Si Ping High School is making preparations for next week’s battle against Shi Wen High School—last year’s international cooking competition winner. And Han Jie unexpectedly reunites with his old cooking teacher and discovers the connection Fang Xiao Rou has to his old cooking teacher.
Recap and Thoughts
In the previous episode, Fang Xiao Rou was hurled into the water after losing to a strong force at the other end of her fishing line. Han Jie saves her, but she is unconscious. The man who’s fishing rod that Fang Xiao Rou took over and resulted her being hurled into the waters suggested for Han Jie to perform CPR immediately. When the man makes a move to do the CPR himself, Han Jie motions to perform it. When Han Jie is in position to make contact with Fang Xiao Rou to perform CPR, he gets thrown back by a spout of water into his face.
Fang Xiao Rou has come back around. Han Jie wipes and clears his mouth off of the water and backs away from Fang Xiao Rou. The students clap and cheer, relieved to see their teacher is okay. Liu Xuan and Amy Fan go to help Fang Xiao Rou sit upright.
The person Fang Xiao Rou sees in front of her is the man—her savior, she believes. The man puts forth a hand: he’s not her savior. It’s Han Jie over there. She turns to Han Jie a little surprised and is something between embarrassment and sorry towards Han Jie as she explains to him why she wasn’t able to swim. "It was you who saved me?" she asks. Yes—and you even sprayed your saviour, Han Jie replies with a little joking tone in his serious one, gaining him laughs from the students. Ma Chong Sheng asks Fang Xiao Rou if she needed to go to the hospital. Fang Xiao Rou waves it off and shows how alright she was with a joke about how salty all the water she gulped was. Fang Xiao Rou is helped to stand up by Han Jie, Liu Xuan and Amy Fan.
Han Jie disappears off the screen for some moments then returns with a denim shirt in his hands. He plops it onto Fang Xiao Rou’s head and tells her to wear it to not catch a cold. Fang Xiao Rou is charmed by the kind gesture. "Don’t look at me with those eyes," Han Jie says. He adds, "Don’t tell me you’re thinking those wicked thoughts of giving yourself to me again?"
Wow. Goodness. Where did that come from? It really took us back when Han Jie said that. We didn’t think Fang Xiao Rou appeared charmed enough to look like she’d be thinking those wicked thoughts. He truly amazes us with the things and words that comes out of him. What kind of a character is Han Jie to be able to speak out this kind of a sentence so casually in front of a crowd?—and in front of his students of all crowds, too. What we would have loved to see was Fang Xiao Rou play back and take him on just so we can if he shrinks back or not! :oP :oP. Saying that though, we are loving and enjoying all the banter, comments, and flirtatious sentences that Han Jie comes out with. Nothing seems to be off-limits to him, so it’s entertaining seeing what suprising things Han Jie will throw at Fang Xiao Rou next!
Fang Xiao Rou is stumped on how to respond to those words; but, with the students teasing her and chanting—’Give yourself’, the atmosphere turns into a fun and cheerful one and it snaps Fang Xiao Rou back to the easy-going and fun-loving teacher who brings her students back down from their cheers and concludes the field trip pleasantly.
It is many hours later and day has turned to night. Han Jie is driving Fang Xiao Rou home. Fang Xiao Rou is seen wearing the denim shirt that Han Jie gave her to wear. It is a quiet atmosphere in the car, but not awkward. It seems Fang Xiao Rou is wishing to say something to Han Jie as she is seen constantly turning to face Han Jie, but is seen turning back to the front as many times as she turns to face him. "Are you done looking?" Han Jie asks Fang Xiao Rou after she does it again. Han Jie’s awareness of her looks makes Fang Xiao Rou go on the defence: concentrate on driving; taking eyes off the road is dangerous. Like Han Jie does with all unpleasantries that come his way, he just smirks it off. This breaks the ice for Fang Xiao Rou and she come out with the ‘thank you’ she had wanted to say to him. Han Jie responds in his usual mean way that always manages to provoke Fang Xiao Rou to react negatively to it: know your limits and don’t take on things that needs him to come in and clean up the things he doesn’t have time for. Stop the car and let her off, Fang Xiao Rou asks. "What is it? Are you mad?" Han Jie asks. When he goes on to ask if she can walk from the current location to wherever she needs to be at and Fang Xiao Rou begins to respond to a question he didn’t seem to actually want an answer to, Han Jie cuts her off and asks where it was that he needed to go in order to drop her at the place she needed to be. It will be the restaurant her dad works at.
