What started out as a running joke in Journey IV becomes reality as Na PD takes the idea and ran with it. Lee Su-geun poked fun of Kang Ho-dong‘s foodie tendencies and recommended he open a restaurant as a variety show item where the “owner will eat more than the guests”…and Na PD overheard, and decided having the bunch of Journey‘s cast run a restaurant as a reality variety will sell… so, there we have it. A restaurant under Ho-dong’s name (it IS registered as a business entity, cos it WILL be taking in income) is opened in Jeju-do some time early Dec 2017.
The person most shocked needless to say is Ho-dong, who ironically is informed when he saw the ads on tVN channel. (haha) In a full blown panic mode, he asks Na PD if it is true, only to get it doubly verified. So as soon as Minho returns from his Youth trip, he and the rest are conscripted into Ho-dong’s restaurant team. Needless to say, the only one who CAN cook (Ho-dong says he can’t cook anything but ramyun), Ahn Jae-hyun, is made sous chef. Eun Ji-won and Minho will take on the waiter-barista roles, and Su-geun will be the…odd job labourer (or Jack of all trades).
And to show how serious the team is in getting their business (first time for all) going, they went to the best teacher in variety to learn — Chef Baek of Home Food Rescue. He teaches Ho-dong 2 dishes — the tonkatsu (a SUPER large sized version), and omurice. Yep, only 2 items in the menu. On top of the beverage selection — which Minho and Ji-won also took the trouble to learn from a professional barista.
Meanwhile, the crew is busy setting up the restaurant (they built it from scratch) next to a nice picturesque beach overlooking the South China Sea. In less than a month, filming (or restaurant business) starts. It proves to be a tough challenge for our greenhorns, even with their prep work. For one, the tonkatsu is huge (average 42 by 50cm), and the tenderising of the pork takes the entire night with all the cast hammering away.
Even though the restaurant is opened only for 3h, there are a string of mini crises which tax the cast fully. From something as simple as taking and completing orders, to “extra” services like takeouts (or doggy bags), the cast tries to maintain a peaceful kitchen even though we do see tempers at the brink of snapping.
It is a testament to how much hard work is needed to survive in the FnB line when the cast returns home (after standing for half a day) looking dog tired. In fact, they all agreed filming Journey (even with their frequent skipping of meals) is far easier than Kang’s Kitchen.