Our favourite pastry chef has some funny tastebuds, and the answer to a father – daughter relationship is a donut. Say what?
We open to see an actress over-exaggeratedly spitting water at her “daughter-in-law” – except the daughter is hit with what looks like a bucket of water, not a mouthful. The camera pans out a bit to show A Lu, Allen, and Tian Xi all watching the episode on their computer screen, roaring with laughter. Tian Tian walks by and warns them not to let Xiao Kai (the child) see such a vapid thing.
Wait drama, hold up – what happened to Allen trying to get into the top floor at the end of episode 1? You’d better explain that…
Said actress meets with her agent after the episode airs, furious that the producers turned her into a “fire hydrant”. She complains that the drama is messy and bad, and turns down the other proposed drama that her manager gives her. She’s unhappy with the quality of the drama and the directors, sarcastically telling her manager that “of course [the director] being famous makes them great for the job”.
Miss Actress is Chen Tian Mi, and she storms into a cab, (the same one driving in the pre-opening) before curtly telling the driver to start driving. He tries to tell her that he’s closed for business, but she snaps at him and he complies. She tells him to go anywhere, she just wants some quiet.
In the car, she remembers a time when she was a new actress and had expressed a wish to her manager to go abroad. Her manager had scolded her, explaining that her co-star had put off army duty just to act with her, and the director had signed on because she had expressed interest as well. She’s broken out of her reverie by the cab driver, who tells her that he’s going to continue on his stops. He hands her some fried octopus balls, and tells her that his daughter claimed they were the best ones in Taiwan.
Tian Mi’s mood is lifted, and she asks curiously why the cabbie Mr. Liang is buying so much food for his daughter, rather than bringing her to eat with him. He awkwardly tells her that his daughter…isn’t of this world anymore, and Tian Mi apologizes around a mouthful of food. She suggests that since she has nothing to do, she can accompany him on his stops (he’s following the stops his daughter mentioned in her diary). Mr. Liang explains to her while they get iced tea however, that he can’t seem to find the last place no matter how many people he’s asked. It’s “The Patisserie with No Name”, and apparently pretty incognito. Tian Mi seems to recognize it however, judging by the way her expression changes.
She takes him to the pastry shop, and they walk in to see Allen and A Lu parodying the “water hydrant” scene from the drama. Awkward. Mr. Liang’s disappointed to see that the shop doesn’t sell donuts (his daughter had drawn a donut next to her diary entry). He decides to try all the cakes available for the day, and Tian Tian comes storming out when she finds out Miss Actress is in the shop. They argue heatedly before withdrawing to a more private place, and a curious Allen follows them. He’s not the best at hiding though, haha.
It turns out that Tian Mi is Tian Tian’s eldest sister, and that prompts another flashback to when both sisters were in Paris. Tian Mi had begged Tian Tian to do her a favour, explaining that acting was her dream, and that since Tian Tian had her own dream of baking desserts staying in Paris should be beneficial. The scene returns to the two sisters currently, and it’s revealed that Xiao Kai isn’t actually Tian Tian’s son, but her nephew. She’d taken him back with her from Paris after Tian Mi left to pursue acting, and in the present demands to know if her oldest sister is going to come to Xiao Kai’s birthday. Tian Mi doesn’t reply however, and Tian Tian yells that she’s done making up excuses to Xiao Kai every year as to why “mom” couldn’t attend. Aw 😦
That evening the characters enjoy some snacks. Tian Tian gets fishballs with extra extra spicy peppers (she dumps an entire can into her bag after tasting it first) and Mr. Liang places the cakes he bought on the table, one infront of him, the other infront of a photo of his daughter.
It seems that Xiao Kai and Allen are bonding well and becoming fast friends – Allen stops Tian Tian on her way to pick Xiao Kai up explaining that they had made a deal the night before that he [Allen] would pick Xiao Kai up. It looks like it’s a regular occurrence for Xiao Kai to have marker on his face (and the teacher as well). Allen smiles and playfully tells him about how when he was younger, he used to play Rock Paper Scissors with a mean little girl and the loser would get marker on their face.
The teacher smiles and sends Xiao Kai in to wash his face, then walks over to Allen and stomps on his foot. Turns out she’s the same “mean little girl” who played rock paper scissors with him, and she playfully scolds him for not recognizing her.
The two go out to eat later, and Allen confesses that he still can’t link the teacher with the little girl of his memories. She wonders how he’s doing at the sweet shop, and asks what he came back for. Ah, so our mystery boy Allen is a local. He avoids the question though, proposing a toast.
It looks like he’s getting more affectionate with Tian Tian, as he starts off the day sneakily taking photos of her at work. She jumps when she hears the shutter, spilling milk everywhere, and though she scolds him, she smiles right after. Allen goes to clean his camera lens while talking to A Lu, and she asks him how long he’s going to be staying. She teases that the real reason he’s staying is because of what’s in the kitchen, and lifts her arm to point….right at Tian Xi who just walked out. HA.
