I never like ssamgyetang in Korea because: (1) the ginseng is stuffed in the chicken so the soup won’t have a pronounced metallic taste and (2) patrons have to add seasoning themselves. (These two problems are resolved in the Chinese version of the soup and Korean restaurants in Singapore where the ginseng floats in the soup which is seasoned by the chef.)
But Tosokchon is different. It’s famously known as the late Korean president Roh Moo-hyun’s favorite. Starts reasonably from ₩15K.
While the soup still doesn’t have a strong ginseng taste, the soup is packed with lip-smacking collagen.
Since the chicken is stuffed, the inside should be very clean. At Tosokchon, the chicken seems clean thoroughly and is very fresh. The glutinous rice, which usually is too sticky and hard elsewhere, has the right consistency.
Compared to the other ssamgyetang I have eaten in Korea, Tosokchon is by far the best. Is it the best in Seoul? I put my trust in the late President’s taste. Yes, it’s the Stanford Prison Experiment where we accede to higher authority.
How to Get to Tosokchon Seoul
Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Walk straight about 150m, and turn left into a small alley, Jahamun-ro 5-gil Road. Tosokchon (토속촌) is located 10m ahead on the left.
Tosokchon Samgyetang 토속촌 삼계탕
5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 서울 종로구 자하문로5길 5 (체부동)
+82 2 737 7444
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.