Through the window of a modern and stylish frontage of a restaurant decorated with ornamental plants, we see a man in a fine restaurant waiter uniform cleaning up and wiping tables.
We move inside and we see a woman in a vintage apron with a striped green-white fabric hairband plating up what the woman describes as a Taiwanese style capitolade risotto with soybean sauce. The man comes to take a look and has a differing opinion of the dish the woman had made sound so elegant and fine: it is simply braised meat on rice, the man says. (We agree. It sure does look like braised meat on rice!) The woman continues to praise her dish: it is worthy of a rating beyond the maximum three Michelin stars rating of seven Michelin stars! The man chokes on the bite he took of the woman’s dish. "Wouldn’t you need to fly to Heaven to get the seven Michelin stars?" the man says. "Do you believe that the three stars will change to seven stars if I enter a competition?" she asks before storming off without listening to his response, offended.
These two people bickering are Fang Xiao Rou’s father, Fang Min Kai (Zhu Lu Hao), and Hao Mei Li (Huang Jia Qian)—owner of the restaurant.
The scene cuts to Han Jie pulling up to the restaurant. Here, we hoped for Han Jie to head in when Fang Xiao Rou asks Han Jie if he wanted to come in so she could shout him dinner (for being her saviour today we would assume). We wanted Han Jie to finally meet Fang Xiao Rou’s father and find out that her father was his old cooking teacher; however, Han Jie declines with the reason that meeting the parents after having saved her would bring about the wrong idea in people’s minds. Even though Han Jie doesn’t come face-to-face with his old cooking teacher, we see that he is starting to connect the dots: he’s finding it a coincidence that Fang Xiao Rou’s father is not only a teacher, but runs a restaurant as well and Fang Xiao Rou’s father has the same surname as his teacher.
Fang Xiao Rou and Han Jie partways. We follow Fang Xiao Rou into the restaurant. In this scene, it brings in two developments: Han Jie’s name is being mentioned by Fang Xiao Rou in front of her father after she tells her story of falling into the water and she tells that Han Jie was the one who saved her. The time for teacher and student to meet is inevitable and nearing; and Fang Xiao Rou may have resentment towards Han Jie when a scene of Hao Mei Li being concerned for Fang Min Kai’s hand and takes over the cutting of fish for him has Fang Xiao Rou bringing up the incident that had caused her father to be unable to use his hand properly. We find her asking her father if he blamed the student who made him this way. The way in which Fang Xiao Rou asked isn’t clear in telling us whether she, herself, resented Han Jie for making her father this way, but there seems to be a bit of reluctance to forgive the student when her father responds with saying teachers have to be forgiving to their students and she neither agrees or disagrees to it.
A new day at school sees students up to student-like activities. With hair like Super Saiyan (Dragonball Z character), Ma Chong Sheng has prepared a confession to Liu Xuan on vertical celebration banners up on the announcement area between bleachers at the sports ground. Liu Xuan is amused at first, but as soon as the bell sounds, she bolts out of the scene as if the bell had just made her realise that what was before her was a confession. Wang Mai Zhi and his possé, who had been there as spectators from start to beginning, laughs as Ma Chong Sheng calls her back, but she is gone.
Nerdy teacher, Li Zhi Chao, enters and comes at the student with a whistleblow: break time is over.
The students stampede out of the area, stampeding quickly pass Fang Xiao Rou and Han Jie who is wondering what it was that they were fleeing from so fast. Fang Xiao Rou heads up to the announcement area and reads one of the banners. She tugs at banner she has in her hand to try detach it. With each tug, she gets closer to the edge of the stage. No more ground for her to stand on, she tips off the stage and falling down to the ground below. Han Jie is there to break her fall. Both end up sprawled out on the ground, hands rubbing their heads in pain.
