The film tells the story of a retired and widowed Chinese master chef Chu (Si Hung Lung) and his family living in modern day Taipei, Taiwan. At the start of the film, he lives with his three attractive daughters, all of whom are unattached. As the film progresses, each of the daughters encounters new men in their lives. When these new relationships blossom, the stereotypes are broken and the living situation within the family changes.. The film features several scenes displaying the techniques and artistry of gourmet Chinese cooking. Since the family members have difficulty expressing their love for each other, the intricate preparation of banquet quality dishes for their Sunday dinners is the surrogate for their familial feelings.
The story is about an elderly Chinese tai chi chuan teacher and grandfather who emigrates from Beijing to live with his son, American daughter-in-law, and grandson in a New York City suburb. The grandfather is increasingly distanced from the family as a “fish out of water” in Western culture.
In the 1940s, school teacher Fang Lan becomes embroiled with the resistance efforts of local guerilla group Dongjiang during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. Fang is recruited by one of the resistance group’s captain Blackie Lau after assisting the group with a rescue mission of novelist Mao Dun. Fang’s mother volunteers to take her place as a courier for a mission and is arrested. To save her mother, Fang finds herself turning to a childhood sweetheart, who now works at the Japanese occupation headquarters.