30 Years of Excellence – Myeongdong Tonkatsu
When it comes to tonkatsu’s, Myeongdong Tonkatsu is hands down superior to others thanks to its 30+ years of excellence. This was the first restaurant to introduce the famous fat Japanese-style pork cutlets to South Korea all the way back in 1983, which is a surprising piece of history fact for you.
With 30+ year history of excellence, The Cordon bleu is the most popular item on the menu. If you are shopping Myeongdong this place is perfect for scrumptious lunch or dinner and it’s worth your hard earned cash! There may be a line if you go there at peak lunch hours, but if you try to avoid going there between 12-1PM you should be able to get seated and enjoy the food pretty swiftly.
The secret to its excellence is in the aging of the thick slices of seasoned pork fillet which is about 150kg in portion size. This process takes about 3-4 days, making the meat much more tender. After this, the slices are then coated with egg batter and breadcrumbs, then fried in hot oil for about 7 minutes. And boom!! A very tasty tonkatsu that your mother wouldn’t even dream of making. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, you can wash it all down with miso soup and enjoy some fresh veggies with the tonkatsu. On the first floor is the bar, the second floor and third floor are spacious areas. The restaurant is a favourite for all ages. This place is void of trends and craze and all about the quality of food served.
So you walk in to the establishment, What next? Well, the first thing that will hit you is that the food is cooked right in front of you, no matter what you order, the chef will take a fresh tender piece of pork and then go through the process of flouring it, then dunking it in thick batter. Then finally it is covered with breadcrumbs and then pressed hard to garauntee that the breadcrumbs stick to the meat.
With each set ordered, You get a small bowl of rice, miso soup, sliced cabbage, pickled vegetables and a small dab of wasabi mustard. Now for the main food itself, in word one, I would say it is perfection. The breading is thickened to within an inch of perfection. The pork is tender and juicy throughout the meal. Thanks to the 3-4 days process of aging the pork slices. If you want more flavour, pour some sweet and thick soy sauce over the tonkatsu. The peanut sauce is for the sliced cabbage. It’s so good you will keep refilling, even unaware. It is that good to reemphasize the peanut sauce and its god status.
Due to its location in Myeongdong, the restaurant is frequented by local and tourist equally. Even though these days, Myeongdong is a shopping mecca for Asian tourists, locals still visit Myeongdong Tonkatsu often. Obviously as a rule of thumb, if the restaurant is full of locals, then you know you have found something good. The staff is professional, friendly and courteous, no matter the language barrier. Don’t be shy to ask for refills. This is a great place to eat tonkatsu and it is priced rather fairly. Most restaurants around Myeongdong are expensive with smaller portions.
The pork cutlet is at 11,000KRW and the Cordon Bleu is at 14,000KRW. Other items you can order include Pork sirloin cutlet, Pork tenderloin cutlet, Fish cutlet, Kondonburu and Fried Shrimp. Open from Monday to Saturday 11am – 9:30pm and Sunday and the holidays from 11am – 9pm. No more than a 5 min walk from exit 6 of Euljiro-1ga Station, line 2.