It is a summer evening in London. Alice (Shirley Henderson), an aspiring writer, is running late for her job as a kitchen hand in a Soho café, the Stella Bar. Once she arrives, Alice discovers that the chef is drunk and incapable of working, and so, for a bonus, she agrees to be chef for the evening. The action of the film takes place over this one evening as Alice's story intertwines with that of the waitresses - aspiring actress, Abi (Neve Campbell), art student, Suzie (Alexandra Maria Lara) - and the Maitre D', Madonna (Anna Maxwell Martin), and the dishwasher, Rita (Oana Pellea). Over the course of the evening, chaos gradually ensues thanks to rat infestations, arguments about music, art, love and desire, the arrival of a Hollywood movie star, Danny Huston (playing himself), and burnt food.