His day begins when other people’s draw to a close – so the story starts. Nestled in a back alley, just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is a late night eatery that opens from midnight till dawn.

The owner, known as The Master, will cook anything to order and lend a sympathetic ear to anyone who needs it.

Regulars of Midnight Diner will get what they expect here: heartwarming tales of ordinary, albeit often eccentric, people. In this instalment, this includes an elderly woman who falls victim to a scam and a man with a funeral fetish of sorts. In the dead of the night, you never quite know what oddball character will next step into this quirky little place. The formula is hardly rocket science but it works pretty well.

This sequel is based on a long-running manga series by Yaro Abe, which has also spawned four seasons of TV drama in Japan.

These are simple stories with a big heart, as comforting as a steaming bowl of the Master’s special miso soup that forges the most unlikely of connections between people who are worlds apart.

And like the clientele of his late night diner, we return time and again for the food, drinks, but most of all, for the camaraderie. Indeed, it is the simple pleasures in life that never get old.

Midnight Diner 2

Director: Joji Matsuoka

Cast: Kaoru Kobayashi, Midoriko Kimura, Misako Watanabe