Saturday, January 10, 2015

Said to Serve the Best Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang) in Seoul -> Tosokchon (토속촌) 土俗村蔘雞湯

An online search for the best ginseng chicken in Seoul will pull up a notable restaurant that was also rated very highly on tripadvisor; Tosokchon (토속촌) 土俗村! 

In the solo journey i had on the last day in Korea, i intentionally made it a point to plan my short itinerary around the legendary Tosokchon as i would like to make it as the last, memorable meal before i flew back to Singapore later that evening. 

It was extremely easy to get to the building with traditional Korean architecture as it was conveniently located no more than two hundred meters from the exit of a subway station! 

With seating numbering a high 420, queuing was said to be expected although i was quite lucky to be ushered in almost instantly; guess the rainy weather helped after all! Furthermore, i was there at 4.30pm; well before the dinner peak! 

Dig into the free flow kimchi and pickles while waiting for the highly anticipated samgyetang!

Boasting a milky broth that continued to boil when the stone bowl was placed in front of me, i was taken aback by the rich aroma that enveloped my immediate surroundings. This must be some potent soup! 

In addition to the chicken (said to be no more than 49 days old) and a stalk of ginseng, i discovered sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ginkgo nuts, chestnuts, and an utterly juicy red date in the soup!  

Surprisingly, the meat wasn't as hot as the steaming, boiling broth and although rich in flavour, i was under the impression it tasted more chicken than ginseng chicken. Do note that there was an option to add a glass of ginseng wine; i wasn't offered.  

Given the tender age of the chicken, the meat was tender and fell off the bone easily. I never knew i could so easily pick out the meat using just chopsticks! 

Drinking the soup while chewing bits of the ginseng did improve the taste dramatically and bring it more aligned to the ginseng chicken flavour i was looking forward to. However, this action would also mean the broth did not absorb the ginseng essence; in my opinion, this is an embarrassment given the shop's reputation.


Verdict - i doubt this is the best ginseng chicken in Seoul but this is honestly one of the best chicken soup i ever have! Maybe i should just request for a glass of ginseng wine the next time. 

Location Map
Red star. Exit from Exit 2 of Gyeongbokgung Station

Walk for around 100-200 meter and turn in to your left after you pass the convenience store in the above picture. Tosokchon was less than 10 meters away. 

As above.

As above. Go for the nutritious black chicken if you do not mind forking out almost S$40! 

Samgyetang - ₩15,000

For a summary of my South Korea trip (Seoul and Jeju Island) 
and links for more details to the respective day, click HERE

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