The three agree that the cabbie coming in all the time is odd (he mentioned his daughter eating desserts here but never brings her in), and Tian Xi decides to ask Tian Mi the story behind it. Once the staff find out, they promise Mr. Liang their help in figuring out which cake she’d wanted her father to eat.
When Mr. Liang goes back to gather his daughter’s notebooks and journals, he remembers a time when he’d talked to her about college. As a single parent father he hadn’t been ready to give up his daughter yet, and had been looking into local schools for her to attend. Like most teenagers however, she had wanted some independence and chose a school far away in the city to go to. Her father didn’t seem to understand, and cheerfully promised to start looking for houses nearby the school.
Back at the shop, Allen looks through some of the daughter’s photos (I’ll call her Mei Mei), and looks up one of the friends. He gets Mei Mei’s laptop from her, but apparently the memory can’t be repaired. Guess that’s another dead end.
Allen returns home to see Tian Tian sorting through her old notes in an attempt to figure out which dessert Mei Mei tried. When Allen asks her why she didn’t promise Mr. Liang to help even though she clearly wants to, she replies, “The bigger the hope, the bigger the disappointment. Why should I give him false hope by promising something I might not be able to do?” Ouch, speaking from experience here?
It’s only after Tian Tian tucks Xiao Kai into bed that she notices that Mei Mei wrote about drawing “the kiss of death” tarot card at the shop. She google searches it and stumbles upon Mei Mei’s online blog, including the post of “The Patisserie with No Name”. It turns out that Mei Mei has been sick for a while, and drawing the tarot card only confirmed her situation.
Xiao Kai sweetly wakes her up the next morning calling, “Tian Tian Mommy, did you sneak off to play computer games last night?” Gah he’s so cute.
Now that she knows what dessert Mei Mei ate (after reading the blog post), Tian Tian sets to work recreating it for the dad. She tries one and nods happily as an exhausted Allen rushes in. She’d requested for him to get sparking water, and none of the stores nearby had any.
When Allen tries the donut, Tian Tian asks him if she should add more sugar. He winces and haltingly tells her that the dessert is actually too sweet. After he leaves, Tian Tian scratches out her 18g of sugar and lowers it down to 12g to try again.
yummy donut soaked in…glaze? sparkling water?
Mr. Liang is in the shop to look at the blog Tian Tian found, and he smiles back tears at one of her blogposts. Mei Mei wrote that she was surprised to find that of the myriad of photos she took over the years, she only has one with her father. Nonetheless, it is her favourite photo, and she fondly writes that no matter where they were, seeing her dad smile was the most important thing.
Tian Tian falls asleep right after finishing the donut cake, and Allen
makes goo goo eyes softly looks at her while she sleeps. Her notebook with the crossed out sugar amounts doesn’t escape his notice however.
The cake is a success, and Mr. Liang pictures his daughter reading her blog post out loud. He’s finally able to smile, now at peace with his daughter’s passing.
After he leaves however, two hooligans come in demanding to see “Miss Tian”. They speak Japanese (as well as stinted Chinese) and look to be mobsters demanding payment. Tian Tian wakes up from her nap in a grouchy mood, brandishing a rolling pin at the hooligans to make them shut up. HA. She goes back to sleep, and Tian Xi (2nd sister) tells the hooligans that she’ll pay the boss back, she just needs a little more time. Looks like she borrowed money to help her ex-fiancé, and now is burdened with the debt.
The nerdy looking customer comes back in, and again haltingly asks if there still is dessert. He runs over to the case and proceeds to rattle off how each dessert is made, impressing Allen. Hmmm.
When Tian Tian finally wakes up, Allen shows her the photos he took earlier. She complains that he made her too severe looking, but he replies that she just looks pretty. D’aw, is he acting on his crush?
Looks like he just might be, as he shows Tian Tian the dinner that he prepared (complete with candles too!) of red wine and italian pasta. Though she tells him the food is great, we see from his scrunched up face after taking a bite that it’s far too spicy. Was he testing her?
It might be so, because Allen googles “Unusual palate” before he goes to bed that night. The search turns up hypogeusia, ageusia, and dysgeusia – three medical conditions where a loss or alteration to the tastebuds occur. He’s not able to narrow it down further, but it looks like he’s on the right track to uncovering one of Tian Tian’s secrets!
I know we don’t know much about Allen yet (we also don’t really know how much time has passed between episodes, but it seems like a good couple of weeks (not including the one that passed during the episode itself). I like that he seems sincere about Tian Tian, and his relationship with Xiao Kai is beyond cute. I’m just annoyed that the drama didn’t explain what happened at the end of ep one…did he get caught? Did he find anything?
This is just my own guess, but I think that the nerdy looking customer has a form of Aspergers judging by his speech and the preview for episode three. Guess we’ll learn it next week!