Tosokchon (토속촌)

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

3 Pirundae-ro 6-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 필운대로6길 3
http://tosokchon.com/



Located within a short walking distance from Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁), Tosokchon (토속촌) is probably the most famous ginseng chicken soup or samgyetang (삼계탕) restaurant in Seoul. It's been operating as a family business since 1983 and was often frequented by late President Roh Moo Hyun. I think it's also one of those very few places where its customers consist of both tourists and locals.

Since we missed our opportunity to eat at Tosokchon on our second day, we decided to have it for brunch the day after. We went in the morning at around 11:00am, so there were only a few other tables in the same dining area. We didn't get to see any other parts of the restaurant, but it apparently has a maximum capacity of 420 seats!



Tosokchon is traditional Korean restaurant, so be prepared to take off your shoes and eat while sitting on the floor. But aside from the pins and needles I got at the end of our meal, I think it was a really good local experience.



There were 5 types of samgyetang to choose from, but we ordered two traditional Tosokchon Samgyetang (15,000 won) and one Tosokchon Samgyetang with Wild Ginseng Adventitious Roots (21,000 won). The main difference between the two was the little pot of wild ginseng roots that they give you separately to pour into your soup.







We loved Tosokchon—it was actually one of the best meals we had during our 2 week trip. The soup was tasty with a good combination of chicken flavour and ginseng; and the chicken (stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng, chestnut and dates) was soft and tender to the point that the the meat could be easily removed from the bones. I've only tried samgyetang once before in Sydney, and it was really bad—now I know what it's supposed to taste like!



Tosokchon is one of the top must-go restaurants in Seoul. Not only is the food really authentic, the service was also quite good. But I think the fact that it's housed in a traditional Korean house, hanok (한옥), makes it even more special and unique. ★Tip: Go in the morning to avoid the crowd, or else you'll be waiting in HUGE line for lunch. (Thank you, Sharon!)

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