...when the screen takes over...

Kang’s Kitchen, Fourth Episode (Part 2)

Another day, another change in staffing. A new temp makes this the funniest episode so far.

Following the staccato sound Soo-Geun sings in the car, similar sounds come out from the house. Of course, it’s another meat hammering session. This feels like a rebroadcast, with the same place, position, and time. So let’s cut it short and move on.

A Night of Emergency

In general, it’s the same night routine with variations in details. By the dining table, Min-Ho still does a drawing, but on a new canvas. Ho-Dong also still gets sliced raw fish but this time it’s cutlassfish. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” Ho-Dong says as he unwraps it. He doesn’t like sliced raw fish that much, “I like me.” Min-Ho laughs. Jae-Hyeon joins them, asking the same question and getting the same answer. They cheer, have beers, and begin eating.

They talk and laugh about the perks of working in a restaurant and what happened at Kang’s Kitchen today. If ever they get an order wrong they can just eat it. Kang’s Kitchen didn’t do takeaways today. Takeaways are too hard to handle even though it’s a plus from customer’s standpoint.

Soo-Geun joins them. When asked about the Hall-vs-Kitchen question. He doesn’t answer. He just says that since they did ‘New Journey To The West’ they should watch their mouths. Everyone laughs.

Min-Ho draws everyone’s attention as he has something to tell. “You’re getting married?” Jae-Hyeon asks since that was how he told the world about his marriage. Everyone laughs. Min-Ho breaks the news that he will have to go to Seoul tomorrow for ‘Winner’s Youth Over Flowers’ promotional events. “What?! All of a sudden!” Everyone is shocked.

a disheartening news…

Ho-Dong tells him off for dropping such news out of the blue. “I forgot about it,” Min-Ho simply says. His answer invites scoffs of disbelief.

They have to prepare measures for tomorrow’s business. Ho-Dong tells Soo-Geun to cover for Min-Ho in the kitchen and do the Hall, back and forth. Soo-Geun brings up washing dishes, “who will do it?” Ho-Dong points at Soo-Geun again. “Then should the Hall be run by one man alone?” Soo-Geun sounds iritated. Ho-Dong laughs, silently apologising.

They don’t have a sensible countermeasure. Min-Ho says he will help with preparation in the morning but the others still reel from the his announcement. Ho-Dong will pretend he didn’t hear it. Jae-Hyeon wonders if this is a candid camera prank.

Na PD joins the table. Ho-Dong gets intense as he lists the result of Min-ho’s “crime”. These spin-offs are the result of his ‘finger’. They digress into laughter as Ho-Dong funnily pronounces a brand (Naver).

Min-Ho says that he didn’t think him being away would become a problem since he had no idea coming to Jeju and doing Kang’s Kitchen was going to be this hard. “I had no idea as well,” Na PD chimes in. Jae-Hyeon picks on Na-PD, “did you really? Seriously?” Na PD explains that since they’ve tried with Yoon’s Kitchen, which had four people, he thought five people could manage just fine.

Back to the pressing matter of being one man short, “what should we do about tomorrow?” Soo-Geun poses the question. Na PD suggests they have break time tomorrow. Ho-Dong suddenly interrupts, “then, Yeong-Seok, YOU do it.” Na PD is taken aback. But the others warm up to Ho-Dong’s idea. “You’ve got a waterproof watch as well!” Soo-Geun says, which prompts laughter for what he implies.

are you up for the task…?

Na PD tries to move them towards four people operation but the others refuse to follow. They asks him to just cover for Min-Ho for a couple of hours. “It’s not that hard,” Min-Ho tries to persuade him. He will only do dish-washing, preparing meat, checking orders, preparing rice. Since these chores don’t require skill, Na PD agrees to step in.

They finally have a solution. Only Ji-Won doesn’t know yet. He is fast asleep on the living room’s couch. They will keep this a secret from him. “Good thing he’s asleep,” Soo-Geun says. “I love you, Ji-Won!” Ho-Dong shouts.

