3 Reasons To Check Out Culinary Sisterhood C-Drama

Lu Zhen Zhen (Song Yi) is the head of public relations at a restaurant in Beijing. She is good at what she does and knows the hospitality business well. However, circumstances force her to follow her boyfriend to Chengdu, which is her hometown and a place she detests. Her best friend, Gu Man Ting (Li Chun), lives in Chengdu and wants Zhen Zhen to help with their family restaurant Chunbai House. Chuanbai House specializes in fine dining Sichuan cuisine, but its fledging fortunes are a cause for concern. The arrival of the ruthless Liang Qing Ran (Charmaine Sheh), a Chengdu-based investor who is more driven by dividends than emotion, can well play havoc for all, including Chuanbai House.

As friendships and relationships are tested, the women are pushed together. The only option they have is to either sink or swim together as they navigate their personal and professional lives. Keep reading to find out why “Fry Me to the Moon” is well worth the binge!

What women want

There are three female characters at the heart of this drama. Zhen Zhen is bright, extremely professional, and enterprising but lacks confidence and self-esteem. Though she hides her vulnerabilities from others, there is part of her that seeks validation from her strict mother and dominating boyfriend. Zhen Zhen is unable to articulate what she wants and gets emotionally manipulated by those around her. She has resigned herself to be a homemaker as her boyfriend does not want her to work. Is it okay for her to give up the career she loves and worked so hard to build?

Liang Qing Ran is a super successful woman in the cutthroat world of finance and investments. She is not a woman’s woman, since she feels her own tribe lacks ambition. Qing Ran is ruthless and can be merciless when it comes to matters of business. She is not one to get manipulated, but it seems her stony heart craves warmth. Though she seeks a fulfilling relationship and having a child, she is unable to commit to a relationship. Her tough, badass demeanor overwhelms potential partners and drives them away. So she invests all her energy into work. Can it be possible for her to have her thriving career and the family she so desires?

Last but not least, Gu Man Ting is married but feels suffocated. She does not want children and neither is she career oriented. Her sole focus is to help her father run Chunbai House. She and her husband decided that they would be a DINK couple (dual income, no kids). However, with her mother-in-law constantly berating her to have children and her own husband chiding her for not doing enough, Man Ting is pushed against a wall. Her biggest shock is when she realizes her so-called happy married life is nothing but a sham.

The drama, through the lives of these women, throws up the question of what makes a perfect woman. On one hand, Qing Ran is a power-hungry and career-driven woman and is not seen as perfect wife material. On the other hand, Man Ting’s decision to not have kids makes her an incomplete woman. And while Zhen Zhen is chastised for not being driven enough, she is forsaking everything for love. All three characters, with whatever imperfections society judges them for, provide an interesting narrative.

Sisters before misters

Qing Ran has an agenda: she wants Chunbai House to be sold to the highest bidder. Her trump card is to use Zhen Zhen’s boyfriend Liu Si Yuan (Wang Ren Jun) for the same purpose. Si Yuan, aware of Zhen Zhen’s loyalty towards Chunbai House and Man Ting’s family, discourages her from working and helping out. Si Yuan carefully plots his plan to shut down Chunbai House, aiming to impress Qing Ran and rise in the company, but will he be able to face Zhen Zhen? In the meantime, Zhen Zhen faces harassment at her new place of work, but instead of consoling her, Si Yuan reprimands her for being weak and unprofessional. What is it that she really wants?

As Zhen Zhen decides whether to follow her heart or Si Yuan’s plan for her, Man Ting needs to make some tough calls in life. Overwhelmed with her father’s illness and Chunbai House’s losses, she discovers her husband is having an affair. Should she walk out, or forgive him? And does she have it in her to turn Chunbai House’s fortunes around and continue the business her father lovingly built? As Zhen Zhen and Man Ting align together, Qing Ran, who is their biggest foe, might be the biggest wedge in their friendship. But Qing Ran, having survived alone in a male-driven world, is pushed against the wall and also needs to make tough decisions. Will she join forces with Man Ting and Zhen Zhen and give them the support they so need?

As these three women form an unlikely alliance, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, never apologizing for being strong woman and speaking their truths. As these three empower each other and those around them, it’s a celebration of sisterhood.

A Sichuan binge fest

The mouth-watering presentation of Sichuan cuisine is going to make you very hungry. The textures and aromatic flavors make it seem like they’re literally wafting through the screen. Chef Chen Dong whips a culinary storm from the snowflake chicken to dry fried chicken with chillies, wheat noodles with pork, the glutinous rice cakes, and the ice honey jelly. Everything is bound to make you ravenous. The show also tries to clear the misconceptions about Sichuan cuisine—that it is not just about spice or chili oil—and rather than being pungent, it also has a subtle flavor to it. Even though Chen Dong wants to keep the authenticity of the cuisine, his master, Man Ting’s father, tells him he needs to evolve with time. Zhen Zhen introduces the restaurant to social media marketing and how to promote themselves, rather than just taking things for granted. Food is also used as a metaphor, highlighting the many moods and emotions of the characters in the show.

“Fry Me to the Moon” masterfully blends food along with the journey of these women. Charmaine Sheh cleverly plays the poker-faced and shrewd Qing Ran, Song Yi does justice to her character of the people-pleasing and naive Zhen Zhen, and Li Chun is impressive as the carefree Man Ting who finally shows courage under fire. Plus, Zhang Chao as the blunt, terse, and rather inflexible chef is pretty charming. A fun and no-fuss show, this drama will leave you craving Sichuan food.

Start watching “Fry Me to the Moon”:

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Those in Southeast Asian can watch here!

Puja Talwar is a Soompi writer with a strong Yang Yang and Lee Junho bias. A long time K-drama fan, she loves devising alternate scenarios to the narratives. She has interviewed Lee Min HoGong YooCha Eun Woo, and Ji Chang Wook to name a few. You can follow her on @puja_talwar7 on Instagram.

Currently watching: “Lovely Runner

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