one point of his illustrious career, but he is best known for his roles in high profile movies such as Infernal Affairs, Initial D, Isabella, and Vulgaria, amongst many others. Chapman’s film career got its biggest boost when he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Hong Kong Film Award for Infernal Affairs (2002). In 2006, he was also nominated the Best Actor in the Internationalen Filmfestspiele Berlin for his leading role in the movie Isabella. His latest works include Vulgaria (2013), Golden Chickensss (2014) and King Of Mahjong (2015).


Former beauty queen Aimee Chan is a Hong Kong actress who rose to fame after acting in the highly acclaimed TVB sitcom Best Selling Secrets. A fast-rising star, Aimee went on to earn nominations and win awards for her work in Burning Flame III, Off Pedder and Emergency Unit in the early years of her career. Aimee took a hiatus as an actress after she married fellow actor Moses Chan in 2013, pausing her successful career at its height.


Lo Hoi Pang is a Hong Kong comedian and television personality who is best known as one of the hosts of Hong Kong’s longest running live variety show Enjoy Yourself Tonight. He joined TVB in the early 1970’s and has continued acting ever since. Recent notable works of Lo Hoi Pang include Z Storm, Golden Chickensss, Iceman, Firestorm, The White Storm and Rigor Mortis. In 2012 Lo Hoi Pang won the Best Supporting Actor for his widely lauded performance in Life Without Principle at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards.

Patricia Mok

Patricia Mok made her debut in Singapore’s arguably most popular and long-lasting comedy show Comedy Nite, which also propelled her popularity. Later, she moved on to host and act in various shows; her acting was recognized when she bagged the Best Supporting Actress Award in the Star Awards 2003 for playing a dowdy and meek wife in popular MediaCorp drama series Holland Village. She also earned two nominations in the Asian Television Awards in 2006 and 2008.


C-Kwan, one of the members from Hong Kong hip-hop duo FAMA, is an established lyricist in the canto-pop scene. He is also a familiar face for movie audiences as he has done cameo and/or supporting roles in movies such as I Love Hong Kong, and All’s Well, End’s Well, and dramas such as Just Love II and Ghost Of Relativity, TVB’s most popular drama series of this year.


Tommy Kuan is a versatile actor but known mainly for his comic performances in various Malaysian and Singapore co-productions. Some of his recent works include Ice Kachang Puppy Love, 2359 and King of Mahjong.


A multi-facet artiste, Daphne Low is actively involved in hosting and acting. Her previous movie - River of Exploding Durians in 2014 is the first Malaysian movie to enter the main competition of the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Gala Premiere


This is Chapman To directorial debut. A pretty good Hong Kong style comedy movie. There  are light and serious moments. Interestingly, each and every character in the movie has something to make your laugh. Even though it is comedy, it has a storyline which affects most old established businesses when the boss's children take over the business. 

Tommy Kuan with his big strong frame, does not really dress properly to cover his belly. Another character who always appear besides Chapman To quite often is C Kwan. He always has a witty answer  which surprises the audience. In the case of the two young slim employees who started with the rolling of the red carpet for Chapman To and gang to walk, they too change with the new implementation by Ailmee Chan by dressing sexily when serving the customers. 

Ailmee Chan, the boss's daughter stressed more on packaging of the cafe such as the Korean food menu, while embracing the use of technologies by getting the customers to use ipad for food ordering. In the case of the chief chef focuses on providing quality food for his  loyal customers. The differences in cafe management lead to conflicts between the long time chief chef and the boss's daughter. The boss, LO HOI PANG, provides some laughter from memory loss. 

Other interesting characters include Ailmee Chan younger sister, Daphne Low, who does not stop snacking. Our Best female comedian, Patricia Mok, also acted as Administrative staff in the cafe. Unfortunately, there is not much acting from her part in this movie. Even the loyal customers of the cafe also perform their role in welcoming Chapman To. At first, I thought it was some sort of musical show. 

Fiona Sit played the role of Chapman To ex-girlfriend whom she slapped Chapman and years later came back to try to reunite with him. Fiona Sit does not seem to age and somehow look youthful than Ailmee Chan ( Ailmee Chan was still a student when Fiona Sit broke up with Chapman To ). 

One memorable statement made by Chapman To which does speak some truth, old dirty food establishment served good food. With years of experience in food preparation, this old food establishment probably came out with their secret recipe and also build up a large number of loyal customers over the years. 

Overall, it is fun watching the movie with the main focus of the two main actors, Chapman To and Ailmee Chan. They acted well. 

I shall rate it at 3.5 / 5. It will start showing in cinema from 5 Feb 2016. 



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