Shanghai, the present day. In the city’s backstreets is a small, Japanese-style cafe/bar – serving home-cooked Chinese food – that is owned and run by one man (Liang Jiahui).
The eaterie opens at midnight and closes at dawn. One of the regulars is Lian (Jin Yanling), a fishmonger, who pretends to get drunk on baijiu and is always arguing with her grown son Kaiyuan (Yang Youning) who,
inspired by his best friend, boxer Wang Hu (Jin Shijia), is training for his first match. Meanwhile, Kaiyuan has fallen for a nurse, Mingyue (Liu Tao), who has a crippled young daughter (Zhang Hailing).
A new customer is aromatherapist Xiaomei (Zheng Xinyi), who wants to lose weight as her dream man from high-school days, Tai (Chen Jianzhou),
is coming to Shanghai and she finally hopes to find out what his feeling are for her. Along with the avuncular Zhong (Feng Cuifan), a retired tailor, the most frequent regular is Long (Zhang Li),
an orphan who grew up with the owner’s family and is almost like a younger brother; though generally quiet, Long does, however, have a temper that can erupt suddenly. One day Xiaoxue (Jiao Junyan),
a young singer-songwriter who’s returned from living in Canada, walks in and is given a free meal by the owner, who listens to her story. On another occasion in the eaterie she by chance meets a record producer (Deng Chao),
who gives her a big break. After an absence of two years Zhang Sisi (Zhang Yishang) returns to the eaterie and has her favourite snack, a plain omelette. She’d originally come to Shanghai from Hunan province with childhood friend Tang Song (Wei Chen);
he’d worked as a taxi driver while she pursued her dream of being a model, but their different ambitions had split them apart. Between cooking his customers their favourite snacks,
the eaterie’s owner listens to all their various stories with a philosophical detachment.