Wonjo Namsan Wang Donkatsu

For running man fans, a particular Namsan Tonkatsu will be a very familiar name as the team members visit the restaurant in a couple of episodes throughout their run. As a fan, I did my research to find the exact restaurant so I can plan a visit on my recent trip to Seoul

From my initial research, the information I got was a restaurant located in a green building which is just next to this with the white signboard. When we alighted, there was already a staff trying to signal us into the parking lots. As the restaurant is located on an upslope hill and the nearest subway station was at least 15 mins away, we took a cab. When we arrived, we realised the green building was having renovations and the staff signalled to us that they are closed

As such, we went to the next building with the white signboard and a lot of pull-up banners and posters showcasing the various TV shows who visited them during their filming. I compared the pictures and this is the outlet for the running man team visited in 2022

There are a few floors for the restaurant and we were shown to the 2nd level where the open kitchen was located. The overall space is actually quite tight with 5 to 6 tables and they are arranged in a way that fully utilises the available spaces in the restaurant. We were seated near the door and the space was extremely squeezy so given a choice, I would probably opt to be seated at level 3 since the oil smell gets into your clothes at the end of the meal

After putting in our orders, we were served a plate of green chilli and cream soup. There is a pot of radish kimchi at every table for customers to serve themselves. The cream soup did not look appetising when it was first served and was quite diluted and not thick. Surprisingly when I tasted it, it was very delicious and reminded me of homemade cream soup which was simple yet heartwarming

There are 2 different kinds of Tonkatsu, the plain one and the one with cheese. The tonkatsu is served with a small scoop of rice, cabbage coleslaw salad, corn niblets as well as a slide of pickled radish. The tonkatsu was huge in size and we ordered 2 plates for sharing; 1 regular and 1 with cheese. The tonkatsu was really well worth the calories and the visit since it is quite out of the way. The external coating was crispy but not oily and the meat was tender not overly dry. Some tonkatsu outside tend to be too thin and hard to bite but the thickness is just nice. The one with the cheese was moister compared to the regular and it was so good that we ordered an additional one after we were done with the first 2 plates. The only downside for the cheese one was it can be extremely filling as the cheese was creamy and buttery. The brown sauce on the tonkatsu itself was savoury and complimented both the regular and cheese version. I would say it is as good as the ones in Japan although the sauce is quite different

We also ordered the udon soup which was highly recommended. This was a simple bowl of soup noodles with some fish cake and sliced fried tofu skin, enoki mushroom and spring onions. The soup was soy-based and had a clean and simple taste was a good match for the fried tonkatsu as it takes away some of the heaviness from the meat. However, personally, I think it is quite impossible for 1 person to eat both the tonkatsu and udon together as the tonkatsu on its own is really too filling

Overall, I really enjoyed the Tonkatsu here at Wonjo Namsan Wang Donkatsu and I can understand why the Running Man members really love coming here. While the level 2 seats can be filled with some oil and grease from the open kitchen, it is quite interesting to actually see the ladies at work. They were such experts in frying the tonkatsu and flipping them at the perfect time for that wonderful golden brown crisp. Some of the staff understand simple English and they do have an English menu as well so I would highlight and recommend you to visit if you love Tonkatsu cutlets

Separately, as we walked upslope to Namsan Cable Station which was 5 mins walk away, we walked past at least 5 other Tonkatsu restaurants with many posters and pull-up banners showing visits of different celebrities and Korean variety shows so I am not so sure which is the best Tonkatsu restaurant amongst them so if you are a Tonkatsu lover, you can try eating at the different restaurants all lined up on the same stretch

Address:107 Sopa-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Operating hours: 10 am to 10 pm ( Closed on Tuesday)

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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