by DaliaB, September 24, 2020

The other day I was trying to tell my friend, who only ever watched Korean dramas, how other countries also had Dramas, but how different that experience is at times and because we both like to eat (who doesn’t?) I used a culinary experiences metaphor. And now I want to share it with all of you, drama-gourmets. 

Disclaimer: This is only about dramas with a heavy focus on romance because that’s all I watch. I have also not watched all the dramas from all the countries, but at least three dramas or movies from each. 

South Korea

My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Watching Korean dramas is like eating in a neighborhood restaurant.

There are different cuisines to be had, but the food is consistently good, sometimes it’s even delicious. After having been to a few different restaurants, you realize that quite a bit stays the same, you go in, there are tables with chairs, there is a menu, there is a waiter and the couple on the next table’s first kiss will happen between 7 and 10 pm.
You can have the best conversations about life, people and even politics, it’s also a great place for dates, first, blind or otherwise. And for having dinner with large groups of people.
It’s predictable, but also comforting and I will always come back to this after my more crazy culinary exploits. 


Watching Chinese dramas is like going to an upscale, gourmet restaurant for a 20-course dinner. 

You know that it’s going to be a looooong evening, but the interiors of the restaurant are beautiful, and the dishes are decorated beautifully. The starters really get you into the experience, they are so good. But then somewhere between dish 10 and 15, you start to feel a bit stuffed, and you realize that even though carefully orchestrated, they snuck in a few filler dishes that don’t really match the overall theme of the evening. And… didn’t you eat that pickled radish already, but with a different sauce?
 Maybe you decide to take a walk to get some fresh air in between, but if you remain seated dessert takes forever to come, though dessert is also really good.
At their best, these cooks are not just trying to feed you, but also to change your whole palette and outlook on life. 


Watching a Taiwanese drama is like being invited to dinner at your gal-pals home. 

You sit in the kitchen with a glass of wine while she cooks up a storm, occasionally helping with the chopping of something and stirring a pot here and there. It’s cozy, the conversation is great, emotions are discussed at length, the female characters are just so much better than anywhere else, and juicy stories are discussed in much greater detail than you would in a restaurant. 

But, and you realize that only after a while, your friend is not good at baking. So more often than not, dessert is a cake where she mixed up salt and sugar or mousse au chocolat, where instead of buying good chocolate she used up a bar of orange-flavored chocolate from the bottom of her pantry. That’s fine though, it becomes an inside joke after a while, and you can laugh about it together.


Watching a Japanese drama is like eating at a Fusion Food Running Sushi. 

As in you never know what you get next, is it sweet, is it salty, is it really hot? Sometimes you pick up a plate, take a bite and think “WTF did I just eat?” and you turn the plate around to see what it is and it says: Cricketburger in a balsamic vinegar-soy sauce reduction. As in: made from actual Crickets. 

Visiting this restaurant is a lot of fun, and you get addicted to the thrill of the unexpected twists and turns, especially if you share it with friends, but it also takes some mental focus and readiness for surprising plot ahem culinary twists.


Watching a Thai Lakorn is like cooking with your grandma.

 But your grandma decided it has to be a dish from her childhood. At first, you are like: “She liked it, how bad can it be?” But then the list of ingredients is a little off, and not things you have ever eaten together. You shrug and go along for the ride. But then suddenly, your grandma shouts at you for not stirring something fast enough, a knife slip causes grandma to bleed, and there is more yelling. After calming down a bit, grandma sends you to the store for “Canned, fermented Dolphin meat”, and you are like “I am not sure eating that is considered ethical nowadays, Granny!”, but grandma pulls your ears and shakes her ladle at you and so out you go. 

But it’s also sweet, cooking with your Grandma. She tells you about the crazy stories of her youth, full of bandits, freak accidents and superstitions but also very sweet love stories, that more often than not stop at chaste kisses.  The dish turns out to be fine in the end, with all the crazy ingredients actually turning out to be a tasty whole and you kind of get why grandma really loves it.


Watching movies from the Philippines is like stopping by an International Patisserie.

You wanted to go home and cook a wholesome meal and buy a cake as dessert. But at the Patisserie, there are so many cakes you don’t recognize, so you buy more than you can eat and then instead of going home, you call a friend, and together you sit on a park bench under the stars and have cake for dinner while chatting about your current crushes. 

You may only understand what’s in half of the cakes, but you also eat all of them, because sweets need no translation. 

Do you agree with the metaphor?

Where do you eat mostly? Is your culinary experience different? 

Any countries I have not watched, what do their Dramas taste like?

Edited by:  Yuanwei (1st editor)