The Rippling Blossom


Reviewed by: sukting

February 16, 2013

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
A Hong Kong dining boss leaves behind a sushi restaurant to his second wife, Ying Yuet, their son, Chi Hiu and the son from his third wife, Chi Ying. When their father's first wife, Yung Yung creates trouble for the restaurant, Chi Hiu challenges her, claiming whoever wins will have the restaurant. He loses and what is going to happen now?

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Yue Chi Hiu – Tse Tin Wah He is January Otaki Japanese restaurant owner and Master chef. He is also Fai Wong’s eldest son. Although Chi Hiu and Chi Ying have different mothers, they get along very well. Their aim is different – Chi Hiu only wants to serve the upper class while Chi Ying wants to serve everyone.

He is bitter towards Yung Yung for often belittling him. He is Sze Lung's boyfriend and is shattered to know that she sabotages him twice. Once to cause him to lose in a competition and another to ruin his sauce to prevent him from another competition. Thus, he wants her to make amends to marry Chi Po. He becomes the company CEO by making use of See Lung’s help. He later disregards Yee to throw it back for Chi Ying to manage while he manages Otaki.

He becomes unfeeling, nasty and egoistic. He even regards Chi Yeng as his closest rival, always belittling him in front of the press. As the brothers meet with setbacks in their career and their loved ones, the two brothers decide to have a competition. In this competition, Chi Hiu removes his jealousy of Chi Ying and holds a neutral mood to take part in this fair competition.

When the judge is going to announce the final result of the competition, Chi Ying receives a call that says Keung suffered an accident while rushing to see them compete and now she is in hospital. Chi Ying immediately leaves the competition without knowing the result. Fortunately, she recovers after several days. One day, Chi Hiu tells Chi Ying that Chi Ying is the winner in last competition and he is proud of Chi Ying.

He later realises his mistakes and later becomes Sze Lung’s husband. Their romance is of the roller coaster as he has to fight hard to win her back. I find his acting good as a no-nonsense guy – he must make a change from his usual laughing gor roles.

2. Yue Chi Yeng – Cheung Chi Lam He is Chi Hiu's younger half-brother. His mother is Fai Wong’s second mistress and dies young so Ying Yuet brings him up. He is initially an apprentice in Otaki but later becomes the master chef of Yee. He relies on Chi Hiu too much in the past and later treats Keung like a life buoy when he is troubled.

Chi Hiu injures his hand and can’t participate in the competition. Chi Yeng goes on his behalf and wins but Chi Hiu finds it humiliating as he doesn’t win. He secretly practices with his hand and keeps from the others on the recovery. He even sabotages Chi Yeng’s chances in front of reporters.

He loves Sze Lung in the past and is dismayed to learn about Sze Lung’s love relationship with Chi Hiu. He knows that he can never win his brother so he escapes. The naïve Chi Yeng has thought that giving in to him is the best solution. When he realizes that it doesn’t work, he has to fight for his rights.

He becomes Keung Keung's boyfriend and gets encouragement from her to become Ching's apprentice. He is very careless and makes many mistakes despite being gifted. He doesn’t test the food before serving others and thus one customer suffers from food poisoning. Luckily, Keung helps him to solve it.

He is very weak and escapes from reality easily. Thus, Keung gets him to face the facts to be independent to create his own sushi. Chi Hiu often forces him to compete with him makes him a better chef. Age seems to freeze on Chi Lam’s face! He looks as youthful as ever and plays the role convincingly. Moreover, he is very comical and talks like rap in many scenes to make you laugh.

3. Yue Chi Po – Oi Kar Nien Chi Po is the youngest brother and is Yung Yung's own son. Yung Yung delays his treatment when he has a high fever to wait for Fai Wong to be back from Ying Yuet’s place. It is too late and he has intellectual disabilities from then on.

