Rinco’s Restaurant

Rinco’s Restaurant is a sure movie treat for foodies, bibliophiles, and movie junkies. It is about the language of food in how it communicates and affects us to be better, loving, and happy people. So if you like food and planning to open a restaurant, I tell you this: watch this film, or read its book, or do both.


Rinco's Restaurant

Experiencing the Eiga Sai 2013 Japanese Film Festival:

It was a Sunday afternoon, the line was long and ribboned in four loops. We waited for almost two hours until the free movie tickets were distributed. Free admission meant a magnet to a great crowd (a grand mixture of impatient, patient, clueless, thrifty, movie hungry, artsy stock); and I was magnetized by its artsy feel — did I just mention it was free. The film was also about food, it came from a book, and it’s Japanese; a combo treat for a great movie time.

Thankfully, George Martin’s A Feast for Crows, a tumbler of cappuccino, a large cup of lemon and lime, and a bag of muffins kept us in a picnic mood.

We were at the tail end of the second ribbon loop of the snaking line. From it, I’ve learned the pains of ticket-waiting.  Just before the screen time, you should line up and wait for a certain number of hours to earn your free seat. 

Here’s the breakdown of hours:

  • 4 hours of waiting before the screen time guarantees the best center seats;
  • 2 hours will likely get you a center seat or a good side seat;
  • 1 hour means sitting at Row A, the poorest of all seats and the nearest to the screen, and it will surely turn your eyes red; not because of the dramatic scenes; and
  • 30 minutes means get lost, you will not find a seat.

As soon as we got our tickets, there was a short relief because the race for good seats was on. Thankfully, we got good side seats, far from the hipster chick who brought her hipster 2-year old  babe who laughed, cried, and baby-talked a lot during the show but near to a family who were fond of making loud comments (there was a time when I sat beside a student, who kept on saying: astig, galing, cool, wow, hanep, ganda, etc. whenever a cinematic thing pops up, that’s so uncool). And thank goodness the film was a 2-hour treat.


Young Rinco (Shibasaki Kou) left her eccentric mother and lived with her grandmother who adored cooking. Under her grandmother’s care, Rinco grew up and loved cooking. One day, she decided to open a restaurant. But this news never reached her grandmother; her grandmother died that same day. Nonetheless, Rinco was determined. She saved money and worked as a chef in several restaurants, until she fell in love with curry — and to an Indian.

She dreamed that they will open their restaurant together. Then she discovered that her apartment was ransacked; her hard earned money was stolen; and her Indian boyfriend went missing (it was assumed that he robbed Rinco). With that horrible event, poor Rinco lost her ability to speak.

Penniless, heartbroken, and mute she returned to her eccentric mother, who she thought did not care. But Rinco did not stop dreaming; she pursued opening her own restaurant. It was an uphill battle. Thanks to her friends, loved ones, and her sheer determination — and her love for food — she was able to open a cozy restaurant and mended her relationship with her estranged mother (and Hermes, her mother’s pet pig).

3510 Movie Rating

  • Cinematography: 10/10
  • Screenplay: 10/10
  • Actors: 10/10
  • Soundtrack: 10/10
  • Technical production: 10/10
  • Overall impression: 10/10
  • Movie adaptation: NA

I should say the movie is a perfect 10. Although I’ve not read the book, so I cannot vouch for the adaptation. In short, the movie captured what needs to be done in a food-themed film. There are no dull moments. Highly recommended for all ages.

Recommendation & Appreciation

  • Must watch during Japanese Film Festivals, or buy the DVD and/or the book.
  • Heartwarming, feel good, and gastronomical. I recommend it to everyone, especially to kids who loves to cook. Certainly inspiring.
  • The cinematography is great, the actors were amazing. Nicely executed.
  • The recipes that Rinco cooked and served were delightful. It composed of international cuisines (too many dishes to mention: soups, risottos, gourmet coffee, cocktails, curry, pieces of bread, etc.).
  • After the movie, we went to a Korean restaurant and ordered Sam Gae Tang, Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup, one of the dishes that Rinco served; and the taste was superb.
  • The film was also filled with animations which I really liked. It gave a strong artsy feel. Here’s a sample:


  • Movie title: Rinco’s Restaurant
  • Rated: G
  • Director: Mai Tominaga
  • Writer: Ito Ogawa (novel), Hiroko Takai
  • Producer: Yasuhiko Kinoshita, Yoshinari Shimatani, Tatsuro Hatanaka, Hirosaki Sakai, Toshiaki Muramatsu, Takahisa Miyaj, Naoki Hayashi, Hideki Matsuda, Shiharu Omiya, Hiroaki Kitano, Naoko Watanabe, Yuko Kameda, Satoshi Akagi, Tomoyo Nihei, Choji Miyake
  • Cinematographer: Nobuyasu Kita
  • Release Date: February 6, 2010
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Genre: Food
  • Studio: Toho, TBS
  • Distributor: Toho
  • Language: Japanese with English subtitles
  • Country: Japan

Book Information

  • Book Title: Restaurant of Love Regained
  • Author: Ito Ogawa
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Alma Publishing Company (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846881803
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846881800



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