Best traditional korean restaurant - Toksochon, very famous and "must eat" place if you ever visit Seoul! This restaurant was also frequently visited by Former President Roh, Moo-hyun. Famous signature dish here- Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup).
The restaurant looks like a traditional korean house.I thought I will see long que infront of the shop, but suprisingly no. I guess I was early, it was about 5pm.
A glimpse of roast chicken, making me hungry....
The signboard in chinese "Toksokchon Samyetang". This is the right place!! Pheww...again, the chinese characters saved my life! Am so thankful that my mom sent me to chinese school. Seriously, the korean characters in the map and shops makes it difficult to find places.
English in the menu! When place order, you can just point at the menu list or am sure there's some staff who is able to speak chinese.We ordered 2 bowls of Chicken Stewed with Ginseng (14,000 won/ RM42 per bowl). There is Black Chicken Stewed with Ginseng but more expensive.
We were seated on the floor on big square flat pillows. While waited for our samyetang, side dishes were served. 2 jars of kimchi: paechu kimchi (napa cabbage) and kkakdugi (radish kimchi squares), and came alongside with insamju (ginseng wine) in small lil' cup. The ginseng wine is served cold, the taste pretty dry. with strong aroma of ginseng mix with liquor smell. You can either drink it from the cup or pour into the ginseng chicken soup to add flavour. We didnt know this could mix it into the soup, we drank it in one go at the end of our meal. :P It really warms our body to fight thru the nite cold wind.
"Many Koreans enjoy samgyetang on three specific days in summer: "Chobok"(초복), "Jungbok" (중복), and "Malbok" (말복), which Koreans believe to be the hottest and most sultry of the year. Food with high nutrient content is eaten to regain the loss of stamina in the summer heat, and samgyetang is a favorite dish."
Toksochon's Samgyetang is made up of about 30 different types of herbs and grains. A whole young chicken were stuffed with glutinous rice, gingko nut, ginseng, garlic, chestnut and jujube are used to enhance the dish's unique and aromatic flavour. I tried this dish in a Korean restaurant in KL, but the rice wasn't stuff inside the chicken. If you found one, means it closes to traditional and authenticity. Fell in love with this dish at first sip of the soup, it's tasty, rich flavour but not too salty and suprisingly not oily! By the taste of it, the soup must have been boiled for long to kept its flavour. The chicken meat is so awesomely tender! I wish i could have this like EVERYDAY!!! It's so darn good, I was grinning while enjoying this dish. :)
Gingko nut found!
Long ginseng and chestnut!
Voila, finally finished them all! The tin bowl is for the bones! It took me some time to savour every bits of the soup and ingredients, and meantime feeling the warmth start to grow in my body n face.
Ginseng root on display, I think they sell them too.
When we left, I was shocked to see the queue and thank goodness that I came early. Walked away without feeling the need to wear my sweater, the ginseng soup warms me without feelin cold and gives me energy to adjourn to my next venue - Insadong!
85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Subway: Take the subway line 3 and get off @ Gyeongbokgung station and exit through
exit number 2, then
120 meters towards Hyoja-dong direction. You will past "popoyes", then look for GS25
turn into the small lane at the corner of this store, you will see Toksochon.
Bus: Take the bus 7022, 1022, 0212, or 1711 then get off at Jeokseon-dong
or Gyeongbokgong station.