First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Dinner Mate

When a drama starts out recreating an iconic scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I’m hooked. Come see if Dinner Mate lives up to the promise of its opening scene!

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The Plot

From our friends at “This drama is about a young woman going through a rough breakup with a longtime boyfriend she’s still in love with, and a man who has had a painful first love. They both meet unexpectedly in Jeju and continue their acquaintance in Seoul as well. Life has its way of bringing them together as they find themselves meeting at unexpected situations. Both have a common love for food and will cherish eating together and trying new cuisines.”

The Leads

Song Seung Heon plays Kim Hae Kyung, a psychiatrist who uses food as a way to connect with his clients. He also analyzes how they behave towards their food as a way to understand what’s truly bothering them, and has gotten so good at it that he can show off his deductive skills like Sherlock. But, you know, with food.

Seo Ji Hye plays Woo Do Hee, a bold producer who proudly supports all the B-class comedies created by her employer, a web channel called 2NBox. She’s been unlucky in love for too long, but it doesn’t keep her down. She has strong memories associated with food and relationships.

First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts (you know, what you came here for . . . ?)

I’d never seen Song Seung Heon in a drama before, and I was completely entranced by the trailer. Since I already have a subscription to iQIYI, I figured, why not take a shot?

I AM SO GLAD I DID. Friends, this is my “happy place” drama. Seo Ji Hye is fantastic in this quasi-comedic role — it took me a while to remember that she had played the serious and cold Seo Dan in Crash Landing on You.

And Song Seung Heon matches her beat for beat — he’s completely believable as a serious psychiatrist, but his drunken antics after his breakup cracked me up instead of making me cringe.

After four episodes, all of our puzzle pieces are in place — Hae Kyung and Do Hee’s first loves have re-entered their lives after brutally dumping them years before. We have good insight into the families they come from and the damage that’s happened there, and the delightful secondary characters have been introduce (Ye Ji Won, Jennifer from Thirty But Seventeen, plays Do Hee’s CEO and I already love her).

The story promises to be deep and fulfilling, but not too heavy. After chanting, “Meet, meet, meet” at the end of the fourth hour, I know I’m completely invested!

What about you, drama fans? Will you be watching?

Dinner Mate is available on iQIYI every Monday and Tuesday.

Until the next steak is served, I remain —

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

4 thoughts on “First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Dinner Mate

  1. I started this with my sister and we are so into it! I still have to figure out whether I like Kim Hae Kyung or not while there’s no doubt that Woo Do Hee is entering my ‘ favorite k-drama female character’ list: she’s so enthusiastic and sometimes over the top, but what I love the most is how resolute she is.
    But my series-favorite is Hae Kyung’s assistant: he’s so humoristic, frank and he spoke Italian in the last episode…come on, how can you NOT love him??

  2. > I’d never seen Song Seung Heon in a drama before

    So you haven’t seen Black (2017). I can recommend it. He plays his part very well and I love the support cast especially by Jae-yoon Jo and Won-hae Kim.

    Thanks for the first impression, though I’m not sure yet if it’s for me. If this is basically a 16-20 episode long romantic comedy, then I’ve had my share for a while. But if it has more substance, like Itaewon Class, Mystic Popup Bar, Ms. Hammurabi or Doctor John, then I could go for it.

    • I’ve seen mixed reviews of Black, especially the ending. An ending can make or break a drama for me, so I’ve stayed away from this one. Kim Won Hae though — love that man.

      This is definitely far more than a romantic comedy. There’s a lot about mental health and developing a strong relationship in spite of outside forces (like clingy exes). I was pretty satisfied with it.

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