9 people found this review helpful
Rewatch Value 9.5
Exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey
C’est magnifique! Le Grande Maison Tokyo IMHO is indeed grand and fully deserving of 3 Michelin stars for the wonderful French cuisine featured and also a 10/10 rating for the entire production served.
Obana Natsuki is a French cuisine master chef who had always been obsessed with attaining the holy grail of his craft - the 3 stars awarded by the prestigious Michelin Guide. Unfortunately his quest for the ultimate crowning glory is bitterly cut short due to lớn a disastrous diplomatic incident that not only upends his promising career as a celebrated chef de cuisine but also reduces him to lớn a vilified persona non grata of both France and nhật bản. Fast forward 3 years later, he crosses paths with the vibrant Hayami Rinko, a talented French cuisine chef herself, who rekindles his passion for cooking and reignites his hopes of achieving the ultimate Michelin guide rating once more.
Grand Maison Tokyo is a TBS production that is directed by established directors Ayuko Tsukahara (Saiai, MIU 404), Daisuke Yamamuro (Tenno no Ryoriban, Ouroboros, Jin 1 & 2), and Takahiro Aoyama (Tengoku to lớn Jigoku: Psychona Futari). Based on the original screenplay by one of my favourite Japanese screenwriters, Tsutomu Kuroiwa (Tokyo MER: Hashiru Kinkyuukyuumeishitsu, Unsung Cinderella: Byoin Yakuzaishi no Shohosen) with music score composed by Hideakira Kimura and the theme tuy nhiên RECIPE performed by Tatsuro Yamashita.
A collaboration with the international fashion magazine, Marie Claire, in which the fictional “Marie Claire dining” segment is mentioned throughout. Principal photography took place primarily in Tokyo and Paris. The 3-star restaurant L'ambroisie in Paris and the Japanese French cuisine restaurant, Quintessence (depicted as Gaku in the drama) are featured extensively. Incidentally the Japanese restaurant was awarded the prestigious 3-star rating upon completion of the drama’s airing in 2020. The dishes served by Grand Maison Tokyo were prepared by the 2-star INUA restaurant based in Tokyo, while the supervision for dessert preparation is provided by Hotel Intercontinental Tokyo Bay, which was also used as a filming location for the Búp Phê restaurant in the drama.
The drama won 5 awards at the 103rd Television Drama Academy Awards, namely for Best Picture, Best Actor (Takuya Kimura), Best Supporting Actor (Yuta Tamamori), Best Drama Song (Tatsuro Yamashita, RECIPE), and Best Director.
What I Loved
Everything, really. I was hooked from beginning till the over. This drama has the perfect blend of all the right ingredients to lớn produce an outstanding production with more kêu ca sufficient action, thrills, suspense and poignant moments which I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of.
The premise of the drama is straightforward but the storytelling navigates an intriguing trajectory teeming with layers of sub-plots as well as twists and turns that seemingly never runs out of steam or ideas on how to lớn move the story forward. And moving forward it does at nearly the tốc độ of light with sánh much agency and urgency during the 11 episodes of its run rẩy. The viewing experience itself feels very much lượt thích a full course fine dining adventure. A compelling narrative that continuously grabs hold of the viewers’ attention while introducing a concept mostly unfamiliar to lớn the uninitiated - the Michelin guide to lớn the world of French cuisine - amidst the multitude of vividly intriguing character designs that permeate this production. One of the things I love about the characterization in this drama is that none of the so-called antagonists is an outright villain - they are simply morally grey characters with their own motivations and beliefs system operating in the highly competitive and unforgiving hospitality industry.
The technical proficiency of this drama shines through, as evidenced by the high production values and top quality execution. This is particularly true for aspects concerning production and mix designs, food videography element of the cinematography, the realism of the nội dung depiction pertaining to lớn kitchen administration, food preparation, cooking techniques and restaurant management. Even linguistics hold prominence here with French being convincingly spoken in the drama by various characters. Likewise the music of this production induces the required atmospherics of the storytelling with an infusion of tasteful classical elements that matches perfectly the cuisine that is presented.
The main selling point of Grand Maison Tokyo, undoubtedly for bủ, is Kimura Takuya. The character-driven narrative suits this man’s profound ability beautifully and sánh it proves with his award-winning performance here. Kimutaku isn’t just portraying Obana Natsuki - He IS Obana Natsuki! The depth of the characterization complements the extensive range of the actor producing a masterclass in acting, of which I’ve had the privilege to lớn witness…no, to lớn experience, in this drama.
In Suzuki Kyoka, viewers have the pleasure of seeing a veteran actress that matches the excellence of Kimutaku to lớn enhance the flavours of this drama even further. Having seen her in Okaeri Mone, she exudes similar vibes but there is a wider scope to lớn her portrayal of the co-lead Hayami Rinko here. Her characters have a way of building an emotional connection with viewers and I find myself developing this connection from the very first minute of her appearance. What an inspiring and moving performance from this lady indeed.
Tamamori Yuta’s take on Hirako Shohei catches the eye due to lớn the complexity of the characterization where he is allocated quite a significant portion of screen time. It’s worth mentioning that he is the central character in the spin-off drama, Gura Gura Maison Tokyo. I’m also intrigued by the performance of Onoe Kikunosuke V who plays Tango Manabu, the chef of the rival Gaku restaurant. Tominaga Ai as the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire dining, Linda Machiko Richard, dazzles the screen every time she appears.
The highest rating awarded by the Michelin guide is 3 stars, which means exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey. All things considered, watching Grand Maison Tokyo has been an extremely worthwhile experience personally and represents a special journey in and of itself. For that reason, I’m giving it the highest MDL rating that I believe it deserves. This drama is absolutely “Subarashii”!
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