He is not close to Chi Hiu as he is fierce but close to Chi Ying as he often plays with him. Chi Hiu calls him a nitwit which is a phrase that Sze Lung doesn’t like. He can’t accept his mother’s death easily and Sze Lung has to spend time with him to get through this.

Chi Ying brings Chi Bo to the orphanage to prepare sushi for the children. From there, he learns the new technique. Chi Bo is Sze Lung's husband only in name as Yung Yung wants him to be taken care of.

4. Lang Yung Yung – Lo Yuen Yan She is Emperor Food Group chairperson and Fai Wong's first wife. She sits on a wheelchair due to her poor health. She never fails to run the stepbrothers down with her schemes by bribing Sze Lung. She misleads her into believing that Chi Hiu kills her father so that she can seek revenge.

When knowing that Chi Ying has won Yee sushi, she gets Ngo to create a scene by tasting the sushi there but he has full of praise instead. She knows that she is dying and thus gets Sze Lung to marry Chi Po so that he can be taken care of. She dies later when her organs fail to operate. Still, she is contented to see both exchanging the wedding vows.

5. Kong Ying Yuet – Lui Yau Wai She is Fai Wong's second wife and Chi Hiu's own mother. She feels remorseful towards Yung Yung and bears with her. She treats both sons well and is torn between them. Chi Hiu blames him for always telling him to be responsible to Chi Ying since he is older – but by only a few years. She has no other hopes except wanting them to reconcile.

She has not wanted to stay with either of them but to be at the temple alone but both men want her. thus, she chooses Chi Ying as he promises her not to fight with Chi Ying unnecessarily. That breaks Chi Ying’s heart, thinking that Ying Yuet favours her own biological son more than him.

6. Mo Yun Kei/Keung Keung – Wu Hang Yee She is a food critic and initially owns an antique shop. Being pampered since young, she only wants good food. Chi Hiu’s supply for fresh food has been shut out by Yung Yung. Chi Ying has to make a trip to Hokkaido to buy fish. He meets Keung on the plane and needs her help as a translator.

Her whole world collapses when she learns that she is actually adopted and her family goes bankrupt. She has to sell her things away at a low price. Chi Ying gets her to sleep at his home and she becomes down to earth to learn how to do housework from scratch. She later becomes an Udon noodle shop owner and Chi Ying’s girlfriend. She later marries him.
Although this is the same lively role that Hang Yee has acted before, her presentation is a bit different as she is now more natural and less childish. The romance is a unique one as Chi Ying and Keung are friends most of the time.

7. Choi Sze Lung – Yeung Yee She is Yung Yung's private nurse. Yung Yung makes use of her to get close to Chi Hiu. Although facing financial difficulties to finance her younger brother to study overseas, she bears with Yung Yung’s sarcasm to keep her job. She becomes Chi Po's wife in order to pay back to Chi Hiu. She is disappointed when Chi Hiu becomes scheming and keeps her pregnancy from him. It takes her a long time to accept him again. Yee has improved heaps and bounds from her acting.

8. Choi Sze Long – Hung Cheuk Lap He is Sze Lung's younger brother and returns to Hong Kong after knowing that his mother is dying. He decides to further his studies in Hong Kong instead. He is prepared to give up his studies and not to work in Fai Wong’s group to owe them any favours. He doesn’t want Sze Lung to force herself to marry Chi Po.

9. Mo Yung Ching – Lau Chung Yan He is Hokkaido seafood merchandiser. Chi Ying and Keung know him as "The God of Fish" by chance in the fish market. Chi Ying has to beg him for a long time to accept him. He is actually Keung's father who chases his wife and daughter away due to his bad temper. Ching becomes Ying's mentor and helps him through the competition to win the first overseas Japanese restaurant franchise in Hong Kong. As Ying's career grows, Chi Hiu becomes more jealous of his brother.

