I don’t think I’ve ever taken this many screenshots for one show before o.O I’m telling you, it’s the desserts.
We open to see Ah Kang, the nerdy customer from the previous episode. It’s inherently clear that he has Asperger’s from this scene, as we see him meticulously straighten things in his room and always move things with two hands.
Tian Tian invents a new dessert today, a macaroon looking dessert that she nicknames “UFO”. It looks delicious, and she invites Allen to try one. Unfortunately, Allen has a bit of difficulty swallowing the first bite, but he manages a weak smile and tells Tian Tian to let him try all of her products.
Once he takes it outside to the display case, Allen warns A Lu not to eat any of the UFO cakes or sell them “because they’re all for him”. When she tries to sneak one, he grabs it from her and stuffs it in his mouth (scolding her all the while). Aw.
It seems that Ah Kang’s mother is a worrier and and helicopter mom (a mom that hovers all the time). She follows him out of the house when he leaves for work (not before reminding him not to straighten other people’s stuff and to look both ways before crossing the street), making sure that he gets to the bus in one piece. As soon as he gets off and walks to greet his uncle (the manager of the restaurant he works at), the uncle gets a call from the mother to guarantee his arrival.
It appears that Ah Kang repeats phrases often, as he continuously repeats “mats must be placed correctly, forks must be placed correctly, chopsticks must be placed correctly, everything must be placed correctly” while setting the table. His fingers are constantly twitching and rearranging objects on the table.
He stops by the patisserie after work, scaring A Lu (she covers up in a sweater because he stared at her awkwardly the first time they met), and promptly tells her that her outfit looks ugly. LOL. Ah Kang then proceeds to look at the desserts and rattle off the recipe/preparation for each one. He orders two of each cake (one for him and one for his mother), but Allen tells his that the UFO cakes are reserved and packs up the remaining cakes. When asked if he’s sure he wants four cakes (the implication being that four is a lot), Ah Kang rattles off facts of how desserts are good for the release of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain that prevent depression.
When Ah Kang finally arrives home, his mother is worried sick and scolds him for taking so long. She brings up the topic of getting him a cellphone, but Ah Kang launches into a speech about how cellphones emit radiation at a certain level that has a likelihood of causing cancer. It’s evident that his mother has heard it before because she shushes him and leads him back inside.
We meet a new character as he goes onto a talk show. He’s also an actor, and seems to have some sort of history with Tian Tian’s eldest sister Tian Mi. They awkwardly exchange hellos before he goes onto the program, and she watches him from the corner during his interview. It seems that his marriage isn’t all sunshines and rainbows however, as he asks the interviewer not to ask questions about his wife.
We see him later at home as his wife tells him that she went to the doctor for a check-up. She hands him a file, but we can’t see the details of the report. My bet is on infertility.
One day on Ah Kang’s way to work, he accidentally bumps a man carrying a load of pots on the street. The pots fall to the ground and the man starts yelling at Ah Kang, who puts his hands over his ears and beings to recite a nursery rhyme.
“Don’t be afraid don’t be afraid of the big bad wolf/I’m going to defeat you/I will I will catch you/ Ah Kang is the bravest” (the rhythm is completely off when you translate it)
His mother runs up and pulls him away, apologizing profusely to the man. She then walks Ah Kang to the bus stop, but he crossly tells her to leave. It appears that he knew she was always following him, and doesn’t appreciate her hovering.
Ah Kang’s mother wanders into the patisserie later on, and asks to speak to the owner of the shop (as Tian Tian and A Lu are trying to build card towers haha). She explains that Ah Kang has aspergers, and doesn’t understand many social situations. He’s been buying cake everyday for the two of them, but no matter how many times she tells him not to buy them he still does. The cakes have been piling up in the fridge until they become moldy and get thrown out. Ah Kang’s mother just wants the patisserie to stop supporting his habit, and to pretend that they’ve sold out of cakes when he arrives. Tian Tian tentatively agrees.
And so the process of “don’t sell Ah Kang desserts” begins. The next day Ah Kang walks into the store, and the staff hurriedly shoo out all customers. One is being particularly stubborn, so Allen whispers in her ear until she readily agrees. He whisks the dessert tray out the back door while A Lu jumps in front of the counter and awkwardly tells Ah Kang that the dessert has all been sold today. He leaves disappointed, and A Lu comments that the project should be easy. Allen appears next to her and disagrees – it’s only when A Lu shrieks and grabs his jaw that we see the lipstick print on his cheek. Hahahahaha.
And so, day after day, the staff make up excuses to tell Ah Kang that the dessert has all been sold. At one point they tell him that a “Hao Shao Wen” has bought all the desserts – a meta joke because that’s the actor who plays Ah Kang’s name (he was a famous child star in the shaolin popey movies).
