In the midst of an area stripped of all attention from the neighboring Express Bus Terminal and Shinsegae Department Store, sits a humble yet constantly busy tonkatsu joint Donki. And I mean humble: with nothing about the exterior of this restaurant that stands out, it is in fact easy to miss this spot surrounded by old apartments and an outdated 90’s vibe. The same can be said about the interior: everything seems run down. As I walked in, someone was standing up to watch the news on the small TV. Just from seeing the visitors dressed in just-got-out-of-bed looks, it seems as though Donki is mainly catered for the local community looking to get a quick bite. After a few bites into the nicely cut tonkatsu, however, I realized the reason behind the steady flow of customers and delivery requests.
The tray comes served with rice, miso soup, some kkakdugi kimchi, a bit of wasabi, chopped cabbage and sauces. The look of them has nothing special, but I took comfort in the unintimidating look. While everything else remained rather mundane, the taste and texture of the tonkatsu rose to be the shining star. The light and crispy outer shell worked incredibly well with the soft and tender texture of the pork fillet. Although deep fried in oil, the tonkatsu is not all that heavy. Their fish katsu, served in exactly the same tray setting with the addition of a lemon slice, also had a beautifully golden crispy shell and really soft and fat pieces of fish. The combination simply tasted great. While traveling all the way to this part of town just to eat tonkatsu may be a bit too much effort, it’s nice to have Donki offer almost perfect bites of tonkatsu made from 30 plus years of experience.
|Venue name:||Donki Tonkatsu|
19, Sinbanpo-ro 3-gil
|Transport:||Gubanpo Station (line 9) exit 1.|
|Price:||Hirekatsu 9,000 won, Fish Katsu 9,000 won|