Ching notices Chi Hiu’s greed and doesn’t like him as he doesn’t respect fishermen. Unknown to the brothers, he is an ex-chef. He warns Chi Ying but he doesn’t listen till he knows it in the end. He stays by him to guide him along the way and also improves his ties with Keung. He knows Ka Wai’s affections for him but doesn’t voice it till the last minute to accept her as his girlfriend in the end. Chung Yan is a brilliant actor all along and I like him here as a jovial man.

10. Hong Sau Hing – Hon Ma Lei She is Sze Lung and Sze Long's mother. She keeps Chi Hiu’s money but See Lung never wants to spend it on Chi Lung’s studies. She works as a cleaner to bring up her children. See Lung agrees reluctantly to Yung Yung’s request to harm Chi Hiu in order to get money for her treatment. She dies due to liver cancer.

11. Tong Ngo – Cheung Kwok Keung He is a food critic and food wholesaler. He is fair but is still a businessman. He nearly goes bankrupt and needs Yung Yung’s help. He sells questionable fish to Chi Ying to clear his stocks and Chi Hiu never warns Chi Ying. Chi Ying is nearly sued for a food poisoning case due to this. Still, Keung is the a judge for both matches between the brothers.

12. Tin Ka Wai, Yoshiho – Yeow Ying Ying She is Yung Ching's landlady. She is timid and is scared of Ching. Yet, she loves Ching and helps him to get along with Keung. She later becomes Ching's girlfriend with Keung’s help.

13. Yau Yik Hong – Au Shui Wai He is Yung Yung's private assistant and knows the whole story about the accident. He informs Sze Lung about it as Fai Wong has asked Chi Hiu to keep it a secret. Seeing how Chi Hiu ruins the company, he tries to prevent but fails so he leaves the company. Still, he cares for Sze Lung and annuls her marriage to Chi Bo after knowing her pregnancy.

14. Yue Fai Wong – Lok Ying Kwan He is Emperor Food Group founder and is the men’s father. He kills Mr. Choi in a car accident and tells Chi Hiu to give the money to the Chois. This man is so unfair to just give him a sushi shop to get his silence over the matter. Why doesn’t he just send both brothers to Japan to learn how to make sushi instead of making both compete against each other?
Seeing that Chi Hiu is so eager to go, Chi Ying pretends to lose. This hurts Chi Hiu’s pride and he vows to spar till he wins.

15. Wing Tin - Lee Tin Cheung He is a chef in Yee Sushi. He once works under Chi Hiu but is now under Chi Ying. Chi Ying has been learning from him as a junior chef and he doesn’t mind Chi Ying being more successful now.

Interesting facts
Filming locations included Hokkaido, as well as Tokyo and Hong Kong. Viewership went from 29 points to 38 points in Hong Kong. It was said that there was a ghost’s face watching the brothers in the kitchen in Episode 13. The producer dismissed it, saying that it was a reflection.

It was Chi Lam’s first time working with Hang Yee. It had been 6 years since he returned to TVB. That was due to his busy schedule. Chi Lam learned how to cut and arrange sushi before filming this drama. Many were amused by Chi Yeng’s imaginary scenes. He was a great cook and the film studio beside them had Hsuan Hsuan and Kiu Wai shooting ‘Gun Metal Grey’.

They claimed to visit them but actually they were there to eat the sushi spread after they finished filming. Chi Lam felt sorry that many of his scenes speaking in Japanese were cut due to time constrain. There were many love stories and although he was made to be the devoted lover for many dramas, he wanted to give a different feel. He praised Hang Yee for being diligent and also punctual.

They were shooting at Hokkaido and needed someone who could speak good Japanese to look for food and purchasing resources. Hang Yee knew how to speak Japanese by learning through her stepmother. Thus, it wasn’t a surprise when many commented that she spoke best. Some even joked that she looked like AV女優蒼井空。

She became their translator in Japan. Hang Yee was overjoyed to work with Chung Yan as he was a professional who was willing to guide the juniors. The whole cast laughed upon seeing how Chung Yan ditching his usual serious image to act in a comic role.
This was Hang Yee’s first time acting as a spoilt rich girl who needs to adjust to normal life after bankupcy. She finds it tough and has to observe those around her having the similar behavior. She finds Keung Keung innocent and cute for not knowing many things and has to grow up. She had sung a song with Chi Lam before but not known him that well till they acted in here.

