Tucked in a back alley of Shinjuku Tokyo is the “Midnight Diner”, a one-man operation run by The Master, the chef as he is known to his customers. The opening sequence of this film series shows The Master explaining that his diner is only open from midnight to 7am. He quips, “do I even have any customers? More that you’d expect.” This sets the tone for each episode which is centered on a different dish for different customers. There’s the passe comedian and his corn dog, the weight-watching taxi driver with her noodle-less tanmen (read: noodle in soup with vegetables), the physicist and his omu rice (read: fried rice enveloped in a fried omelette), and many other colourful characters.
Adapted from a manga series, the drama series brings to life the food porn that the Japanese does so well in. Close-up shots of vegetables stewing and corn dog frying are resplendent through the episodes, and at the end of each episode, some cooking tips are imparted to the audience. Apart from the food, the stories in each episode are testament of the quintessential Japanese storytelling technique that is understated yet compelling. You are sure to be hooked watching this.
Now showing on Netflix.