Li Zhi Chao is not liking the sight of the one he likes on top of Han Jie. He’s quickly trying to get to Fang Xiao Rou, but the stage is too high from the ground. His legs dangle and feeling the walls edge for some moments before finally he’s on the ground. He immediately hurries over to Fang Xiao Rou and hovers on top of her to check on her. Han Jie groans in great pain as Li Zhi Chao adds further weight onto him.
Su Ying Jun is on location with the principal watching on. He’s unimpressed with Han Jie’s irresponsible ways. The principal allows Su Ying Jun to continue his ramblings a little longer before he becomes tired of the negative comments coming about Han Jie. “You were here to talk to me about the international inter-school cooking competition,” the principal says to Su Ying Jun, cutting him off from his ramblings.
In this conversation, we are told that the competition between Si Ping High School and Shi Wen High School is happening next week. There is a need to select a teacher to lead the team and a student to assist in the competition. Su Ying Jun asks the principal on his view of who he sees leading their team. Han Jie and Wen Zhen Yu, the principal says. Su Ying Jun’s opinion of Han Jie earlier is indicative of who he thinks is a better candidate to lead the team into the competition: Wen Zhen Yu. His well-mannered countenance will make him shine in the competition and impress; whereas, Han Jie is much too frivolous, he reasons. The principal decides to have a faculty meeting to determine the teacher to lead their school’s team into the competition.
The debate comes to be not only about who should lead the team, but what course menu should be cooked—international cuisine or local cuisine. It is a debate seeing Han Jie wishing to lead a team cooking local cuisine that highlights Taiwan’s unique and specialty ingredients. Meanwhile, Wen Zhen Yu wishes to lead a team cooking international cuisine, viewing local ingredients as not refined enough to see them able to win the competition.
The difference of opinions between Han Jie and Wen Zhen Yu has the principal call on Fang Xiao Rou to give her opinion on this matter. She suggests a cooking competition between the two chefs to decide who will lead the team in the competition against Shi Wen High School.
This brings in the cooking competition between Han Jie and Wen Zhen Yu and incorporates the mushroom farmer’s challenge to Han Jie that featured in last week’s episode of creating the most unremarkable and native delicacy. Si Ping High School staff are their judges. Wen Zhen Yu’s dish is ‘White Radish with Five Gems’—a dish featuring white radish with Matsuzaka pork, mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots and yam; and Han Jie’s dish is a simple White Radish Cake with Seaweed Roll. Those staff members that are familiar to us go to the side we expect them to go: Su Ying Jun and Li Zhi Chao is for Wen Zhen Yu; and Fang Xiao Rou’s friend, Jiang Pei Ying, is the only familiar face for Han Jie. The other teachers split between Han Jie and Wen Zhen Yu until they have an equal amount of people on each side. This leaves Fang Xiao Rou as the tie breaker.
It comes to look like a choice of who Fang Xiao Rou wishes to support more. Fang Xiao Rou likes Wen Zhen Yu but her reaction to Han Jie’s dish was bigger and reminded her of the one her dad made when she was little. She chose objectivity over emotions and her choice is Han Jie. The winner and teacher leading the school’s team into the competition is Han Jie. (Yay! Congratulations, Han Jie! *<;oD *<;oP.) Fang Xiao Rou is in low spirits after going against her beloved Senior, but Han Jie cheers her up and explains that she had not given the vote to him, but to his dish that she truly found delicious. This somewhat does the trick and Fang Xiao Rou cheers up a little.
This scene seems to show Fang Xiao Rou still sees Wen Zhen Yu as the only person she admires, but in the next scene we see that this may not be the case when Jiang Pei Ying does a couple of tests on her to have Fang Xiao Rou figure out who she actually has in her heart after Fang Xiao Rou cannot forget how she went against her beloved Senior. Jiang Pei Ying does the simple test of asking Fang Xiao Rou who it was that came to mind her first. She then asks her to choose options on a love life reading app. The reading app indicate Han Jie. More indicatively, though, Han Jie is the one that comes to Fang Xiao Rou’s mind first not Wen Zhen Yu.
