Home > Korean Dramas > Gourmet Episode 5, recap

Gourmet Episode 5, recap

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Am watching kdrama in a library. The academic in me trembles. 😛

(Btw, am busy working in the next few days, go Montreal and its love affair with sidewalk sales… Iljimae episode 13 will be ‘on time’, but 14 might be a bit delayed. Hope you guys are okay with that.)

Episode 5

Joo Hee, Bong Joo, Chief Oh and Joo Hee’s father are sitting together around a table, dismayed at Sung Chan’s abrupt departure. Joo Hee’s father (he of the pottery) is outraged that he would dare quit without a word, but the other three know that Sung Chan would never do something like this without sufficient cause. Bong Joo looks guilty while the other two worry.

Madam Jo corners Jin Soo about her ‘night out’ with Sung Chan, absolutely convinced they’re lovers. (Aha. Jin Soo doesn’t get her subtle hints.) Joo Hee comes running with queries, but Jin Soo only knows that Sung Chan acted like a possessed man after getting back from the countryside.

Bong Joo broods like a broody thing for driving his brother away. (No self-confidence, yo.)

Min Woo bursts in, also astonished at this turn in events but happy that it’s turned out to Bong Joo’s advantage. Suk Dong sobs away while washing veggies, thus defeating the purpose of washing them but we all need our grief vents. He is called away by Bong Joo and told to keep quiet. And he gets blamed. I’m really not liking Bong Joo a lot.

At night, after meeting his father on accident in Sung Chan’s room, he admits that he told his brother the truth about his heritage. The touching father-son moment is ruined by the audience’s knowledge that Bong Joo is actually lying about a lot of things.

And the next morning, Joo Hee’s father and Chef Oh get into a huge fight about the succession to the restaurant again, as Chef Oh is perfectly willing to wait for Sung Chan to come back before continuing with the competition. Bong Joo leaves and Joo Hee sees him slam things around in frustration at not inheriting Un Ahm Jung (the restaurant’s rightful name, which I forgot to mention last time). She is le shocked! (She’ll have more to worry about later.)

Jin Soo runs off to her job interview at a magazine place, but is late. The interviewer (later revealed to be Director Han, and a familiar face for those who watched Goong) is playing games and announces the interview to be over. When she hints that she was recommended by one of his own reporters, he checks in the shredded paper basket and … finds her resume within. Oops. He resolutely maintains that the interview is over. Jin Soo stomps out in fury. (At least Han loses his game.)

Poor thing. She has to get back in half an hour, but the taxi has someone inside, and anyway, she’s late, and her manager’s mean to her. Jin Soo almost quits, but at the last minute her manager is called away to a meeting.

Apparently a most fearsome food critic, Ted Oh, is coming to Un Ahm Jung (do I smell a relation to chef Oh?). Anyway, Joo Hee’s dad wants to welcome him, as praise from Ted Oh is literally the best thing that can happen. Chef Oh is crabbily adds that it does not take one man to evaluate his restaurant.

Joo Hee’s father takes this opportunity to announce Bong Joo’s succession, which is received with lukewarm enthusiasm by the other managing heads (aww, so Sung Chan is that popular then?). Joo Hee goes to Sung Chan’s workstation and looks through his notebooks on cooking, and remembers his joy when he first came to work here.

Just then Bong Joo walks in with Min Woo, detailing what they must do to please the critic. He’s very uplifted, not at all worried, and Joo Hee doesn’t particularly think very highly of Bong Joo when she notices.

When magazine editor Han hears that Ted Oh is being received by Un Ahm Jung, he does an immediate volte-face and comes to practically beg Jin Soo for an interview with the notorious critic. In fact, he offers her a job at his magazine if she gets an interview with him.

Madam Jo of the restaurant and her immediate superior, is dubious. But Jin Soo gets to serve him, along with Joo Hee and Madam Jo herself.

Wow. They go all out in preparations, furnishing a luxurious old style Korean room, and the waitresses are in hanboks (but not matching ones… right…). Bong Joo is in his element, however, and Min Woo directs super well too. Of course, the best preparations in the world can’t be matched if the person shows up two hours early. He did this on purpose to throw them off and Bong Joo rushes to welcome him.

(flyingcrispi, don’t laugh, I almost wrote ‘to accueille him’.)

It’s so early there’s still morning mist hanging about. (Ah, if we had morning mist. But no, it’s all sunshine and humidity here.) Ted Oh is shown around the restaurant while the kitchens redouble their efforts to cook quickly.

Bong Joo realizes that in admitting he purposefully came early, Ted Oh is in fact testing them. For what, I wonder? (Meanwhile, am getting hungry. Yum, food.)

Chef Oh and Ja Woon (the crotchety old man who guides Sung Chan) are off having their railway adventure. They’re visiting an all-natural food fair. (With some interesting dancing, and very venerable stall holders.) They’re the more traditional face of food production.

Whereas Mr. Modern, Bong Joo, has finally figured out why Ted Oh came early. He serves him morning porridge with milk to keep him full during the two hours of waiting and pleases the nitpicky critic. (Test #1: Hospitality. Grade: A.)

On a far hillside, Chef Oh and Ja Woon rehash their memories of Sung Chan’s grandfather. They both remember coming here to get the best ingredients, and lament the decay of reverence for the land.

Aww, old Chef Oh misses Sung Chan.

