early 90’s a Japanese fashion event consultant to Korean boutiques yearning to stretch abroad opened one of the earliest real Japanese “Tonkatsu” port cutlet restaurant at the heart of fashion boutiques in Myung Dong (this was how this place was spelled then : before the SEOUL Olympics softened all hard-core war-time pronounciations) in Central downtown Capital of Seoul . still operates today among the now many, many similar tastes since then brought over from Japan .
enter MyeongDong from their main entrance (West) across Lotte Department Stores and turn left on the first alley and is onto your right .
the ground floor is Japanese noodle “Ramen Ya” shop-style counter bars while table seatings await on the second floor .
( January 2014 Update ) went back here since a long time, when the feeling of a ghost town was finally being felt is a classic MyeongDong institution – place almost empty and the sacred cutlet dried-out . but was it because this was Lunch time ? even in the midst of snow-falling weather ? this place was packed with more than half of the seats having changed to a new customer, while I was taking my time drooling over their delicacy . even Japanese businessmen when the Yen currency is at its low-exchange rate ..
having lived in neighboring Japan : I know donkatsu . and South Korea has gone through ITS phase of donkatsu at eateries large small,and even chain branches – the less reason you come here in reflection of how things were when it all started over the straits . and from the start you knew they had made a come-back because everyone tried to find something to do while waiting, as the dish came out a good quarter-hour after ordering and perhaps 30 minutes !? and to get the orginial Japanese feel : everyone even young couples preferred to take seat on the counter on the ground floor, than yonder upstairs to a more diner-like comfy seats . only leg room and you had to put your coat and bag somewhere behind on empty chairs if available – so it isn’t /really/ like Japan for they have compartments underneath the bar and even stools because every Japanese men and women alike carry some sort of hand-bag or purse .
and your cutlet came, you cannot help but drool for it was dried-fresh outside and oily-wet inside yummy . ofcourse dedicated sauces for the simple salad mount and the main cutlet supplements it .