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An Honest Review of 'Dinner Mate'

'None of us here is completely fine after a breakup.'
PHOTO: Dinner Mate/MBC

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers 

Do Hee (Seo Ji Hye), a producer who works for an online video company, is convinced that her boyfriend is going to propose to her. She couldn't be more wrong because he's actually seeing someone else! After getting her heart broken YET AGAIN, Do Hee encounters food psychiatrist Hae Kyung (Song Seung Heon).

The two start eating meals together, but there's a catch: they decide not to share personal information such as their names or professions and to become strict "dinner mates." Of course, it's inevitable for at least one of them to develop feelings. Things become even more complicated when their respective first loves re-enter the picture and decide that they want to get back together with them. 

The Short, Honest Plot 

Two strangers who are *jaded* when it comes to relationships decide to become dinner buddies—but they're not allowed to fall in love with each other. 


The Cast And Where We Last Saw Them 

Seo Ji Hye as Do Hee

Before Dinner Mate, she starred in the rom-com Crash Landing On YouJi Hye played the role of Seo Dan, a posh North Korean socialite who is in love with Captain Ri, her fiance of 10 years.

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Song Seung Heon as Hae Kyung 

One of our OG oppas, he played the role of a "materialistic" politician-turned-dad in The Great Show in 2019.  

Lee Ji Hoon as Do Hee's ex Jae Hyuk

He was in Rookie Historial Goo Hae Ryung as Officer Min Woo Won and starred in Woman of 9.9 Billion as Jae Hoon. 


Son Na Eun as Hae Kyung's ex No Eul 

She played the role of Park Hye Ji in the 2016 drama Cinderella And The Four Knights!  


Did You Know? 

  1. Seo Ji Hye's Crash Landing On You co-star Kim Jung Hyun made a cameo in the first episode as Do Hee's cheating ex-boyfriend. His character is pretty mean, actually. He even tells Do Hee: "I started to hate eating with you. You should be willing to eat with someone you love, right? But...with you, it became a duty. I didn't eat because I wanted to, but because I had to."  
  2. Sandara Park also made a cameo as one of Doctor Hae Kyung's patients, a Hallyu star who has a hard time eating because of all the hate comments she received online. 
  3. In the show, Do Hee is a big Audrey Hepburn fan and even dresses up as Audrey's Breakfast At Tiffany's character. CUTIE. 
  4. The show also had a Crash Landing On You-inspired scene, where Do Hee imagined herself as a woman from North Korea! 

What I Think

"This is a coincidence, right?"


"No, it's destiny."

Who knew that a series which revolves around two people eating together could be this romantic and kilig? I was one of those CLOY fans who were super excited about Seo Ji Hye's follow up drama, especially because she would be starring opposite OG leading man Song Seung Heon. The initial teasers were already the cutestand I wanted to watch a rom-com that would make me believe in ~destiny~.

Let me just say that those cliffhangers: *chef's kiss*. The end of every episode, especially the initial ones, always left me wanting more. The two main leads are both so cute and frustrating because they are obviously perfect for each other, but they pretend that they're "just friends." Seung Heon and Ji Hye's chemistry is so adorable and it was really fun guessing which one of them would confess first! 

Whenever Seung Heon asked, "Would you like to have dinner with me?" in the show, I legit swooned. One of my favorite scenes was when Do Hee and Hae Kyung met at a footbridge as if by coincidence, but the truth was, they spent the last hour or so walking all over the neighborhood looking for each other. 


Another super cute tidbit that I adored was Do Hee's imagination! She was a fan of romance novels, and would constantly recreate scenes in her headbut with herself and Hae Kyung as the lead characters. Her *imagination* also went into overdrive when she listened to a video called Past Life Regression With A Psychiatrist.

I love that this drama is all about "healing." Yes, Doctor Hae Kyung helps his patients through food therapy, but the lead characters themselves learn to forgive and heal from their scars, such as their past heartbreaks and Hae Kyung's broken relationship with his mom. Dinner Mate also talks about mental health, especially Jae Hyuk's. The series once again proves that people who may seem perfectly fine on the outside might also have struggles they've been trying to hide.

I'd Recommend It To: 

  • Crash Landing On You fansthere are sooo many CLOY easter eggs in this show, I promise.
  • Those who still haven't been able to move on from their exes. This drama just might help you take that first step! *winks*


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