Award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo‘s (“Ramen Teh,” “12 Storeys”) new series “Food Lore” is now available to stream on HBO. “Food Lore” is divvied up into eight episodes showcasing unique narratives, each highlighting tales and tastes across Asia. In addition to this imaginative review of food lore, Khoo’s series will work in tandem with accomplished filmmakers from each region. Featured filmmakers and countries include Erik Matti (the Philippines), Phan Dang Di (Vietnam), Billy Christian (Indonesia), Don Aravind (Singapore), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand), Takumi Saitoh (Japan), and Ho Yuhang (Malaysia).
“Food Lore” is produced by Singapore-based company Bert Pictures, and in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore. The show will be available to U.S. subscribers starting Monday, March 2 on HBO Now, HBO Go, and partner platforms.
The episode summary can be found below:
Episode 1 – Island of Dreams
Dreaming of a brighter future for her family, Nieves leaves her husband and children to work as a domestic helper in Manila. Returning home for the annual fiesta, Nieves soon realizes that she may have grown estranged from her beloved family as her jubilant homecoming takes an unexpected turn.
Cast: Angeli Bayani, John Marvin C. Nieto, Irina Guillen Feleo
Directed by Erik Matti.
Set and filmed in the Philippines.
Episode 2 – He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower
Set in Ho Chi Minh City, a charismatic Japanese chef, Thang, woos a beautiful stewardess with a special tofu dessert and wins her heart. They begin a whirlwind romance but soon discover their irreconcilable differences about food and love. In desperation, Thang attempts one last culinary experiment to keep her in his life.
Cast: Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, Lanh Thanh
Directed by Phan Dang Di.
Set and filmed in Vietnam.
Episode 3 – Maria’s Secret Recipe
When a mysterious woman, Maria, arrives on the shores of a small traditional Indonesian village to set up her food stall, the men are mesmerized by her sumptuous cooking and sensuality – much to their wives’ dismay. In a desperate attempt to satisfy her husband, a lonely wife, Ratih, approaches Maria for her secret recipe. What can Maria teach her about her exquisite creations and importantly, who is Maria?
Cast: Putri Ayudya, Alexandra Gottardo, Dian Sidik
Directed by Billy Christian.
Set and filmed in Indonesia.
Episode 4 – A Plate of Moon
Anbu, a reluctant young domestic helper from India, has been hired to care for Raja, an elderly man in Singapore suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Amidst their struggles and differences, they bond over food, love, and memories. Just when all seems to be going well, an unexpected piece of news sends Anbu’s world unravelling again.
Cast: Magalakshmi D/O Sudarsanan, Jaivant Viknesh N, A. Panneeirchelvam
Directed by Don Aravind.
Set and filmed in India and Singapore.
Episode 5 – The Caterer
An arrogant American actor arrives in Thailand for the first time to star in a horror film. Disgusted by the exotic Thai cuisine served, he sticks to what he knows best: burgers and donuts. Everything changes when he tastes the soup cooked by the production caterer.
Cast: Thanyarat Praditthaen, Thomas Burton van Blarcom, Marisa Kittelberger
Directed by: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.
Set and filmed in Thailand.
Episode 6 – Tamarind
French chef, Julie, who is new in Singapore, seeks the help of Irfan, a struggling Malay hawker, to create a new fusion dish. As their worlds collide, a friendship brews between them as they work together on an exploration of food, flavour and feelings.
Cast: Firdaus Bin Abdul Rahman, Valentine Payen, Dayang Nurbalqis
Directed by Eric Khoo.
Set and filmed in Singapore.
Episode 7 – Life in a Box
An uninspired picture book author. A recent widower and his teenage daughter. An elderly retired wrestler. Their lonely paths intersect during a quiet train ride away from busy Tokyo as the group revisits memories long forgotten and rediscovers hope on their journey of nostalgia, memory and love.
Cast: Ken Yasuda, Asuka Kawatoko, Akihisa Mera, Yuko Ando, Chieko Matsubara
Directed by Takumi Saitoh.
Set and filmed in Japan.
Episode 8 – Stray Dogs
An ambitious young businessman, Tim, hopes to start a restaurant franchise with the bad-tempered, yet genius chef, Maki, in Kuala Lumpur. The grouchy chef rejects Tim, but they gradually form an unlikely friendship. When Tim discovers Maki’s secret sambal recipe, he is torn between his desire to sell the recipe and his loyalty to his friend.
Cast: Wilson Tin, Fabian Loo
Directed by Ho Yuhang.
Set and filmed in Malaysia.