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What Is Café Minamdang: Things To Know About The Series And How To Watch

Seo In-guk on Café Minamdang
(Image credit: Netflix)

In recent years, those with a Netflix subscription have been treated to some truly amazing Korean dramas like All of Us Are Dead and the incredibly popular Squid Game (which is getting its own competition series). Well, we can now add the new comedy/crime procedural series Café Minamdang to the list of shows that have found a way to break the language barrier and become increasingly popular on the streaming service.

If you saw the flashy title card while looking at all the trending 2022 Netflix shows (or are just hearing about it now) and want to know more, then you have come to the right place. Below is a quick breakdown of things you should know about the show like what it’s about, its cast, and how Café Minamdang is being released on the popular streaming service.

Seo In-guk on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

Café Minamdang Centers On A Disgraced Criminal Profiler-Turned-Swindler Acting As A Shaman

The incredibly stylish and fast-paced Café Minamdang centers on Nam Han-joon (Seo In-guk), a disgraced former criminal profiler-turned-swindler who runs a mysterious business in which he passes himself off as a shaman. Despite his moral ambiguity and appearances, the brilliant proprietor can’t stop himself from putting his experience and personality to use to help his various clients. And then there is Han Jae-hee (Oh Yeon-seo), an incredibly observant detective who attempts to get to the bottom of the charlatan’s business and history.

A blindfolded man on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Series Is Based On A South Korean Web Novel Titled Minamdang: Case Note

The story and characters featured throughout Café Minamdang are based on the award-winning Korean web novel Minamdang: Case Note, which was written by Jeong Jae-han. According to Korean news outlet JTBC, the novel took home the grand prize at the KakaoPage Mobile Novel Contest. The series was adapted by Park Hye-jin, who previously had success with shows like The Emperor: Owner of the Mask.

a stare-down on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Series Originally Aired On KBS2 But Is Now Being Released On Netflix

Café Minamdang premiered Monday, June 27 (with another episode debuting the following night) on the South Korean broadcast channel KBS2, but those of us interested in the show here in the United States (and other select territories) can watch the series on Netflix. Similar to the original broadcast, new episodes will premiere every Monday and Tuesday until the 18-chapter season wraps up near the end of August. But don’t worry as the series will likely be on the streaming service for quite some time and will likely become a great addition to the list of binge-worthy Netflix shows in the very near future.

Stream Café Minamdang on Netflix. (opens in new tab)

Oh Yeon-seo on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

Café Minamdang Is Presented In Korean But There Are Subtitles

Unlike Squid Game, which has an English dub on Netflix (though it does sometimes take away from the tone and nature of the show), Café Minamdang is currently only available in Korean. However, there are subtitles in English and multiple other languages for those who either don’t mind reading text while watching a show or prefer to take in a show in its native language. 

This doesn’t mean there won’t eventually be and English track, but for right now there is only one option available to watch the comedy/crime procedural hybrid. And while it may not seem ideal at first, you honestly get used to it after a few minutes. Plus, having the vocal tracks in the native language prevents some of the nuance and cultural elements from being lost in translation.

Seo In-guk And Oh Yeon-seo on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

Seo In-guk And Oh Yeon-seo Lead The Café Minamdang Cast

Seo In-guk and Oh Yeon-seo lead the Café Minamdang cast as Nam Han-joon and Han Jae-hee, respectively, but they aren’t the only actors to appear in the latest Korean TV show to reach western audiences on Netflix. Joining the pair on the series are Kwak Si-yang as Minamdang barista Gong Soo-cheol, Kang Mi-na as Nam Hye-joon, Han-joon’s younger sister, and Kwon Soo-hyun as Cha Do-won, a successful prosecutor.

There are also multiple other actors who appear in supporting and guest roles throughout the first two episodes with more surely to be introduced for the the end of the 18-episode first season.

Cops on the move on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Show Blends Elements Of Comedies And Crime Procedurals

One aspect of Café Minamdang that might make it a hit with audiences (both in Korea and elsewhere) is the way in which it blends elements from various comedies and crime procedurals to create a flashy, fun, and unique experience. Sure, there are more dramatic moments and situations that you’d expect from a show focusing on criminal investigations, but it transcends the norms of the genre to create something fresh and eye-catching thanks to its visuals and fast-paced dialogue.

Three characters sitting on a couch on Café Minamdang

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Café Minamdang Trailer Gives A Taste Of The Show’s Flashy Style

Prior to the debut of Café Minamdang in June 2022, Netflix released a brief teaser trailer on its YouTube page that gave a taste of the show’s flashy style and main characters. The 42-second video is honestly brief but it does manage to fit in quite a bit in a short amount of time. And while it does hit on some of the major points and characters from the show, it doesn’t take away from the mystery and intrigue of the series.

The cast of Netflix's Money Heist: Joint Economic Area

(Image credit: Netflix)

What To Watch If You Like Café Minamdang

After watching all available episodes of Café Minamdang there’s a good chance you are looking for something similar to watch while you wait for the latest chapter to premiere. Don’t worry because we have you more than covered with shows that will scratch your itch in the meantime. 

There is the popular remake series Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area, which has been a hit on Netflix since its debut in June 2022. Then, of course, there is the 2019 crime series Vagabond about a stunt man attempting to get to the bottom of a deadly plane crash. The thriller Stranger is another option for those who want more criminal investigations. And there is the 2021 Korean romantic comedy series Mad for Each Other, which is lighter in tone than the rest but it does feature Oh Yeon-seo in a prominent role.

Stream Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Stream Vagabond on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Stream The Stranger on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Stream Mad for Each Other on Netflix. (opens in new tab)

Hopefully this all sheds some light on Café Minamdang and serves as the push that gets you to finally check out the show. If you’re looking for other shows to watch while you wait for new episodes to premiere, don’t forget to look at our 2022 TV schedule.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.