Tonkatsu House in Seongnam

papa-olleh-tonkatsu

A fusion cafe-restaurant has taken roots in Seongnam, Seoul!

Yeah, literally, roots of a tree. Inside the cutely bear-themed restaurant…

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I’d like to think it was fake. But I couldn’t find it was otherwise…

Papa Olleh Tonkatsu House 돈까스하우스 is a big restaurant-cafe that was especially designed for kids and the not-so-kids. It is a restaurant with a remarkable large wooden table and a full-grown tree in the middle, and teddy bear designs everywhere.

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Their menu boasts of different styles and flavors of Tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet) and udong (Japanese-style noodles). Interestingly, they also serve pasta, rice and even cafe lattes and beer!

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Well, coffee, pasta and tonkatsu aren’t exactly a good match, but knowing that this is Korea, you can be certain that it’s all good. Pretty much like all-in-one place. This is a fusion restaurant after all.

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Initially, I was going to try the Heukdon Hambakkatsu 흑돈함박까스 (Black Pig pork cutlet). But my friend also wanted it so, being fond of salad, I ordered Salad Tonkatsu instead. The Salad tonkatsu is basically just full of greens more than the amount of tonkatsu and a small portion of rice. I was expecting that the tonkatsu will be in small portion, but I was wrong. It was enough and I was really full and stuffed! The salad is tangy and fresh, drizzled with sweet-sour dressing which I guess to be balsamic vinaigrette. But there was too much of small pieces of greens, as if I was eating shredded leaves, to which I think the proportion wasn’t good (the leaves aren’t really supposed to be sliced in a salad, right?). And just as expected, the tonkatsu wasn’t crispy anymore because the moist from the fresh greens made the tonkatsu soggy. This is one disadvantage.

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My friend ordered the Heukdon tonkatsu 흑돈함박까스. Heukdon is from a special breed of black pig domesticated only in Jeju Island (제주흑돼지). Interesting, right? The pork was specially tasty in teriyaki sauce…well, perhaps, because of the knowledge that it is from a different breed of pig. The dishes were served with kimchi and a soup which I guess was udong.

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The servings were hefty and a lot that even the guys in the group claimed it. Unfortunately we didn’t try the pasta so I couldn’t comment about it. We came in a large group (about 12 people) of internationals (American, Australian, Malaysian, Korean, Norwegian, Canadian and Philippines). It was a really nice Sunday coming after a service at church. I felt happy looking at these cuddly teddy bear family, and a surge of blissful innocence came to me. 🙂

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Happy family

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This teddy bear in ADT uniform is your brave security guard!

If you’re about to leave Seoul southward, find this place in Seongnam and have a blissful taste of Tonkatsu! If you would need real amazing companions, our international group members just live nearby (around Bundang). 🙂

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