Tosokchon 토속촌

Sunday, 16 November 2014

[South Korea, Seoul] Named one of the best Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang 삼계탕) in South Korea, this restaurant attracts hordes of people during dining periods. 

If Tosokchon 토속촌 comes to mind, you're absolutely correct! 

Their Samgyetang is made with glutinous rice, gingko nuts, ginseng, garlic and jujube, as well as 30 different types of medicinal herbs and grains! Doesn't it sound very nutritious? It is.

During winter season, Samgyetang is also a popular dish to have in South Korea as it is believed to provide strength for person who eats it during the chilling season. 

When we went there about 10+am, there was already a queue and we had to wait about 15 minutes. 

Some of the surroundings:
Along the little passageways within the restaurant, which retains its lovely traditional Korean house look.


A picture of PJ and other tables while waiting for the soup to be served. 
Very quickly, the ajummas working in the restaurant will assign seats to you. Everything is pretty speedy here as they have many people to serve, especially during lunch periods.
 A summary menu board that sits right outside the restaurant. 
A little area displaying their ginseng wine, which all customers must pass by before getting to the dining area.
 Ginseng wines for display. Available to be bought at 10,000won per bottle. 
A picture of the late president Roh Moo-hyun, having ginseng chicken soup, in this restaurant. 
We were led to our table, and there are no spaces between each table to save space. It is a pretty cramped dining area. But we'll endure it just to taste the soup. I don't recommend you coming here to take your time to eat and chillax with tea. It's very much "eat-and-go" here. 
As there were only two of us, we ordered the black chicken ginseng soup 오골삼계탕 (22,000won) and a seafood savory pancake with spring onions 해물파전  (15,000won) to share.

Feel free to help yourselves to the Kimchi and the Kkakdugi on the table!
Tosokchon also provided a small complimentary ginseng wine with some tea!
We tried the ginseng wine, but boy, it was super strong! Do try it a little first, I don't recommend you do a 'one-shot'!

Ta-dah! Our first dish - the seafood savory pancake with spring onions! PJ is a very picky eater, and if she says it's good, most likely it really is!

I did agree with her as the pancake (aka pajeon) was not that oily and the taste of the pancake did not overmask the taste of the seafood. 

Here's the black chicken ginseng soup! Also known as the Ogol Samgyetang.
 Open the chicken and you'll find glutinous rice stuffed in it!
 Mix with the milky broth of the soup and enjoy! The chicken meat was really tender and the broth was comforting to our stomachs. They also used a mid sized whole ginseng for the soup and it was really worth the money spent. 

The ajumma also gave us this little bottle of ginseng (6,000won) by mistake, which we did not use and ended up having to explain that we had not used it. This little bottle of thin ginseng slices can be used by adding it into the soup for the extra ginseng oomph. We didn't really need it as we felt the soup was already flavourful enough for our standards.
By the time we paid up and left, it was about 11.30am. 
Look at the queue! My picture only showed a portion of it. 
In the distance, you'll be able to see the huge white board with the restaurant name hung high.

Tosokchon 토속촌

Location: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 

Directions: Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3, Orange Line). Go out by Exit 2 and continue walking straight for about 200m. When you see G25 (convenience store), take a left turn and walk less than 30 steps to reach Tosokchon. :) I have provided an image map for your easy reference. Click on the image to expand.