 

 

A Morning of Surprises

Ji-Won bolts up into sitting position amidst loud snores. After some time, surprisingly, he gets up and goes outside to the bathroom. Today, he is the first to wake up. The previous first place, Jae-Hyeon, who doesn’t know he’s been dethroned, goes to the bathroom and finds it locked.

In the Old Boys’ room, Ho-Dong is awake but still lying down and playing with his handphone. He calls Soo-Geun to wake up. They have so much to do today. In the Young Boys’ room, where Min-Ho sits on the bed looking dazed, windows start sound is playing.

Some time later, everyone looks almost ready. Soo-Geun gives Na PD lotion and socks. Ho-Dong announces the time. They shall go in 10 minutes.

Morning sighting…

On the way to the restaurant, Ho-Dong discusses about today’s to-do with Soo-Geun. Soo-Geun will buy kimbab for breakfast. They will also institute break time for 30 minutes.

 

The usual morning preparation commences. Ho-Dong wears apron. Jae-Hyeon wears black hood. Soo-Geun asks Jae-Hyeon if there is another one for he will wear one today. Ji-Won puts Min-Ho’s second drawing on the wall. Min-Ho prepares morning coffees. But when he turns on the coffee machine, the espresso splatters and stains nearby properties. Ji-Won wipes the stains from the wall.

In the kitchen, Ho-Dong washes the ingredients, cuts vegetables, and puts them on the huge pot. Jae-Hyeon prepares rice to cook. Ho-Dong thinks they’ve got good start today. Min-Ho, who has fitted in perfectly in the kitchen within two days, stirs the roux-to-be with excitement (perhaps because he’ll leave it today?).

The kitchen and the Hall engage in unintelligible exchanges, basically one asks the other what he’s doing and the other says he can’t hear one. “I’m resting,” Ji-Won says. “Go on then,” Ho-Dong says. Ji-Won goes on cleaning the tables in the Hall.

 

What are you doing?

Ho-Dong gets ready to make omurice sauce. He pours ground vegetables into the saucepan. He checks with the his cheat-sheet and realises he got the order wrong. Ho-Dong scoops the ground vegetables back into the bowl. Ground vegetables should have been added after frying the ground meat. “That’s why I’m taking it out,” Ho-Dong says when Jae-Hyeon catches him red-handed, “don’t you see?” Jae-Hyeon wonders why he is being too sensitive since morning.

Out of Jae-Hyeon’s earshot, Ho-Dong tells Min-Ho, “that’s why I tried to take it out quickly before Jae-Hyeon found out.” Else, he’ll get into trouble. (A caption reads “a cowardly boss”) Jae-Hyeon doesn’t let matters go.

Ho-Dong prepares another batch of ground vegetables. Jae-Hyeon puts it into a clean bowl. Five minutes later, the omurice sauce is done yet looks somewhat different. Ho-Dong puts the pan on the table. However, Jae-Hyeon realises the ground vegetables wasn’t added. Ho-Dong is stunned and then turns to Min-Ho. “Did you not put it in?” He continues rambling about being hit on the back of his head and laughs. Min-Ho looks baffled.

Conspiracy of the kitchen

Ho-Dong returns to his cheat-sheet, studiously checking. He then turns to Jae-Hyeon and points at the sauce. “It tastes delicious already,” he says. Then he tells Jae-Hyeon to just put the ground vegetables into the sauce, now. Jae-Hyeon gives in.

Ho-Dong braces Jae-Hyeon and Min-Ho. He speaks to them conspiratorially, that when he does something wrong, he knows the magnitude of his mistake from the way Jae-Hyeon calls him. Yet Ho-Dong never answers the call, Jae-Hyeon wonders why.

Ho-Dong puts the saucepan back on the stove. “Sorry,” he says. “Never mind that,” Jae-Hyeon says.

 

On the way back from the city, Soo-Geun sings a made-up song about a life on repeat. The song mentions boiling water, washing dishes, shredding cabbages, rice, soup, doing tasks. There’s nothing new, there’s no variety. Even there is no escaping the meat after work. And Eun Ji-Won just sleeps.

