I think anyone who reads this blog knows that I can eat a lot, it is an ability that I have always prided myself on. And after coming in second in Bulldogs’ 50cm hot dog eating contest, I realised that I could eat pretty quickly too. So when I heard about a restaurant in Hongdae that has a giant pork cutlet (돈까스) eating challenge I stored away the information immediately. Appropriately named the king of pork cutlet challenge, it is available at 돈까스대왕전 in Hongdae. The restaurant is a three floor extravaganza specialising in lots of different kinds of pork cutlet, but I was there for one thing and one thing only, the King of Pork Cutlet Challenge!
The Challenge Pork Cutlet costs 15,000, and you have to sit at a table right by the counter so they can keep an eye on you. After placing our order and waiting for about 10 minutes, the waitresses brought over my mammoth plate, yes waitresses, it takes two of them to carry the almighty meal. We were allowed to take a quick snap, then we were given a timer and it was time to start the challenge. On the wall outside the restaurant are photos of all the people who have completed the challenge in the fastest times. The fastest person did it in 5 minutes 14 seconds which after doing it, seems impossible, while at number 30, the slowest board time was 9 minutes 59. I even saw my friend Kevin from La Marmite who did it in 06:32 so props to you my friend. As I looked on the board I only saw three girls and two non Koreans, so I guess I was a treat for them when I sat down. My Korean isn’t as good as it should be, but they told me that if i could do it in under 12 minutes I could have it for free.
Before the challenge started I never had a doubt that I would finish it, until they brought it over, then I was worried. My main concern was getting a good time. The plate contained the biggest pork cutlet I have ever seen in my life, this thing was ginormous (the picture doesn’t do it justice), and that’s before you get to the giant heap of rice, some radish kimchi, corn salad, and mushroom soup. There is also a jug of sauce which is the only bit you don’t have to eat. So how do you think I did? Watch the video at the top of the page to see. The pork cutlet itself was really bloody good, like absolutely delicious, I was actually surprised. My first strategy was to get the doncass under control then hit the salad bits and drink the soup at the end. The rice I knew would kill me so I saved it for last, it was hard going at the end and I felt a little sick at a few point, but my competitive nature spurred me on.
As the last mouthful was swallowed down, the clock read 10 minutes 38, certainly a valiant effort, but not fast enough to get me on the board or so I thought. However as we left the waitress told me I had made it, they took my picture and refunded my 15,000 won investment. I’m not sure if they had a second board of pictures or just fancied having a white blonde girl up there, but a win is a win and i feel rather proud. Hats off to those 5-6 minute people though, would love to see how they did it.
Anyone who likes to eat a lot, should definitely go and give this challenge a try. However even if you aren’t a big eater, the restaurant is well worth a try, TFB went for the much more reasonably sized Cheese Doncass (7,900) and enjoyed it thoroughly. He opted for the spicy sauce, which was sweet and hot without being too overbearing. I didn’t actually get to try his, for obvious reasons, so I’ll have to take his word that it was good, but it disappeared in about the same time as mine so it must have been pretty tasty.
Overall I recommend this place highly, the first half of the giant pork cutlet was really delicious, even if the second half became a chore. There are a few other reasonably priced offerings to choose from too. The next time I have a hankering for a pork cutlet, this is where I will be heading, if only to see if my picture made it on the board!
Doncass Dae Wang Jeon(돈까스대왕전) is located at 405-14 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sangsu Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Turn slightly to the right and walk towards the park, take the fifth turn on your left, which is the first big crossing you will come to. walk down this street, until you come to the double paved street. you will see just up ahead in the far left corner across the street. for more information you can call them on