Royal Feast (尚食) is a Chinese TV series that ran from 22 February to 26 March 2022, broadcasting 6 days a week on Hunan TV and Mango TV.
A young girl named Zijin enters the palace to become a maid in the food bureau. Through her excellent cooking skills, she works her way up the ranks. However, she has trained to become a Concubine, learning a lot to be able to become entertaining to the future Emperor.
Xu Kai (许凯) plays the future emperor.
He has numerous awards, first known for print ad modelling. He has starred in a couple of films and numerous TV shows. As I write this, he has been earmarked to be seen in three other TV dramas.
Wu Jin Yan (吴谨言) plays Zijin.
She studied in Ballet and joined the National Ballet of China where unfortunately suffered from a number of fractures to her feet. Unable to continue with her Ballet career she joined the Beijing Film Academy to study as an actor. She has been in numerous TV dramas and films. Her politics…hmmm.
Wang Yi Zhe (王一哲) plays You Yi Fan.
He studied broadcasting and acting but as a result of starring in the “King of Pop” reality show, he started acting in TV shows.
He Rui Xian (何瑞贤) as Yi Zi Ping.
Probably the best and most comical character. Right after Royal Feast aired she starred in another food orientated drama, “Delicacies Destiny”, the set for which looked very familiar.
If it wasn’t for the food I may have dropped this how. In many of the episodes, they cooked marvellous meals. I don’t know if any of them are really traditional Chinese dishes or if they just made them up. A small number of them I had actually heard of. I wish there was a cookbook that would accompany the series, it would probably sell well, even if few people wanted to cook the meals.
The story could have been completed in less than 40 episodes, it did drag on. It wasn’t complex. Some of the characters were annoying, quickly switching from being a buffoon to something else, others were miserable throughout the series. He Rui Xian had the best role, at least her role was quite amusing now and again. The last two episodes were the best, not just because I was pleased to see the end of it, but they did wrap things up nicely, some of which were unexpected.
There was mainly a strong cast of female actors, which is good to see. One of the issues it addressed was being born into a certain role and there is no way of escaping it.
The costumes were pretty different, more Thai looking than Chinese.
I wish we had fast-forwarded parts of the show to get to the cooking. I did drop off to sleep halfway through some episodes.
So, my score is 2.5 out of 5. I can’t give it anything more than that. Others seemed to enjoy it more than I did so it’s worth giving it a try.
Where Can I See It
The episodes can be found on YouTube, however, some of the subtitles are machine produced and confusing.