Crab marinated in soy sauce (간장게장)
“The crab marinated in soy sauce indeed tells you that everyone in the global village can become one through food. It is food like the UN.”
Nervous legal secretary, Soo Kyung is about to take her dog for a walk when she spots her neighbour, fast-talking insurance salesman, Dae Young out on a bicycle. Sappy music starts to play as she watches him in slow motion, but it turns out that he’s goofing around with her other neighbour, cheerful former rich girl, Jin Yi. Soo Kyung gets depressed as she realizes the two of them look good together.
Soo Kyung gets even more depressed later on when she goes to pick up her Pomeranian, Barassi from Jin Yi, and discovers that Jin Yi is planning to confess her love to Dae Young on Valentine’s Day with homemade chocolates. Soo Kyung is envious of Jin Yi’s youth, especially when Jin Yi optimistically plans to keep confessing to Dae Young until he accepts her (uh… what?).
Soo Kyung’s boss, Attorney Kim is interrupted by Dae Young while buying chocolates for Soo Kyung. Dae Young surmises that Attorney Kim has a crush on Soo Kyung, and Attorney Kim tells him the whole story. Attorney Kim is so moved by Dae Young’s encouragement, and Dae Young is so moved by Attorney Kim’s long-time love that they end up clasping each other’s hands and looking into each other’s eyes.
Back at the office, Jin Yi arrives early for her appointment with Attorney Kim, followed shortly by the arrival of a fancy cake ordered by Attorney Oh for Dae Young. Soo Kyung ends up in the middle as Attorney Oh and Jin Yi compete over which of them Soo Kyung will support.
Their battle is cut short by the arrival of Attorney Kim, who makes an effort to be nice to Jin Yi to impress Soo Kyung. Soo Kyung is too miserable to even notice.
Later, when Attorney Oh calls Dae Young so she can give him the cake, he pretends to be busy, even though he’s just napping. When Dae Young does get up, he finds Kwang Suk opening Jin Yi’s apartment. Dae Young chases then tackles him, but lets him go when he gets the okay from Jin Yi. When Dae Young leaves, creepy music plays as Kwang Suk’s smile fades. Uh-oh.
Back at the office, Soo Kyung’s co-worker, Kyu Sik theorizes that Attorney Kim has fallen in love with Jin Yi, since he’s working for her pro bono. Soo Kyung is even more depressed by Kyu Sik’s assertion that most men like younger women.
Back at the office, Attorney Kim notices that Soo Kyung is feeling down, and asks Dae Young to recommend a restaurant for lunch to cheer her up. Dae Young reveals that he can’t date yet, because he’s too busy paying down his debts first.
On their way to lunch, Attorney Oh invites herself over to Soo Kyung’s house so she can give Dae Young the cake. Depressed, Soo Kyung agrees, and barely eats at lunch, despite Attorney Kim’s best efforts at taking them to a fancy teppanyaki place.
On their way back to the office, they all end up in an elevator with a large dog, prompting Attorney Kim to have a breakdown, and run away screaming. Later, too embarrassed to return to the office, Attorney Kim sits in his car lamenting his lack of cool.
After work, Soo Kyung buys herself chocolates (the same kind that Attorney Kim bought for her), then continues to mope on the bus. When she gets a text from a hopeful Jin Yi, Soo Kyung starts stuffing chocolates in her face.
Dae Young, meanwhile, meets with Attorney Oh and Jin Yi to tell them he can no longer see them, since he thinks of them only as a friend and a younger sister, respectively. In return, Attorney Oh and Jin Yi trip over themselves to deny that they ever had feelings for him. Dae Young relents, and suggests they all go out to dinner for the perfect Valentine’s Day meal: crab marinated in soy sauce. When the owner of the restaurant comes to greet them (a cameo by actor Sam Hammington), Attorney Oh wonders at his strange palate, prompting Dae Young to give his usual food lecture. It’s not long until they all proceed to eat orgasmically.
Kyu Sik goes home to his wife, Kyung Mi and wonders where his Valentine’s Day chocolates are. When she yells at him over money instead, their older son informs Kyu Sik that women only give chocolates to the men they love, not the men they yell at all the time. Kyu Sik is saddened by this, until his younger son gives him one of his spare chocolates.
At the officetel, Soo Kyung finds Jin Yi and Dae Young in the hallway saying goodbye. She assumes that Jin Yi confession went well, and the two of them are now together. When Dae Young spots Soo Kyung carrying the chocolates, he assumes that Attorney Kim’s confession went well, and that the two of them are now together. Appetite lost, Soo Kyung goes home and throws the box of chocolates out.
Meanwhile, Attorney Kim drives around and reminisces about all of his moments, good and bad, with Soo Kyung. Back at the officetel, Soo Kyung comes out of the shower to find her apartment trashed and Barassi sick from eating chocolates. Conveniently, just as she runs out holding an unconscious Barassi, Attorney Kim shows up, and immediately drives her to the vet.
Back at the officetel, Dae Young finds Soo Kyung’s door open and her apartment trashed. Since her phone and handbag are sitting on the dining table, he fears the worst.
Lucky for Barassi, nothing like the worst has happened, since he turns out to be okay. When Soo Kyung wonders about Attorney Kim’s bravery at carrying Barassi, despite his fear of dogs, Attorney Kim finally confesses that he’s been in love with her for the past 10 years. Soo Kyung is understandably flabbergasted.
Meanwhile, back at the officetel, a darkly clad figure comes out of someone’s apartment while ominous music plays.
Okay, seriously. It’s a bit late for “Let’s Eat” to tack on a creepy sub-plot, and I’m not sure that the show needs it. It’s coasting perfectly well on its charm, and the food porn.
But, creepy moments aside, this was a sad Valentine’s Day for everyone, since we got mopey Soo Kyung, doomed-to-failure Jin Yi and Attorney Oh, Kyu Sik who can’t get love from Kyung Mi, and Attorney Kim’s fruitless quest for Soo Kyung’s affections. Not even Dae Young, who is being chased by at least two women, is able to date, since he’s debt-ridden. Plus, how he could bring anyone back to that apartment? Impossible.
So, since love was not in the air, I guess we’ll just have to get our joy from food.
Well, what can you say about teppanyaki? Watching the preparations is more exciting than eating it, that’s for sure. Not that I would turn any of it down, but I’d probably be most excited about the okonomiyaki. YUM.
Crab marinated in soy sauce (간장게장)
Crabs marinated in soy sauce seems like the kind of food that’s impossible to eat neatly. As the stand-in for the missing Soo Kyung, Sam Hammington did a bang-up job of orgasmically stuffing his face. Here’s hoping I can try this soon, too.