Spicy Donkas

Spicy Donkas - (매콤 돈가스)
Downtown, Daegu

The Good+ "Extremely spicy" cutlets
+ Unlimited Rice
+ Decent price w/ addons
+ Free Cream soup
The Bad   - Always a line!
- No alcohol, no hanging out
Best for: Proving your spice-threshold

In the restaurant's name, 매콤 (mae-kome) refers to a particular type of spiciness, one that is strong yet enjoyable.  And 돈가스 (donkas) is their specialty dish, also known as pork cutlets.  

Their menu (see below) offers two styles of donkas.  Both come with two cutlets for \7,000 and may include a third cutlet for an extra \2,000.  The difference is in spiciness levels:

  1. Their standard spicy donkas: 매콤 돈가스 (mae-kome donkas).  It's somewhat spicy, at least enough to make a pig's eyes water, according to the picture;
  2. and 무진장 매운 돈가스 (moo-jin-jang mae-oon donkas), meaning "extremely spicy donkas."  This one is flaming hot, enough to make the pig's nose run!

The "enjoyable" type of spiciness only describes the first one.  The second is a fiery inferno, no joke.  If you're of a non-asian appearance like me, and therefore are apparently a weak little schoolgirl that can't handle spicy food, then you've probably grown accustomed to shrugging off the unnecessary and sometimes condescending warnings ("Oh, are you sure you can handle bibimbap, foreigner?")  In this case the warning is sincere, the 무진장 매운 돈가스 will honestly set your mouth ablaze.  

I highly recommend taking the advice on one of the menus and order it "소스따로" (soh-seuh dda-lo).  This way the molten-hot sauce will be served in a separate cauldron for dipping.  Otherwise the chef will cook up a scorched earth policy, turning your plate into a smoldering, inaccessible wasteland.

Separate sauce also allows for this special moment.
Some call it pure cholesterol, I call it pure joy.
I also recommend ordering a bowl of 물냉면 (mool naeng-myun) for \6,000 to relieve the burning.  This black noodle soup is an essential component of the meal, and is even included in the restaurant's full name.  Its icy broth helps to douse the flames.  Drinking directly from the cold, metal bowl seems to extinguish the embers all-together.

Free side dishes are quite limited here, as it's not your typical Korean restaurant.  On your plate are meager portions of cabbage, fruit, macaroni and corn, more for decoration than sustenance.  There's also a lump of rice, which the menu generously claims is "무한리필," or unlimited refill.  Just ask for 밥 주세요 (bap joo-sae-yo).  The only other free side is a delicious cream soup, brought out immediately after sitting, but probably best saved as a backup fire-extinguisher.


One persistent feature of 매콤 돈가스 is the line of eager patrons waiting out front.  The compact building is crammed with 10 tables, 6 on the main floor and 4 upstairs.  And the staff works diligently cranking out donkas at high production.  However, the restaurant's popularity leads to demand that even the Model-T couldn't meet.  The door even bears a sign asking patrons to wait patiently for a table to open, at which point a waitress will call in the next party.

This style of assembly-line dining means no hanging around after your meal.   This in turn means no alcohol on the menu.  For what may be the first time I've ever written this about a Korean food, spicy donkas is not 안주 (anju), meaning food to snack on while getting drunk.  Here patrons come to experience the brushfire, the quick burning sensation the mouth, then they evacuate.


It's located downtown near 반월당역 (Banwoldang Station), on the side street between Hyundai Department Store and Dong-a Department Store.  Walk out of exit #17 and hook an immediate left at the top of the stairs, or exit #18 and an immediate right.

The Address is: 대구광역시 중구 계산동2가 245-5
See map

"The ingredient behind the spiciness is capsaicin.   This raises the body temperature and makes you consume more energy. So it's good for losing weight and dieting.  It also enhances the production and secretion of endorphin, which reduces stress and depression.  Furthermore, since capsaicin raises body temperature, it has positive effects on an early cold.  Lastly, [and certainly not leastly] it prevents cancer."

No comments:

Post a Comment