Allen tries to follow Tian Tian when she goes on her break, but it seems that she’s onto him because she constantly keeps checking behind her and caught him leaving right after her. (NOTE: i drew a circle/arrow to where Allen is in the photo on the right, that wasn’t in the drama)
Turns out our mystery 10-second man from episode 1 is Shang Yu Wen, a famous pastry chef who recently returned from abroad. He’s starting up his own restaurant/shop in Taiwan, and is recruiting the best chefs he can find.
At one point in the interviewer asks if he’s met up with his family yet, and he responds that he’s met with the few remaining. There is one old friend however, with whom he hasn’t been able to get in touch with.
It looks like Ah Kang’s finally had enough of his sugar withdrawal, and he sits down at the table to announce that he won’t budge until Tian Tian makes more desserts. Hours pass and he still sits there, occasionally getting up to tidy some of A Lu’s work. At one point he notices Xiao Kai building a card tower, and fixes that as well. Turns out his eye for detail is so good, he can even stack cups in a reverse pyramid style, much to the excitement of everyone else. They all clap and praise him, and I’m pretty sure he’s genuinely happy 🙂
It’s getting pretty late however, so Tian Tian marches out with a small cake box and sells it to him “for free” so that he’ll leave and go home. Ah Kang accepts it, but turns around to ask if she’ll be selling cakes for free again tomorrow. Ha.
obligatory dessert photo 😛
Ah Kang’s mom is furious, and marches in to re-demand that Tian Tian not sell her son cakes. Tian Tian tries to intervene and say that it seems going without dessert is doing Ah Kang more harm than good, and that his mother should let him do his own thing. This just riles up his mother even more, and she flatly shuts down Tian Tian, telling her that as his mother “she knows best”. Tian Tian refuses to budge however, and informs Ah Kang’s mother that if Ah Kang comes back in she will sell him another cake. Good for you Tian Tian.
Later that night Tian Tian bemoans the fact that she forgot to buy meat (Xiao Kai wants to eat hamburgers). Allen offers her the idea of using tofu as a meat substitute, and Tian Tian looks at him in surprise. He helps her make them, and gives her an idea to try and make them into a dessert.
the makings of Tian Tian’s tofu mousse cake!
Ah Kang’s mother comes storming into the pastry shop the next day demanding to speak to Tian Tian. She berates her for selling another cake to her son, and Tian Tian slams the tofu cake down in front of her. Tian Tian tells Ah Kang’s mom that she has to try the cake before she can speak, and Ah Kang’s mom grudgingly eats a few mouthfuls. (the staff each say a sentence and then quietly leave, their words are below).
“Tian Tian: Did you figure out that this was made of Tofu? If you always believe that Tofu is only a side dish to eat, it will never become anything more than a side dish.
Allen: If you change the way you look at it, there are many possibilities of what you can do with Tofu.
Tian Xi: Tofu can be a hamburger patty and a dessert.
A Lu: I think you should understand what we want to tell you, right?”
It’s clear that they’re using the tofu cake as a metaphor for Ah Kang, and his mother seems to slowly realize it after the staff have left. She spend the evening looking through photoalbums of her and Ah Kang, and seems to come to a conclusion of her own.
The next day Ah Kang has another singing panic attack when a server drops a tray of silverware. Though his mother begins to apologize to the other patrons at first, she stops and begins to sing with him. She has stopped treating him like a burden on society, and in effect stopped belittling him.
Our famous chef Yu Wen corrects another chef’s dish at his [Yu Wen’s] new restaurant. He tells the assembled staff that even if the ingredients are the same, presentation and preparation can completely change a dish.
Allen follows Tian Tian again, and this time is able to make it to the hospital where she visits the old man. He walks into the room after Tian Tian left, and stands in shock looking at the old man. We immediately cut to Allen drunk at a bar while his teacher friend sits down across from him. He tells her a “story”, that of a young man who’s mother took him away from his father at a young age, and who never could remember his father. The young man ran away from his mother like his mother did from his father in an effort to reconnect with the dad, but when he finally met him, found that irony knows no bounds, his father now couldn’t remember him either. 😦
The mobsters come back the next day with their boss to demand payment from Tian Xi, but when the boss meets her he’s completely smitten. He readily accepts her offer to read his future through her Tarot cards (unlimited times) in exchange for giving up the debt, even though his two underlings grouch and complain the entire time. Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of him!
Tian Tian goes to see a doctor later that day, but is informed that they can’t tell what is wrong with her tastebuds. She returns home frustrated, and makes a foul looking concoction of lemon juice, spicy peppers, and vinegar. When she’s about to drink it, Allen walks in and grabs it from her, telling her that all her new flavours need to go through him. His reaction is immediate, he’s gasping and choking as he forces out a praise for her tastebuds, but asks her to leave the rest of them mortals a bit of a blander taste. He’s forced to run outside, and finds that Tian Tian has left him a glass of water in a silent apology. Aw 🙂