Wok of Love Episode 21
Seo Poong (Lee Joon Ho) and Sae Woo (Jung Ryeo Won) make another variation of the dough. It holds when he blows. Excited Sae Woo kisses Seo Poong on the cheek. Flustered Seo Poong tells her not to kiss him.
Doo Chil Seong (Jang Hyuk) sits outside the eatery. He thinks about how Sae Woo confirmed she’s divorced. He thinks about Seo Poong’s declaration that he won’t date. Chil Seong goes in the eatery. He sees Seo Poong and Sae Woo working on the dough. Sae Woo tells him the dough expands properly now. It works when Chil Seong tries it. Seo Poong asks why he’s there. Chil Seong quips he’s keeping an idea on them.
Chief Wang smiles when Chae Seol Ja (Park Ji Young) visits him in the kitchen making shrimp toast. She demands that he stop with the duplicate menu. Chief Wang declares it is a coincidence. He tells Seol Ja to work for him and leave Seo Poong behind. He offers big money. Seol Ja is surprised by the amount.
Seo Poong, Sae Woo, and Chil Seong share a beer and a laugh discusses who would save who if they were drowning. When Seo Poong asks if they were all three drowning who would save them, Chil Seong declares he’d saved both of them.
That’s what we call foreshadowing.
Chil Seong finds Seo Poong sleeping in the locker room. He tells him to sleep upstairs in his apartment. He literally drags the sleep Seo Poong away.
Outside the eatery, Seol Ja recalls Chief Wang telling her that Seo Poong doesn’t have the right to be her leader.
Chil Seong’s men and Seo Poong prepare for the day’s food battle. The hotel’s team and Chief Wang do the same.
Chil Seong meets Sae Woo with an umbrella. It begins to pour. He tells her not to feel bad about not returning his feelings. He promises to only be her boss. Sae Woo thanks him. They smile. The rain stops and they walk to the eatery.
Seo Poong gives his team their assignments for the day. Seo Poong declares his hand is better and will work the ladle. Sae Woo will assist. Chil Seong is assigned to work the cash register. But Seol Ja is missing.
She stands in the cross walk with Chief Wang on one side and Seo Poong on the other. Seo Poong begs Seol Ja to join him. She runs to Chief Wang.
The hotel’s dining begins to fill. The cooking begins. Service begins. The VIP guests love the shrimp.
Sae Woo isn’t happy that Seo Poong didn’t tell her his wrist was fine. Seo Poong says the doctor told him this morning his wrist was healed. Seol Ja prepares veggies but there are no customers.
Sae Woo dressing in her street clothes and tells Chil Seong she’s running an errand. She heads to the hotel and spies the full dining room. The VIP customers leave. As they stand at the elevator Sae Woo recognizes them as nurses from the emergency room. The nurse tells Sae Woo all that Seo Poong went through to warm her up. Seo Poong realizes it wasn’t a dream, it was real. She smiles. The ladies tell her the shrimp at the hotel was delicious. She confirms the eatery across the street may be run by gangsters but the chef is the caring Seo Poong they met at the hospital.
Jin Jeong Hae (Lee Mi Sook) tells Chil Seong not to like Sae Woo. He asks how the dishwasher knows he’s not good enough. She calls him a thug and claims she is close to Sae Woo and therefore has the right to bar him from liking Sae Woo. Jeong Hae steps outside and noticing customers aren’t entering. She tries to talk customers into coming in and succeeds. Jeong Hae acts as the server. Sae Woo brings even more customers. The kitchen staff is galvanized into action.
Sae Woo is thrilled Seo Poong’s actions in the hospital were a dream.
Jeong Hae announces the orders and returns to the dining room.
Seo Poong directs his team. Seol Ja directs Maeng Dal. He gets cracking.
Sae Woo and Seo Poong start working together.
The old woman (Lee Mi Sook) enters the eatery. Jeong Hae asks if she’s eating or gawking. The old lady motions to Chil Seong to come over. He ducks out of sight.
Seo Poong assigns Sae Woo the shrimp chips. She does well. Seo Poong calls for service. Jeong Hae serves the shrimp chips. They are a hit with customers.
The old woman offers the root of the ginseng to Chil Seong. He declines.