 

In the kitchen, Ho-Dong uses the slicer to cut onions. He comments that Jae-Hyeon will have more works to do today. Na PD asks why the kitchen feels so serious. Min-Ho says they are just too busy. They don’t even get to see the sea.

Na PD asks if there is employee sport competition or athletic meet. “Don’t even dream about it,” Ho-Dong warns. “Do it yourself after this ends.” Everyone laughs. This is not a fantasy job. This is labour.

Ho-Dong shouts to the Hall that Kang’s Kitchen puts employee welfare first and foremost. Ji-Won mumbles, “that’s a lie.” Ho-Dong continues with welfare policy that Kang’s Kitchen adopts (a caption reads “this is not a scene of an election campaign”). “Happiness,” Ho-Dong says. Others just stays silent.

Ho-Dong opens a pack of ramyeon forcefully, visibly irritated. Soo-Geun teases him about his choice of word, “are you annoyed or are you trying to remove it?”

Jae-Hyeon and Min-Ho work on the sauce. When Jae-Hyeon sends Ho-Dong to get ketchup, Min-Ho remarks, “isn’t this a role reversal?” Because the kitchen assistants do the cooking and the main chef runs errand. As Ho-Dong scans the fridge for ketchup, he says theirs is a non-hierarchical relationship. Ji-Won looks interested in Min-Ho’s task, sieveing the sauce.

 

The time for Min-Ho’s departure is getting closer. He is visibly excited. He makes dance moves in the Hall. He plays with tongs in the kitchen. Ho-Dong asks when he will leave. Ji-Won hears it, surprised. “Where is Min-Ho going?” Ji-Won asks while breaking eggs. Ho-Dong stammers, still trying to keep Ji-Won in the dark. Ji-Won keeps asking, “I heard you. You tell me not to believe you?”

Ho-Dong asks Soo-Geun about a guest star who is coming today, “is it Park Bo-Geom?” Soo-Geun seems to try to recall. Ji-Won takes the bait, focusing on guessing the guest. “I think I know, Hyung?!” He says, looking excited. Playing along, “Yoon Yeo-Jeong Seonsaengnim?” Ho-Dong says that’s a possibility. Soo-Geun sings he doesn’t know.

Falling deeper into the rabit hole..

Ji-Won laughs while looking anxious, wondering if the guest is Yoon Yeo-Jeong of Yoon’s Kitchen. He tells Na PD that he knows who the guest will be. “Who?” Na PD asks nervously. “Yoon Seonsaengnim,” Ji-Won says with confidence. Jae-Hyeon comments that a guest coming for washing dishes is no joke. Min-Ho laughs silently.

“Jeong Yoo-Mi would be great,” Soo-Geun says to Na PD, who immediately leaves the kitchen. Soo-Geun pretends to get call from a ‘Ms Yoo-Mi’ and give her directions. “Is it Kang Yoo-Mi (the comediene)?” Min-Ho asks. “It’s Sugar’s Ayumi,” Soo-Geun says. They both laugh.

At breakfast, Ho-Dong tells Ji-Won that Min-Ho will leave for his ‘Winner’s Youth Over Flower’ live broadcast streaming. Ji-Won gets that someone will come to take over his place. “Please raise your hand,” Ho-Dong says. “Special guest, please come out now.”

“Come out Park-Bo-Geom-Kkeob!”

Na PD, standing among the crew, waves his hand half-heartedly then raises it. Ji-Won catches on. He laughs out loud and claps. The others follow. Ji-Won looks a little disappointed, perhaps, for he’s been getting excited for nothing yet still excited since it’s Na PD.

It’s finally time for Min-Ho to go to the airport. Soo-Geun tells him to bring stuff when he returns tomorrow. Min-Ho leaves while still wearing Kang’s Kitchen’s apron.

 

Ten minutes before opening, Ji-Won and Soo-Geun checks the Hall and the porch. They arrange the slippers.

