Korean ginseng chicken or in Korean – Samgyetang (삼계탕) is a “must-eat” when you’re in Korea. I visited Tosokchon Restaurant (토속촌) for it as it was rated as the best ginseng chicken in Korea.
The soup is rich and creamy. It is broth with 30 ingredients and guests will also be served a small cup of ginseng wine or insamju (인삼주). It definitely worth the price of 14,000 ₩ (about SGD 18). The price of Ginseng Chicken you find in other restaurant is about 10,000 ₩ to 12,000₩.
Koreans usually enjoy Ginseng Chicken on three hottest day of summer namely “Chobok”(초복), “Jungbok” (중복), and “Malbok” (말복). It was said that eating nutritious ginseng chicken will help regian the energy or stamina lost in the heat.
It is good to have it in the cold autumn season too. After finished my ginseng chicken, I felt warmth in my body which gave me more energy to discover more of Seoul!
The ambience of the restaurant pretty suits the dish as well. The restaurant itself is traditional hanok style and there is Korean floor heating or ondol (온돌) while seated on the floor. The staff always gets busy but was not rude. They can speak Mandarin if you do not know how to speak Korean. Anyway, you just need to say a simple “Samgyetang” and the food will be served to you.
Remember that the queue will get really long during lunchtime (12 noon – 1:30pm) and dinnertime (6:30pm – 8pm). If you want to avoid the queue, it’ll be good to avoid these timings. I reached the restaurant at about 11:30am. There was no queue but the restaurant is already filled with people; mostly tourists.
To get there, alight at Gyeongbokgung Station (경복궁역). Then walk through Exit 2 and walk about 100 metres towards Hyoja-dong. You may refer to the map at station as Tosokchon is considered a tourist attraction.