Wok of Love Episode 22
Chil Seong declares they only had 15 customers today while the hotel was swarmed with customers. Seo Poong notes the hotels food had no soul. He declares more customers will come tomorrow due to word of mouth. Chil Seong asks if revenge is his goal. Seo Poong confirms is. Sae Woo says it won’t make him happy. Seo Poong says he can’t forget what happened to him at the hotel. He vows not to date, love, or marry until his gets his revenge. Sae Woo winces at his words. Chil Seong warns him not to end up like him (alone). He tells him to pursue love and don’t wait. Chil Seong tells Seo Poong to come with him. Seo Poong follows.
Seol Ja tells Sae Woo, Im Geok Jung (Tae Hang Ho), and Jeong Hae she has something to say. She says Chief Wang is offering a big salary, enough to cover all their expenses. Sae Woo declares Seol Ja can’t walk away from Seo Poong. Geok Jung doesn’t have an opinion. Sae Woo declares Seo Poong doesn’t deserve to be betrayed. Jeong Hae asks if Sae Woo likes Seo Poong. She denies it a little too vehemently. Jeong Hae declares if Sae Woo likes Seo Poong they’ll all walk away. Seol Ja believes that is the sign work for the hotel.
Chil Seong and Seo Poong visit CEO Yong Seung Ryong (Kim Sa Kwon) and Chief Wang in CEO Yong’s room. Seo Poong easily removes the knife that wouldn’t budge for anyone else. Seo Poong says he’ll use it tomorrow. Chil Seong declares Seo Poong will use the knife to get his revenge. CEO Yong tells Chief Wang those two wanted to remind them they were competing. Chil Seong tells Seo Poong that taking the knife removes the evidence that the police could use to charge him with a felony. Chil Seong says he knows how to get revenge. They leave the hotel. Chief Wang watches them go. Chief Wang recalls Seo Poong pressuring Seol Ja to work for him instead of the big money he was offering. Seo Poong makes the point that without Seol Ja they can’t succeed. Chief Wang grabs her wrist. Seo Poong picks up Seol Ja and declares she can’t leave him and carries her to the eatery. He promises he’ll use his strength to become a success and pay her the money she deserves.
Seo Poong holds the knife. Seol Ja and Sae Woo exit the eatery. Seo Poong tells Seol Ja he’ll see her tomorrow. Seo Poong asks Sae Woo if Seol Ja said anything about him. Sae Woo says Seol Ja was positive about him. She quickly leaves.
The next day Seol Ja sees Chief Wang across the cross walk. Seo Poong appears and tells her he can only succeed with her help. He asks her to work with him.
The next day the dining room is full. The kitchen in humming. Seo Poong calls for service.
The hotel kitchen is humming too.
The giant soup dumplings are ready. Seo Poong points out what a good soup dumpling should look like.
Chil Seong arrives at the eatery. He sees a wallet and wonders if it belongs to a customer. He puts the wallet at the front counter. Sae Woo demonstrate how to eat the giant soup dumpling. The customers love it. The dining room fills up. The dumplings are a hit. Everyone smiles.
The old woman asks Jeong Hae if she’s seen her red wallet. She looks at the front counter but her wallet isn’t there.
Chil Seong looks at the picture inside the red wallet. There is a wedding photo dated 1978. He reads the owners name. He calls a man to do a background check on the old woman. He specifically wants to know if she has a child. The man promises to get the information today.
Chief Wang learns that Seo Poong’s eatery is full of customers too.
Seo Poong learns that the hotel’s dining is full of customers too. Seo Poong vows this is only the beginning of their success.
The nurse enjoys Seo Poong’s food. She asks Sae Woo if she can speak with the chief.
Chief Wang is dismayed to see a line of customer outside the eatery.
Seo Poong visits the nurse’s table. The nurse declares the food tastes as good as the hotel. She notes the slight difference in ingredients and comments the hotel’s food price is much higher. But the biggest difference is that Seo Poong cooks from his heart. Seo Poong smiles and thanks her. Chief Wang stalks out of the eatery. The nurse states she’s considering asking them to handle an upcoming 100-person reservation. She promises to call tonight with her decision. Seo Poong and Sae Woo walk away thrilled.
Chief Wang returns to his kitchen. He tells Sam Sung they can’t lose a single customer to Seo Poong. Sam Sung declares that won’t happen. Chief Wang says he already saw one of their customers at the eatery. He vows to lose no more.
