Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
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The unparalleled and indomitable Travelling GOurmet TM watches a…
MOST enthralling Korean Drama serial for the very first time on Netflix. I had never seen a Korean Drama serial before until now. I was very favourably impressed! The acting, the costumes, the story line, the ravishingly gorgeous Korean actress Son Ye Jin and macho actor Hyun Bin all melded together in a melange of romance, action, emotions, joy, shootouts, sadness, astonishment and more. Locations like Switzerland, Lake Brienz, Sigriswil, Mongolia, Jeju Island and more are truly rapturous! There is food too! Plus lashings of Soju. Due to sponsorship by BBQ Olive Chicken in South Korea, the characters are always scoffing yummie Korean Fried Chicken fried in olive oil. Kimchi and Bulgogi too. There are over 40,000 Fried Chicken restaurants in South Korea. In the whole wide world there are only some 37.000 McDonalds. Needless to say there is aso Ramyeon, the Korean version of Japanese Ramen, Kimchi and Bulgogi.
The story is somewhat incredible with a South Korean Chaebol tycoon paragliding into North Korea due to a freak tornado. She is rescued by dashing Captain Ri, an elite North Korean Army officer. No surprise, they fall in love with each other in 16 episodes, wahahahah! The sizzling chemistry between Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin extraordinary! I believe they are really in love with each other in real life.
I thought that Korean Dramas were all lovey dovey romantic escapades but this gripping drama has disgusting evil villains and a lot of fighting! Brutal Hand to hand combat and deadly shootouts outdo Hollywood! The macho actor Hyun Bin did his mandatory military service in South Korea in the Marines. This explains his confident and professional handling and firing of the weapons used including the Type 68 North Korean pistol, Glock 17 pistol, submachine guns and more. Hyun Bin is like the Clint Eastwood of Korea with his coolness under fire and laconic screen presence.
The screenwriter was inspired by Shakesapere’s immortal Romeo and Juliet set in Verona. I was kindly invited by the Italian government to Italy for Vinitaly. However, Vinitaly the 54th Edition, is now postphoned to April 2021 because of the horrible China virus for which China is responsible, and culpable for worldwide disruption and death.
The music is also outstanding and melds with the scenes romantically. Dashing Hyun Bin who plays Captain Ri is also a pianist in real life. Very talented! He even plays the piano in one unforgettable scene in Iseltwald, Switzerland on the shores of scenic Lake Brienz. The haunting “Song for my Brother” is a tribute to his late brother who was brutally murdered by his arch enemy the super evil villain with the Ministry of State Security.
Restaurants feature a lot in the show like…
Gongwonjang [공원장], a restaurant that serves classic South Korean cuisine located in Yonghyeon, Nam-gu at Incheon. This place was seen in Episode 10 along with the cameo of Kim Soo Hyun (a North Korean spy in the movie Secretly Greatly) where he met the four North Korean soldiers of Captain Ji Ri Jeong-Hyeok. They are Pyo Chi-su, Park Kwang-beom, Kim Ju-meok and Geum Eun-dong as well as Jung Man-bok.
Address: 인천 미추홀구 인주대로211번길 49-26 (용현동 55-260)
English Address: 49-26 Inju-daero 211beon-gil, Yonghyeon 1(il).4(sa)-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon, South Korea