She finds him comical and many scenes between them are like friends. He had to calm her nerves when she called him as she did not know how to shoot the ending. However, there was no continuation from episode to episode as they shot the scenes in Japan. She was thrilled to visit the fish market although she has been to Japan many times. They got to see tuna fish of the size of a human and how the audition took place.

板前壽司was the sponsor and it sponsored all the fish. The environment lovers complained that they were endangering species. Although Chi Lam is a Buddhist, he felt that it would be a waste not eating it since the fish had been killed. Some thought that it copied from the Japanese manga and drama 《將太的壽司 》Ching’s nickname 「百目魚神」was similar to 「百目之辰」

Moreover the second episode of cooking resembled the manga but all said it was better than TVB creating and making their own mistakes. Some netizens felt that the characters should not say the names of the fish in Japanese. The producer claimed that the knowledge was universal and he did not have to copy.
Many did not like Tin Wah to sulk all the time to look very evil and chok. His character was unlikeable and his popularity dipped due to this. One complained that Ching’s home on the rocks often showed a human face which was scary. It later explained that the owner, Uncle Ray had gotten someone to crave it.

There was a reuse of Keung’s telephone number 66847286 from Moonlight Resonance’s 管家仔. The contract that Keung signed with a Japanese sauce merchant had the comma in the wrong place to write as US$20,0000.00。The contract even had the words Joint Tenants to show that it was a contract for rent.

Some commented that Tong Ngo had some white hair to resemble famous writer, 李純恩. But unlike him, he seems to cheat all the way for good food. Some viewers also commented that the theme song 《究竟海有幾深》was too similar to an online singer, Rubato’s original《不必靠情人》. Do you think so too?

Below are the awards nominated for 45th TVB Anniversary Awards 2011 : Best Drama, Best Actor (Cheung Chi Lam), Best Actress (Yeung Yee), My Favourite Male Character (Cheung Chi Lam)
2011One TV awards:No. 4 best drama

Most favourite character Chi Ying, he thinks of others before himself but he can be too stupid at times.

Most hated character Chi Hiu, he only cares for his own glory to think of how much he should get.

Song It is a lively song, 《究竟海有幾深》by Chi Lam. I am sure that you will like it.

Conclusion
If you like food, you will enjoy watching this drama. The addition of cartoons in some scenes plus Chi Ying’s imagination scenes are clearly done. It shows how creative the producer is. It tells on the different kinds of fish used to make sushi. It is like good advertising for the sushi chain to make everyone hungry. And yes, the food looks good!!
The cast must be having a good time for getting to act in this series and eating the delicious food. It seems many of them have rounder faces – except Tin Wah. Do they eat a lot due to the cold weather or is he the only one still dancing to keep fit even after eating – I wonder.

The part on Keung dreaming of Siu Long Nui and Yeung Gor is the funniest – as both are naked amongst the flowers. Another will be Chi Ying imagining that Ching will drown himself when Keung doesn’t accept him but none of that happens.

The rivalry between the brothers is intense and will lure you to carry on watching. The cast has presented a realistic scenario of cooking and it gives a refreshing feel. The actresses look stunning with different make-up. Unlike others, I like the change in Tin Wah – it is a breakthrough for him. It should not be missed as he makes a loud appearance in the drama. It is also a breakthrough for Kar Nien – don’t you think that the two look like brothers in the drama?

I have to complain about the ending, though. Why does Keung have to lose her memory to remember the past within minutes to get married? It seems like all the problems are solved too early when Chi Hiu is forgiven and they have nothing else to develop. It definitely deserves a better ending than this one.

Sukting’s ratings :
On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)
On story : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)
On song : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)


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