Tampopo ★★★★★

Like eating one of your favourite dishes to end the year on a high; your tastebuds in celebration for how you've treated them. Tampopo blends genres with ease, mixing the comedic with the tragic, the horny with the wholesome, to form not a fancy dinner but a home cooked meal oozing with familial warmth and love. It is a love letter to all things food.

The best kind of food is not served on a spoon. Instead, it's the food that you would eat every single day if you have to. A bond forms between your tastebuds and that delicious dish seemingly tailor-made for you by the food gods. That's what Biryani is to me. The first time I ever ate it, I actually had tears in my eye. Until that point in my life, I hadn't been exposed to many different dishes, and Biryani was everything others had hyped it up to be. Over the years, I have developed a sort of routine for my first three or so bites. I take a bite of the rice first, followed by another bite of rice with a little bit of the potato. I use the cool, minty flavour of the raita to contrast the richness of the rice. Then, and only then, I take a bite of the succulent and flavourful chicken. Its aroma seduces me; its taste makes love to me. I can't live for long without having it. I find this type of love and reverence for food in Tampopo.

Food as the source of friendship and harmony. The most angelic group of men banding together to save and renovate a single mother's ramen shop. A bunch of homeless people using a restaurant kitchen after hours. Food as an instrument of sex. Sucking whipped cream off your lover's breast and passing an egg yolk between each other's mouths. Food as an universal culture. Slurping noodles without making any sound is preposterous no matter where you live. But there's one thing that commands unanimous agreement: food is life.

To friends both old and new, here's to another year of delicious food and amazing films!

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