The missed opportunity of Han Jie and his old cooking teacher reuniting comes back around after firstly seeing a very cool scene of Han Jie and Fang Xiao Rou helping Ma Chong Sheng out at his grandmother’s noodle shop after Fang Xiao Rou ordered Han Jie to go with her to bring Ma Chong Sheng back to school. This scene sees Han Jie taking over Ma Chong Sheng’s grandmother’s noodle shop and satisfying dissatisfied patrons who Ma Chong Sheng had offended with serving unpatable noodles. The master chef that Han Jie is, with the help of Fang Xiao Rou, he cooks up superb bowls of noodles that had the dissatisfied patrons’ bowls licked clean, satisfied and paying for their food.
After helping Ma Chong Sheng out with his noodle shop, Fang Xiao Rou accompanies Han Jie to deliver an order of mushrooms to the purchaser. This purchaser is none other than Fang Xiao Rou’s father, also known as Han Jie’s old cooking teacher.
Fang Xiao Rou doesn’t find out that Han Jie is the student that had made her father unable to use his hand properly. When Han Jie addresses Fang Xiao Rou’s father as ‘Teacher’, Fang Xiao Rou’s father gestures Han Jie with his eyes to change his address and not reveal the fact that they know each other.
It’s not told why Fang Xiao Rou’s father requested for Han Jie to keep others from knowing they know each other, but we’re guessing it might have something to do with Fang Xiao Rou and her resentment towards the student who had damaged his hand. After Fang Xiao shows us how self-conscious she was in front of Han Jie as she sliced cabbage ungracefully, she asks her father why he didn’t let her use a knife because now she is looking bad in front of Han Jie. “Knives are dangerous. Don’t touch them,” Fang Xiao Rou’s father says. A conversation about knives being dangerous leads Fang Xiao Rou to saying she can’t bear to see his dad injured which has Fang Xiao Rou express how she gets so angry every time she thinks about the student who had made her dad this way right in front Han Jie without knowing that the student she is angry with is him. This has Han Jie standing extremely uncomfortable before both Fang Xiao Rou and his old cooking teacher.
With Han Jie being someone Fang Xiao Rou hates and also someone she is starting to like, it’s going to be very interesting to see how Fang Xiao Rou will react when she finds out Han Jie is that student she resents. These sort of obstacles in the romance arc can bring in some really melodramatic periods. We don’t want it to be downplayed and have this obstacle pass over easily after so much focus has been put on it, but we do hope that it’s efficiently and logically dealt with and the melodrama doesn’t dampen what has been a light and funny series.
We come to a scene in the faculty office where we see an agitated Su Ying Jun. Shi Wen High School has a strong and internationally renown chef helping them in the competition against them—an internationally renown chef called, Yao Xin Ti. “Cindy Yao?” Wen Zhen Yu says. It someone Wen Zhen Yu knows. He informs she was a classmate of his who studied in Switzerland with him. She is someone to worry about because in all of the competitions, she has always come in first or second place. This has Su Ying Jun running worried. Jiang Pei Ying makes a suggestion to Su Ying Jun of looking into Shi Wen High School’s menu course as she has a friend working at Shi Wen High School who can do this for them. Su Ying Jun of course likes the idea and Jing Pei Ying is immediately onto it.
When Han Jie enters the room and gets caught up on the situation, a clash of opinions between Su Ying Jun and Han Jie occurs. Where Su Ying Jun sees winning at any cost even by means cheating, Han Jie wishes to impart skills to his students and have them win with their own skills. Su Ying Jun finds Han Jie with a lack of seriousness towards such a strong competitor. “If we win, we will share the glory. If we lose, I will definitely take full responsibility,” Han Jie responds. “You said this yourself,” Su Ying Jun says. “If we lose, will you take responsibility and resign?” Fang Xiao Rou interjects in this conversation which was getting very heated. She tries to calm Su Ying Jun down and have him take a step back from the heat: at a time like this, we should be supporting Han Jie, she says. Wen Zhen Yu also steps in and tells Su Ying Jun that he will assist and support Han Jie wherever needed; however, Su Ying Jun does not wish to back down from seeing Han Jie as unfit to lead the team. Han Jie can only do one thing: he takes a step forward and then another until he has Su Ying Jun backed into a desk, intimidated. With a steely stare, Han Jie says to Su Ying Jun—"If we do lose, I will take responsibility and resign."
