Tosokchon Samgyetang 토속촌 삼계탕, Seoul, South korea

Tosokchon Samgyetang 토속촌 삼계탕, Seoul, South korea

RATING: ★★★☆ - Very Good   |   PRICE: $$$ - Expensive

With so many awards for the best Samgyetang 토속촌, Ginseng Chicken Soup, awarded by countless travel sites and online reviews, Tosokchon might seem too good to be true. But believe you me, the verdict is ubiquitous, this restaurant is well adored by locals and definitely has the best Samgyetang in Seoul; nowhere else even comes close!


The Food – the best Ginseng Chicken Soup

Dining at Tosokchon you really only have two options for food. Samgyetang a traditional ginseng chicken soup made using young spring chickens stuffed with glutinous rice and served with rich creamily-white broth or Ogolgye Samgyetang which is pretty much exactly the same but uses a black free-range chicken instead of a regular spring chicken. Everything else on the menu are extras or side dishes which distracts one from the main attraction; the amazing chicken soup. 

The broth is rich and milky white, evidence that chicken bones were boiled for hours to achieve the thick collagen like stock, and features deep flavors of chicken, a hint of ginseng, garlic, and green onions. The sock is further enriched by a whole steamed spring chicken which is generously stuffed with a large piece of Korean ginseng, glutinous rice dates and chestnuts. The chicken meat, is cooked separately from the soup, but this ensures, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and an intense flavor which is second to none in Seoul. 

In-addition to the usual suspects of kimchi and pickles you will be served with an unassuming shot of ginseng essence this is used to enhance the flavor of the soup giving it that extra punch which differentiates Tosokchon from the competition. Alternatively, you can drink it straight, but this is not a common practice among locals.

The restaurant

The restaurant designed in traditional Korean ‘Hanok’ architecture is fairly large, accommodating well over 200 guests and features a small courtyard joining the various dining halls. This is typical of traditional Korean establishments where much of the food preparation is done in plain sight.

Dining at a traditional Korean restaurant can be a real treat but sitting on the floor might get a little unconformable. But when in Korea. Do as the Koreans do. The ingenious ventilation system allows for the floors to be heated in the winder and air-cooled in the summer providing for the perfect ambient temperature, no matter the season. Of course if you are travelling with older folks you can always opt for one of their western sitting options in a different dining halls. 

The experience

A meal at Tosokchon Samgyetang can be life changing, yes, it is so good that its been building up a large cult following ever since the 1980s. And if you love the flavor of Ginseng you would be craving for the Samgyetang each time you are in the area.  

A 10-minute walk to the west of the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Tosokchon is not difficult to find (especially if you have a map application to guide you), what will prove challenging is getting a seat without standing in-line for half an hour. We recommend avoiding the peak hours and visiting the restaurant around 4:30 in the afternoon; allowing you to have an early dinner with ample time in the evening to experience Korea's legendary night life and drinking culture.

Tosokchon Samgyetang 토속촌 삼계탕
5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

RATING: ★★★☆ - Very Good   |   PRICE: $$$ - Expensive

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