Everyone is on pins and needles waiting for the nurses’ call. The phone rings. Seo Poong answers.
Chil Seong stares at the photo. His man calls him. He learns the old woman is 74, was married to a boxer, had a son, but…
Seo Poong ends the phone call. He looks stern. Then he tells everyone they have just booked a 100-person reservation. They erupt with happiness. Hugs all around. Seo Poong grabs Sae Woo and hugs her. They smile. Everyone watches them. Sae Woo says this is a nice dream.
Chief Wang is dismayed to learn the reservation for 100 people is being cancelled. He tells the nurse he’s got an offer she can’t refuse.
Chil Seong finds the old woman looking for her wallet. He tells her he has it in his office. He calls her by her real name. That unnerves her.
The old woman enters Chil Seong’s office. He tells her to sit. He gives her the wallet. He holds the picture then gives it to her. He calls her mother. He asks if she’s his mother. He asks why she abandoned him. The old woman denies being his mother. She cries. Chil Seong offers Kleenexes and ask why she’s crying. The old woman declares the tears are because she did everything wrong. She’s sorry he found out.
The eatery hit a home run with their menu and grew a customer base. I loved how Seo Poong literally swept Seol Ja into his arms and carried her away from the piles of money Chief Wang was offering and into his kitchen. He able to convince her to stick with him the next day. Seol Ja worked hard and Maeng Dal did a decent job as her helper. Sae Woo did a good job as an assistant chief. Jeong Hae shined as a server. It was wonderful to see Jeong Hae assert herself with Chil Seong (she told him to back off Sae Woo), again with Chil Seong (when she took over as server) and with talking customers into trying the eatery. But it was the 100-person reservation from the nurse that made everyone celebrate. The eatery is like the little engine that could. Of course, Chief Wang and CEO Yong will try an undermine them. What counter moves will they make?
Chef Seo Poong (Lee Joon Ho) finally was able to work the wok and ladle. Sae Woo didn’t like being informed on the day but Seo Poong countered the doctor removed the cast just that morning. Frankly I’m thrilled to see Seo Poong cook and not have to rely on Sae Woo. He’s been handicapped this entire series. If he’s going to succeed or fail, I want him to do it with all his might. Seo Poong finally got the taste of success. He’s had the bitter taste of failure for the majority of this series. He deserves to relish the moment. His declaration that he wouldn’t engage in love until his revenge was complete spurred Chil Seong to help him. First, they went to the hotel and Seo Poong pulled the knife from CEO Yong’s headboard. The reference to the sword in the stone is a clever reference from Writer Seo. With Sae Woo on the side lines in the friend zone, it was Seo Poong’s interactions with Chil Seong that put a smile on my face. Seo Poong respects Chil Seong as he would an older brother. Chil Seong offered good advice – seek love now and retrieve the knife so it can’t be used as evidence against you.
Dan Sae Woo (Jung Ryeo Won) was thrilled to learn that the tender care she dreamed Seo Poong provided in the hospital was real. Stuck in the friend zone, Sae Woo was thrilled to learn from the emergency room nurse that Seo Poong was desperate and determined to save her from hypothermia. It wasn’t a dream, it was real! After Sae Woo hugged Seo Poong she told him this wasn’t a dream, this was real. He likely didn’t understand what she was really saying but she put him on notice.
Doo Chil Seong (Jang Hyuk) found his mother. We all wondered who the old lady was. We’ve all pondered if she could be Chil Seong’s mother. Bingo! Why did she abandon Chil Seong? She was distraught to learn he knew who she was. She cried copious tears of shame at her abandonment of her son. Switching gears, Chil Seong’s friendship with Seo Poong is a winning plot point in this series. I liked how Chil Seong wouldn’t take no for an answer as Seo Poong slept on the bench in the locker room. I liked how Chil Seong took Seo Poong to the hotel to retrieve the knife and put CEO Yong and Chief Wang on notice. But the telling moment was when Chil Seong told Sae Woo and Seo Poong that he’d save both of them if they were drowning. That foreshadowing tells us that Chil Seong will step away from Sae Woo and give Seo Poong permission to pursue love with Sae Woo. As Chil Seong said, avoiding love isn’t wise.
I rank these episodes (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My episode ranking chart is below.