First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

While browsing through YouTube I came across “Cinderella Chef” (萌妻食神) a new series which recently started airing. It’s another “modern girl time travels to ancient China” webdrama and the show reminded me a lot of the series “Go Princess Go” and “Eternal Love”. When I saw a scene where the female lead thinks she’s ended up in a C-drama and asks the guys if they are at Hengdian Studios (which was where I happened to be visiting at the time), I decided to check out the first episode. Then I recognized Zhao Jian, whom I loved as Feng Ren in “Novoland: Castle in the Sky”, as well as the filming location they used, Hengdian’s Qing Ming Shang He Tu scenic area, and ended up watching the first weeks worth of shows. It’s a cute webdrama with potential for being a fun series.

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Zhong Dan Ni (“Stairway to Stardom”) is an aspiring chef, Ye Jia Yao (aka Yao Yao), who, thanks to a depressed inventor and his time traveling ring, suddenly finds herself in Ancient China taking over the body of “Lady Ye” who has been kidnapped to be married off to one of the Black Wind’s bandits.

Thassapak Hsu (aka Thai-Taiwanese singer Bie KPN) is a nobleman, Xia Chun Yu. He’s heard that there is a potential rebellion being planned and decides to go undercover with the Black Wind to befriend the leader whom he suspects may be helping with the rebellion.

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The pair meet cute when Lady Ye asks for his help to rescue her from her kidnappers. They end up pretending to be a couple and then eventually marrying to protect Xia’s cover. Ye Ye is ecstatic to have such a good-looking husband to spend time with while she waits for the next full moon to take her back to her own time, unaware of the potential danger she is in. Xia is focused on proving himself to the leader of Black Wind and finding out about their plans, while insisting to himself, Ye Ye and his allies that he has no interest in his new wife.

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The romance is cute and Hsu is definitely easy on the eyes, but I have to admit that I’m more interested in the chemistry between Hsu and Zhao Jian who plays the head of the Black Wind, Bai Chong Ye. They have a great cat and mouse game going as each attempts to figure out what the other is up to, but at the same time there is a mutual admiration for one another and a growing bromance as they go back and forth between plotting against each other and working together to defeat their enemies.

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For the comic relief, Zhong and Chai Ge (“Runaway Sweetheart”) bring on the cute factor, as well as some slapstick, with Lady Ye coming up with different schemes to make the most of her “vacation” in Ancient China, including “inventing” Coca Cola and fulfilling her dreams of owning a restaurant, with Song Qi (Chai) as her sometimes reluctant taste tester and assistant who is always there to support her through thick and thin. I like them as buddies and partners in mischief. They give off a very Lucy and Ethel vibe.

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I’ve watched the first three weeks of episodes and the series has been set up for a lot of conflict to come:

  • Lusi Zhao (“Untouchable Lovers”) plays Yi Yi, a friend and confident of Xia’s who also carries an obvious crush on him
  • Ding Qi (Zhang Yu Cong, “Mr. Bodyguard”) is the real Lady Ye’s former crush and also a bandit with schemes of his own
  • Sheng Guansen (Legend of the Naga Pearls) plays both the modern day inventor as well as the prince, Yu Wang, though it remains to be seen if he, like Ye Ye has also time traveled or if he is the prince plotting to rebel

And there are numerous scheming relatives and Black Wind members as well so subplots abound.

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The series is your standard C-drama rom-com and the storyline doesn’t really offer anything new in regards to plot, but the cast is what makes this series interesting and fun to watch. The first episode starts at what presumably is the end of the series and hints at a bit of a bittersweet ending. But then again, as seen with other similar series, it could actually have a happily ever after finale. Will Xia and Bai become best of friends or best of enemies? How will Yao Yao return home and will she end up choosing to go back? When will Xia finally admit he’s got it bad for Yao Yao? How many more times will we get to see Hsu shirtless? I’m glad that there are several more episodes to go for this story to unfold and am interested to see if they can maintain the balance between drama and humor through out.

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I think as long as the tension between Hsu and Zhao can be continued across the series and they can avoid being too over the top with the pop culture references or product placements (i.e. those “Go Princess Go” male enhancement ads or the “Oh My General” Comfort fabric softener bits), this could be a really good series. I’m also interested to see how they tie in the modern day alter egos of some of the characters as the show progresses. So far they’ve been able to come up with some fun twists for these characters so I’m eagerly awaiting the next batch of episodes.

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The series can be seen on HIBN’s official YouTube channel with English and Thai subs being added about a day or so after the episodes are posted. So far it looks like they are posting two episodes a day, Monday through Wednesday. As of today they have posted the first eight episodes on their official channel. (You can find episodes 9-18 easily online as well and there are due to be 50 episodes total.)