In the kitchen, Ho-Dong gives instructions on ramyeon preparation to the new temp, Na-no (from Na-noye, Na-slave) who looks confused. Ho-Dong wants ramyeon bowls prepared. “There isn’t even one!” He tells Na-no off for not washing dishes in advance. Na PD laughs for he has just got there. Ho-Dong is clearly on edge with worry. Ho-Dong calls Soo-Geun to teach Na PD to do order checking like Min-Ho.

It’s time for opening. Ji-Won is on standby mode.

Kang’s Kitchen’s Fourth Day

First customers of the day arrive, a family with two children. They take the fifth table on the terrace. Ji-Won hands the menu and Soo-Geun serves them water.

In the kitchen, Na PD begins to struggle with the dishes. Jae-Hyeon tells Na PD he’ll help. Ho-Dong gives him instructions for customers have come.

Na-no (Kitchen help, Day 1)

The first customer inquires whether the ramyeon is suitable for kids, whether they can have non-spicy ramyeon. Soo-Geun tells the mother, the chef hasn’t got the skill to prepare a non-spicy version.

In the kitchen, Na PD prepares donkatsu to fry, coating meat with flour. Ho-Dong fills a box with cherry tomatoes.

Ji-Won, who’s standing by to welcome customers, is shocked by the number of the second customers. They are a group of eight elderly. Soo-Geun takes their order and then directs the third customers to the fourth table. The fourth customers take the third table. Ji-Won gives them slippers.

Orders go to the kitchen for five kang-ho-dong-katsus, four omurices, and three ramyeons. The first donkatsu and omurice go to the first table. The kitchen moves fast to the next order. Na PD goes back to washing dishes.

In the Hall, Soo-Geun gives soup to everyone of the group of eight. Ji-Won and Soo-Geun, the Hall duo, get along today. With minor hiccups. When a customer asks for straw, Soo-Geun takes the whole container. Ji-Won immediately tells off “Mr Lee Soo-Geun” to not do that since he needs it for beverages.

Ji-Won sends the first batch of dirty dishes to the kitchen. They are soup plates. Na-no washes them in haste. Soo-Geun tells him to stack the freshly washed plates correctly so excess water won’t build up.

Ji-Won gets confused with soup again so Soo-Geun says he will take care of it. Ji-Won insists to serve it right. “If you have so much free time, give me iced americano,” Soo-Geun says. Ji-Won gets him one.

They get along for a while, looking chummy. Soon, they argue again about the next donkatsu, whether it’s for the fourth or the third. Ho-Dong reminds them to stop arguing. Soo-Geun takes the third donkatsu for the group of eight elderly.

Soo-Geun tells Ho-Dong to keep making donkatsu first. “What about ramyeon?” Na-no asks from the dish-washing corner. Ramyeon shall be served last. When the customers dine, the ramyeon can wait.

Jae-Hyeon quietly finishes cooking two omurices at once. Soo-Geun, the Hall Ace, brings them to the group of eight elderly. Soon, the rest of the tables get their donkatsus and omurices as well.

In the kitchen, Na PD has problem with the ballpoint to mark an order. He asks for another one in a loud commanding voice. Him crying out loud prompts Ho-Dong to remind him not to get annoyed. “Ours is a happy kitchen.” Ho-Dong tells Na-no to make some noise, scream. Na-no says he’s busy. Ho-Dong advise him to have fun doing it. Soo-Geun mentions the headquarter (ie. Na-no) holds pen everyday, being a temp here must have been shocking.

 

Ho-Dong tells Soo-Geun to entertain. Ji-Won turns on some music. Soo-Geun pulls off some old dance move. He dances as a token of apology for the late food. The customers cheer. Ji-Won (the number one fan) laughs.

The jester and his fan…

Soo-geun is embarassed afterwards. When a customer asks if they can try dancing, Soo-Geun sternly tells her to do it during a village festival or something. “This is a restaurant.”

 

Soo-Geun goes to the kitchen and, once more, finds the plates stacked incorrectly. He reminds Na-no. Na-no tells him to remember that the headquarters is watching. There may be repercusion to his reprimanding Na-no the second time. Soo-Geun immediately thanks him for the plates.