A man orders red bean porridge, citing personal liking, and due to some upheaval in the kitchen involving the newly instated chief cook Min Woo, is denied. He makes an unhappy moue, and then asks for a palace combo platter, and he is told, like Jin Soo earlier, that they are only served to more than 4 (and 2 in the case of the second combo) people. He is unhappier now, having realized that a lone diner can only order about three dishes, and all of them soups. Lols. (He asked for dog soup. Err.)

Bong Joo, Joo Hee, Jin Soo and co serve Ted Oh, who is gratified at being served in a room where the king used to eat. The sheer number of bowls is staggering me. Oh gosh, the food. Jin Soo remembers that Ted Oh is the person she met on the taxi, and in realizing, spills some boiling water on herself. Oops. (Test #2: Food. Grade: A. Test #3: serving. Grade: Pass.)

Everyone is chagrined.

Meanwhile, the difficult customer, Mr. Red Bean Porridge, is served his soup, but informs the waitress that he is allergic to one of the main ingredients. Then he says the kimchi tastes bad. Then he says the meat has no flavour. The chef in blue is now incensed (and having a bad day), so he goes to rage at the customer. Dude, even I can tell this is going to end badly.

AHAHA. The man is Ted Oh’s secretary. HA. Though he was a bit unreasonable.

So uh… Test #4: treatment of unreasonable customer. Grade: Fail.

Jin Soo goes all out and asks him to give her a chance to recover for the mistake. Apparently she went and helped him the day of her interview with kimchi. (Moral: If a random stranger asks for help, give it, because you never know if it’ll end up paying one day.) He leaves anyway.

Back in the kitchen, the staff all pester her about what Ted Oh really wanted to taste here in the restaurant, but Jin Soo doesn’t remember the exact name. She and Joo Hee free associate until they actually get the name of the soup and serve Ted, who came back after all.

At a small family restaurant, Bong Joo and Jin Soo recreate the soup that Ted Oh wanted. He tastes it and is immediately catapulted back in time to his difficult childhood with a single mother. (Aww. Poor dude. He looks so Japanese, for some odd reason.) He was adopted shortly after, and thought he’d never taste that soup again. Bong Joo plays food detective, boring us all to death and ruining the moment.

Ted is moved:

Perhaps this is why I became a food critic, to find this taste again. The taste of a loving mother trying to feed her son as best as she can, the taste of good brothers sitting down to share a meal. This was the best taste in my life.

So Bong Joo gets his favourable rating, and Jin Soo gets her interview.

At night, Joo Hee runs around giving out her phone number to fruit/veggie/meat/seafood sellers, telling them to call if they see Sung Chan. (She seems to be the only one actively looking for Sung Chan, which may or may not be worrying. I mean, Bong Joo is off doing his yay-leader-at-last thing, chef Oh is off voyaging and her dad is just plain indifferent.)

Bong Joo awaits her, all aglow at having succeeded, and thanks her for coming up with the soup that Ted Oh wanted. She mentions that it was actually Sung Chan’s cooking diary that helped her. Bong Joo looks annoyed. She mentions searching all over an area of Seoul after a tip that he’d been seen there. Bong Joo looks angry.

Now she’s angry at him for not being worried. She also guesses (correctly) that Bong Joo knows why Sung Chan left and all his angry blustering is just a cover for his guilt.

The next morning, before leaving for work, she holds Sung Chan’s uniform. Bong Joo is the jealous beacon of misery, as usual, and maybe Joo Hee is finally realizing she was in love with the wrong man.

Jin Soo leaves this morning too (wait, do their employees sleep here, or is it just the important ones like BJ, JH and SC?). Everyone gives her a cheerful wave, with reminders to come back if she’s missing food. Suk Dong is crying again.

Bong Joo is going ahead with his plans to begin a franchise internationally, while halting expansion of the Korean restaurants. His father disagrees, vehemently, while Joo Hee looks worried. Bong Joo and Joo Hee’s father go ahead to the sites, leaving the cooking to others. Construction and stuff begin.

A year later…

Sung Chan is running a very popular food delivery (more accurately, local food peddler) somewhere in Korea, and he’s immensely popular because his food is fresh and always the best. However, peddling like that isn’t allowed, so he’s reported. There is a rather unglorious car chase, with Sung Chan’s truck/van hybrid dropping food everywhere.

Sung Chan goes to confront the person who reported him to the police, but the other man (his competitor in fish selling, if I’m not mistaken) chases him out with a pot of boiling water.

End episode.


– Why no girl cooks? Surely the world of cuisine is better than the world of butchers (esp. in France, where it’s practically an old boy’s club), in which case, there should be several very good women chefs. No? Korea, surprise me with your sexism in all the strangest places.

– Sung Chan gave up the position of inheritor because he knew Bong Joo wanted it. To him, all cooks are as one, though Bong Joo doesn’t agree. Sung Chan is perfectly happy just cooking yummy food, and for that reason would rather fulfill someone he loves like a brother rather than compete using their skills. Which makes Bong Joo the bad guy in this show. Gah.

– I think I can see where this show is going. Joo Hee is going to realize that she doesn’t like this side of Bong Joo and have doubts about him while thinking longingly of the more cheerful and open Sung Chan, eventually morphing into thinking she loves him. Jin Soo will bump into Sung Chan doing food reporterly things and they’ll be super good friends and one day there will be love and yummy food. And Bong Joo is unhappy at getting the position in an underhanded manner, likes Joo Hee, and finds he likes Jin Soo, which distresses him even more, especially when both girls prefer Sung Chan. Chef Oh might die and spur some change, but if not, then changes will occur through an unknown catalyst involving disaster at Un Ahm Jung.


– Handing recap baton on to you, irugnotmis.


  1. Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see
    if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with

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