This uplifting, cross-cultural tale and foody romance begins when a recently widowed Chinese chef (Cheng) arrives in a remote Finnish village in search of an old friend he met in Shanghi. Unable to help him find his friend, café owner Sirkka offers accommodation to the stranger in return for help in the kitchen. Soon, Cheng is winning the hearts and minds of the sceptical locals with his tasty cuisine. When his tourist visa runs out the villagers must act to help Cheng remain in the country.
What the critics say….
“Stories of chefs who create life-enhancing and photogenic meals are a staple of films that seek to provide cinematic comfort food, and the recipe works well enough in this comic drama. Starring Pak Hon Chu as a Chinese stranger who shows up in a Finnish village and eventually impresses the residents with his cooking, Mika Kaurismaki’s film is a tranquil, unforced tale of people being nice to one another” - Edward Porter Sunday Times
“The film is beautifully lensed by Jari Mutikainen, one of the few cinematographers who is equally at ease with vast landscapes and close-up pictures of food. Watch it for the idyllic countryside, the enchanting characters and great performances. Stay for the pictures over the closing credits. Kaurismäki understands that the surest way to an audience’s heart is through its stomach” - Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film
“If it’s cinematic comfort food you seek, there’s something rather soothing about this tale of a sad stranger embraced by a community who unquestioningly welcome him as one of their own” - Wendy Ide, The Observer