According to Chef Paul, “the real winners are always the ones that hunger the most”. This is the first of a series of ‘deep’ perspectives on the topic in Sitisiri Mongkolsiri’s Hunger (Netflix, available now).

The Bangkok-set film introduces us to Aoy, who’s serving up tasty-looking red na and pad see ew at her family’s restaurant when she’s invited to ‘audition’ for a job with Chef Paul and his Hunger crew. Paul is a classic chef cliché: a meticulous perfectionist with poor people skills and a face like a smacked arse, unafraid to reduce sub-par staff to tears.

Aoy soon proves herself though, and we join her and the Hunger team as they cater various parties. Like The Menu (which also featured a tyrannical head chef) the film attempts some social commentary: only the richest can afford Chef Paul, and they are not shown in a positive light. Clients include dodgy retired generals, vapid influencers and amoral hunters.

A sourcing trip interestingly presents the idea that “cooking fancy food for the rich benefits the poor too”, but the thought is not really interrogated. The money talk peters out and the film returns to some nebulous hunger/ambition business, before concluding with an improbable cook-off.

But viewers won’t mind, as food is where the film excels. Beautifully prepared meals are lovingly shot and thematically relevant, from a weird grey lobster rock garden stunt piece to a lurid ‘flesh and blood’ meat banquet and a pure, simple consommé. Two lovers even bond, rather unhygienically, as they massage some pork (no, that’s not a euphemism).

At nearly two-and-a-half hours, Hunger is a big commitment. But for Thai food lovers, it’s a feast.