Fatih Akin's past few films (Head-On, The Edge of Heaven) have been brilliant and moving but also a little downbeat and depressing. So it's good to see the Turkish-German filmmaker lighten up in this broad, rough-around the edges comedy about the hapless owner of the title Hamburg restaurant.
There's nothing fancy about the greasy spoon owned by Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos) — it rattles around in a ramshackle warehouse where he serves fish sticks and fries. That's what his salt-of-the-earth clientele want, so all is fine until he throws out his back and has to hire a fancy new chef. Then his jailbird brother (Moritz Bleibtreu) gets out on work release, his girlfriend moves to China, and a crooked real-estate developer starts sniffing at the property.
In style and tone, the film is as meat and potatoes as Zinos's original menu, what with Udo Kier choking on a button and an aphrodisiac spice mixed into a dessert. All that's lacking is a food fight for a Hollywood version. And maybe Brendan Fraser in the lead role.