The preparation for the battle against Shi Wen High School begins with the selection of six students. A test ensues for six students who will go into intense training to go into the competition. The six Han Jie announces are: Wang Mai Zhi, Ma Chong Sheng, Amy Fan, Liu Xuan, Tang Hao and Qiang Na San.
Episode 3 ends with a scene of the six students beginning their intense training with peeling potatoes. The students complain of the intense training Han Jie has given them. This brings about speculation upon the reason for Han Jie’s intense training: the bet Han Jie had made with Su Ying Jun. With Wang Mai Zhi’s hate for Han Jie, sabotage is on his mind.
This episode was relatively less eventful as the opening two episodes, but nonetheless there were a lot of moments and scenes we loved.
We enjoyed the scene where Han Jie teaches Fang Xiao Rou how to handle a knife after he hears Fang Xiao Rou’s less-than-positive thoughts of him for making her father unable to use his hand properly. The scene of Fang Xiao Rou expressing her thoughts about that incident made the scene with Han Jie teaching Fang Xiao Rou how to handle a knife the more sweeter. It felt like he was feeling bad and was secretly trying to make it up to her. That’s how we like to see that scene anyway. :oP :oP.
The part where Han Jie and Fang Xiao Rou’s father meet is memorable and one we really liked. We saw a different side to Han Jie. He seemed subdued and well-mannered when he’s in front of his old teacher.
We also love the scene where Han Jie and Fang Xiao Rou went to Ma Chong Sheng’s grandmother’s noodle shop to help out. It was a really nice change of location and scenery from just the school. We also got to see more cooking scenes and Han Jie and Fang Xiao Rou working as a team in the kitchen. They look so good cooking together!
Oh, we just cannot forget the fan service scene that followed after this scene at Ma Chong Sheng’s grandmother’s noodle shop: Han Jie/Lego Li shirtless! Han Jie’s pressed shirt was splashed with noodle soup in the previous scene and Fang Xiao Rou happened to remember at the exact moment when they were standing outside Han Jie’s car about to head to Fang Xiao Rou’s father’s restaurant that she still had yet to return the denim shirt that he lent her to wear after falling into the water. And so, we see a scene of him unbuttoning his stained peach-coloured shirt before whipping it off for Fang Xiao Rou (and whoever else was in the area) to see his toned body.
Goodness. It was actually really surprising to see the shirtless scene inserted. We think this is the first Taiwanese series that we’ve come across that actually slipped in a shirtless shot of the male lead to show off his six packs. Hold on, no. This is the second one because Fall in Love with Me (2014) starring Aaron Yan was the first one. We only ever see these sorts of insert scenes of male leads shirtless and focusing on their physique in Korean dramas. Korean dramas are really having their influence on Taiwanese dramas! Very interesting… O.o O.o.
There’s something we’re curious about: the name on Han Jie’s chef uniform, it has Oscar Han sewn onto it. Wen Zhen Yu has one sewn on it, too—an English name: William Wen. With Han Jie’s one, we thought that the Oscar Han identity Han Jie has is not public information. Why is that on display? Did we get it wrong to think that the identity of Oscar Han that Han Jie has is unknown to everyone except for Wen Zhen Yu?
This information about Shi Wen High School having an internationally renown chef has us excited! What does this mean for Han Jie? Han Jie is also an internationally renown chef who’s studied abroad. Does he match up to this Yao Xin Ti? With Su Ying Jun’s total lack of faith in Han Jie, we really hope Han Jie does. We want to see Han Jie prove Su Ying Jun wrong and lead his students to a win!
So, yes: what we’re most definitely looking forward to in the coming episode(s) is this cooking competition between Si Ping High School and Shi Wen High School with this development of their opponent having such a strong person helping them in the competition. We can’t wait to see what will come of this! Bring on a great cooking battle—one that will show off Han Jie’s extraordinary cooking skills!
Read our translations for Behind the Scenes of Love Cuisine, Episode 3!