Right then, Ho-Dong’s and Soo-Geun’s eyes meet. (captions read “Karma for the second time? The Donkatsu Betrayal”) Ho-Dong tells him, his karma would be to get fired today. “Then I’ll just go to the headquarters,” Soo-geun says.

 

Ho-Dong finishes a serving of ramyeon. Soo-Geun takes it to the group of eight elderly. He explains the dish and asks them to try the meat cuts on top of it. The elderly likes it, “it’s delicious!” Soo-Geun passes on the compliment to Ho-Dong, who bows in return.

Ho-Dong asks if the ramyeon order is over. Ji-Won says there should be another one which goes to the fourth table. Soo-Geun serves the ramyeon and Ji-Won brings the side-dish.

 

 

The elderly customers are leaving. Ho-Dong goes out to greet them. He asks them to come back, although it sounds like a threat. Jae-Hyeon smiles quietly.

The dirty plates are brought in to Na-no, who is flabbergasted. “Don’t be shocked,” Ho-Dong says, “this is just the beginning.”

The Hall prepares tables for new customers. Ji-Won brings them in. “More customers?” Na-no says with unease in the kitchen. “Continuously,” Jae-Hyeon says. “They keep coming,” Ho-Dong says.

New orders come to the kitchen. Ho-Dong and Jae-Hyeon study it carefully while behind them, Na-no tries to get a look. Soo-Geun comes with another order. When he tries to stick it to the board, the board is unhinged and hits the lamp switch, turning off the kitchen lamps. Ho-Dong’s voice raises and the Mysterious Power intervenes.

Orders, orders…

The first table customers get their omurice and donkatsu. Next, they get two Lee-katsu, which prompts laughter. Another customer, alone, comes in.

It’s past half time mark but at this rate, they will have to push back break time.

A group of three men get the fourth table. They ask Soo-Geun if his work is hard. Soo-Geun says since his doesn’t require skill, it’s constant hard work. He tells them Na PD is currently washing dishes.

Jae-Hyeon goes out to serve omurice. He immediately draws admiration for being good-looking and manly. His cooking gets praises as well.

Soo-Geun takes the liberty of rearranging order for ramyeon. This gets him into argument with Ji-Won and Ho-Dong. He says it’s more convenient for the customers. Na-no thinks he did well. “See, the headquarters agrees,” Soo-Geun says. Ho-Dong accepts his initiatives. Peace returns.

 

As customers make their payment and leave, break time finally arrives. Na-no goes out. “Excuse me, I need some time alone.” Jae-Hyeon reminds him to return in ten minutes. “Why?” Na-no asks. Jae-Hyeon says they have to prepare for the 3 o’clock opening.

Ho-Dong calls for Na-no. When Jae-Hyeon tells him that Na-no asks for some time alone, Ho-Dong and Ji-Won laugh out loud.

 

trip to dreamland ends…

Ten minutes before reopening, Jae-Hyeon looks nervous. They have to start preparation. He calls for everyone to come back. He calls Ho-Dong, who is still napping. “Give me five more minutes,” Ho-Dong responds. But they’ve got no time to spare. Jae-Hyeon calls for Na PD. He calls Ho-Dong louder and Ho-Dong immediately gets up.

They get into pre-opening stage again, preparing everything anew. Jae-Hyeon prepares eggs, the Hall team checks tables and cutlery. Ho-dong doesn’t want to leave the Hall and try to do some work there, avoiding the kitchen, but Soo-Geun tells him to get back to cook in the kitchen.

Twelve Hungry Men…

As the second part of the business hours begins, new customers come in. They are a group of twelve people. Ho-Dong finds out they are all young wrestlers (Ssireum athletes). Meanwhile, Ji-Won finds the forks and knives missing.

In the kitchen, Ho-Dong wonders if the food will be suitable for their diet.

The ost of ‘Winter Sonata’ plays along the ending credit sequence.

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