This series, much like Eternal Love, makes for a good break after watching heavier fare like The Secret of the Three Kingdoms or if you, like me, are still finishing up Tribes and Empires or even while waiting for other series to start airing (seriously, when is The Wolf or King’s Avatar finally going to be available…). It’s a fun series and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s to come.


  1. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    So, are “real” girl costumes too expensive or are made up costumes the newest trend (like those of ‘Go Princess Go’)? I can take a lot in a funny series but those dresses hurt my eyes!

  2. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    I skipped and watched all 6 episodes just to see what it is all about and see if it’s worth my time to actually watch it. I’m going to skip this. Too many damn episodes. I also have an issue with how she dresses. It’s not like they’re tight on money, most of them dresses very nicely. Some of dresses remind me of people that work in a brothel and not what typical regular people would wear.
    I’m going to spend my time watching Daddy Cool and Suits instead.

  3. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    “… but those dresses hurt my eyes.” LOL that really cracks me up. Same with me, some dresses I just think they overdo it or it is inappropriate to period drama for me.

    • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

      Yeah, I was definitely surprised by the costume choice, though with all these time travel dramas they do tend to play around with the costumes as a way to point out how different that character is from everyone. It makes sense to me though. She comes in expecting to be gone relatively quickly and isn’t used to the traditional clothing so she just cuts everything up to how she prefers it to fit.

  4. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    Lols, some concerned on their dresses but yes,i agree. I feel like her dresses were too cheap and not beautiful. But the story itself is funny, cute and not bad. Unexpectedly good, so far.

    Is this Bie, the husband of thai actress?

    • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

      Bie is married to gubgib whom dated Mario maurer for 9 years before calling quit. They have a daughter together.

      This drama is great it give me the eternal love vibes 😊

      • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

        Ah i see, gubgib. That’s why he kinda looked familiar. Thanks for the info.

        Ikr. This drama is cute. But the female lead is sometimes over-acting. But it’s romcom tho. Lols.

      • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

        OMG i just found bie KPN was gubgib and have a daughter she so cute i see few vid he share IG ahahaha anyway he seem quit young at age 26 to have family already maybe that just their love style or their happiness. he is singer and actor both when i watch this C-drama Cinderella Chef i found that the time-travel it very good i think it suit him very well his acting was good i love the way he fight and esp he in WHITE ahahaha so very handsome not to mention he is handsome but this drama make him more handsomer.rrrrrrrrrr!!! i just hope he can do more c-drama in future i think this is his first drama he start in main lead LOVE IT!!

        • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

          Oh lol didn’t realize the guy was long time already taken, ahhaha! And he’s Thai heritage, no wonder why yao yao said he look like Thai actor Bie.
          Yes all the white tofus in dramas are the main guy, the bad guy never wears white!

  5. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    Wow I have so much to say about this! Surprise surprise this is again the best thing of 2018 so far. No wonder why everybody wants to remake time travel dramas. Actually, what I like was the pace and acting but not the dumb recycling storyline. I haven’t skip anything over 10 minutes. Really good pace and good scripts. I really got a good feeling that the main guy and his opponent are 2 very smart people alike, only within the first episode and their funny encounterment!!! I really like them both, not bc of their looks but decent acting. From the first glance my opinion was I don’t want to watch these not-so-attractive people… but the story became interesting as u give the first few episodes a chance. I actually turned out to like the guy Ding Qi the most! His thick lips are sexy and the hoo hoo ha hey!!! Gah!!! I like that angry guy! Even when he acts like he’s evil it’s so hot. The girl is sooo blind, the main guy is just a bit too relax and at times feel like he’s careless about her, was not there for her as much. I just finished Chor Lau Heung 90’s not so long ago, the main guy’s smile tend to remind me of him sometimes.
    The kid in blue that appear later in the story will be very very cool ! Usually, kids are just there to be cute and no one failed being cute, but this one is a cool one.

    What is amazing is each and every character shines! That is what many dramas tend to failed at for years even in big productions, they were able to promote only 2-3 characters or even only 1 person in an entire drama while everyone else were just boring fill ins to make the drama extra-extra long. No slaves in this drama!!! That is what I like so much, everyone belongs to themselves at last. The servant girls don’t tend to get anywhere much, and probably no time for them as there are already a total of 3 important guys to focus on and they each were proven to be interesting in their own way, that’s amazing! With many awesome characters, there isn’t much to skip. It’s a good challenge this director accomplished, I hope it will continue to be good towards the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again, nobody is super attractive or anything. Especially the main girl. Although I got used to her, she is still not prettier to me, but her acting is ok, a bit annoying at first in modern era but very good with the ancient people. And only over reacting a little bit only at times, absolutely not as much as the one in eternal love although the girl is prettier in that one. I’m looking forward to eternal love sequel too. Actually the clothes didn’t annoy me, I think they did the weird style for a purpose because of her modern personality. It seems they did pretty good in making this look high budget.

    • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

      I am finding this very entertaining too but have only been able to see up to ep 12..i need English sub and that’s where they stopped. Boohooooooooo

      • 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

        Yes I know how sucks that is, I’m still hoping they would continue Nothing Gold Can Stay too but not going to happen… I cannot wait for the sub and just watch on. Lots of action happening though, so I was able to tell what’s going on and guess what people are saying. If it is those dramas where all people do is meet and talk, walk and talk, sit and talk, and talk and talk with each other for the entire time then me not knowing enough Chinese will make it tougher to estimate.
        But a bit SPOILER in case you’re interested, it might turn out that next week’s episodes (I think near after ep 28) will move on to be about Palace stuff. It’s like a whole entire new thing, like a sequel….. they will all dress differently and new characters will emerge. There’s a chance if it turns out not to be that good I might care less if they would continue to sub too. If they don’t sub in time, hopefully enough people can at least review about the whole thing so others can have an idea if it’s worth waiting for subs.

  6. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    I like this drama too. light-hearted and with some karate. the main lead is so handsome. The plot is fast paced an enjoyable and funny. definitely a surprise hit for me. waiting for the eng subs. I hope you can get the OST.

  7. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    Comparing Cinderella Chef and Oh! My Emperor….Cinderella Chef is by far the clear winner! Although I have a thing for strong female leads and the female lead in Cinderella Chef is a bit of an airhead (that bothered me a little), I find the female lead in Oh! My Emperor even more annoying as I cannot stand her tendency to mumble incoherently. As an actress, even if the script says ‘mumble’, it needs to be done in a way that the audience can hear each word spoken. The acting of the male actors in Oh! My Emperor is pretty amateur-ish too. So by acting, story, character development….Cinderella Chef is the clear winner!

  8. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    Hm…so I’m taking back my words up there that “I still don’t find her pretty” I think I’m finding her pretty now…right after, around ep.16 or so, there was no longer anything annoying in her acting. Yeah got used to her now! Her acting at the beginning was really not that great though, but I think it was also the director being lazy and trying to rush a few things here and there as well. Things progressed really well later on.

    OKAY so the writer was just being totally cruel on Ding Qi!!! I had the feeling they are going to kill him off entirely soon Jeez! He is so handsome and cute that I hope he gets a character with better luck next time, he’s totally good for a main lead! And, he can play with the same personality again and again, it is very adorable. I’m not sure why in the world they need a 3rd guy??? However, the previews for next week doesn’t look bad, the new guy is REAL eye candy! I don’t see him in the light of a very strong main guy like Ding Qi, but he is going to be cute. I’m not very all into the Xia Yuchun ship that much, I know they will end up together and I agree they must end up together, but I’m not their loyal fan. I wished she’d been a little bit nicer to Ding Qi (one thing I almost hate about her character, but her acting was really decent and understandable), like my GOD can’t you at least hug the poor guy? He’s way too cute not to hug. Also you owe him for using him too and he helped out so much…What is so good about that Xia Yuchun guy? But so far, pacing and storyline is still very good! This is the best example of how a drama should introduce in so many new characters, I think they are doing so well in promoting all these characters. Unlike…ahem, rolling eyes at PA introducing so many pointless characters with lame purposes but also not interesting. I really like this writer/director, each and every side characters are doing this well but the main characters are still maintaining their lime lights. Also, the men are finally snatching their smart power back (Go men! Go!) and take actions on things unlike what happened in recent years, they stuck around doing nothing but mumbling around while the girls create serious plots about their cat fights even when it’s not a palace queen drama.

  9. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    Oh! My Emperor script causes me to LOL, but Cinderella Chef has its cute moments, too.
    It’s weird how the support character in one is the main female lead in the other. I feel like they’re recycling actresses lol.

    But in any case, I <3 Oh! My Emperor even with the main actress' annoying voice. In some moments, I think her voice is even cute. At the very least, there's no over-acting there. Only whininess. Cinderella Chef's main female lead overacts so much sometimes, it makes me cringe a bit. Still not as bad as Eternal Love (i tried, but really couldn't watch it till the end. The female lead's acting annoyed me so much.)

  10. 17 thoughts on “First Impressions: Cinderella Chef (Cdrama, 2018)

    I finally realised that the drama Yao Yao was talking about is “Novoland: Castle in the Sky” and that the song they sing comes from that show. Was wondering how it was that I recognized the song.

What do you think?