A busy Chinese restaurant owner finds time for family during the holidays | A Sweet & Sour Christmas

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Published 2019-12-06
Don’t care to cook a Christmas meal? Is everything closed during Hanukkah? Just order Chinese! Most Canadians have several days off in December and spend time with family and friends but, for some, time off during the holiday season is a luxury. Restaurants across the country are scrambling to crank out Canadian Chinese comfort food to satisfy the seasonal crowd. #CBCShortDocs #Sweet&SourChristmas

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A Sweet & Sour Christmas is the story behind a family-run Chinese restaurant spreading their deep-fried holiday cheer and even taking a bit of time during the seasonal rush for their own holiday celebration.

This is a portrait of the Ho family, who operate King Wok Restaurant in Kitchener Ontario. Through them, we see the bittersweet balance of business and life through two types of meals. One, the deep-fried take-out Chinese Canadian food staples delivered to families across the city. And the other, a traditional Cantonese meal for the entire family as they come together for a rare celebration on Christmas Night.

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All Comments (21)
  • metelle
    These people are absolutely wonderful. I loved eating here while growing up in the city. I still think of them from time to time, so it was really nice to see this short. I'm glad I got to see it, and I hope you get to give this place a shot if you haven't already. It's great to support local businesses and even better when it feels like home.
  • Yanna Stengos
    Wow! I loved this doc. It's so true though, so many Canadians order Chinese take out for Christmas and New Years. My family doesn't order take out for the holidays but we know many people who do because they have a smaller family or they're divorced or going through a hard time and don't want to cook. But my family does order Chinese food at random times throughout the year.


    The owner is right in this video about the food being different in China. My dad went to China for a work trip for the first time few years ago, and he missed the Canadian Chinese food back in Canada. But he did like some dishes in China, but I think he's just used to what we eat in Canada. So my dad was sad lol
  • Atheral
    Lovely documentary! Thank you CBC docs and thank you to the Ho family.
  • jacobrocks7
    My dad worked as a Cook in a Chinese restaurant nearly all of his life so I get it. Really hard work on your feet all day and super long hours. The two daughters in the film are amazing. Parents should be proud. Great doc and thanks.
  • Angel G.
    Merry Christmas!🎁🎄🎹🍰
    What a happy and hard working family 👪 I'm glad they're taking time out to celebrate Christmas.
    I wish you and your family a happy and successful New Year!💚❤
  • Hannah Blakemore
    Thank you so much to the family for sharing your time, space, and story. Much respect and love to you. Thanks again, and you will get offers to purchase the restaurant now, just watch!! 🇨🇦💖💚🌻🍃🍂
  • pamela daley
    As Always, CBC! A thoughtful and beautifully produced documentary! Thank you so much!
  • Carol Lee
    Just stumbled across this heartwarming documentary which definitely made my day. It reminded me so much of my own family and our annual family dinners we have. Wishing the very best for the Ho family! <3
  • artpistols
    Really enjoyed this story. It makes me appreciate even more now the hard work people in restaurants do to keep us well fed, and the feeling of home some of that cooking can instill in us. That part is priceless.
  • kevykev555
    Wow what a lovely family. Me and my wife will be visiting this fine establishment when we get the chance =)
  • canuck21
    "In China, there's no Chinese food." LOL
  • CptJamesBeard
    These docs are so wholesome. Its exactly what i need right now ❤
  • Bill Hayward
    Thank you, I feel all Christmasy now! Lovely Family and story.
  • Jeanne Koury
    Great docs! It brings up sweet memories for me. I've worked in a similar restaurant in Southern Ontario ( family owned business chineese canadian food ). We used the same boxes that they do haha! It was such a enriching experience for me to work with a hard working family like them. Altough I don't speak madarin and my english is quite broken, we somehow easily exchange and communicate and working there for a year made me feel part of their family for a little while to!!
  • Karen Volden
    This is a lovely documentary. Thanks to the filmmakers and the Ho family for sharing their story.
  • firehawk12
    As someone who spent maybe 15 years of my life in a Chinese restaurant, this was so familiar. Hope the family is doing well!
  • Mariam O.
    This was so lovely to watch!! I enjoyed this immensely!
  • CJ
    I worked at my parents Chinese restaurant every Christmas. Everything is so relate able.
  • Terry Soon
    Wow ! So glad this doc popped up in my YouTube feed. A Chinese Canadian expat now, I grew up in a small family business on the west coast. Our parents ensured we celebrated Christmas every year. I totally appreciate the cultural fusion - made me nostalgic for those childhood days…😌
    Many thanks to the producers and especially the Ho family!
  • vitasoy1437
    Love that the documentary is in Cantonese. You don't see a lot of this anywhere. You can see the love and effort these people have. This definitely worth more views!