CONTRIBUTED BY ZOE V.
Ask any Seoulite where is the best samgyetang and their answer will likely be the same: Toksokchon. Samgyetang is Korean ginseng chicken soup. A whole young free-range chicken is stuffed with sticky rice, garlic, ginger, jujube, gingko nuts and other herbs and then boiled in a milky broth with a large piece of ginseng.
The menu is short and sweet: there are 2 different types of samygyetang available: with regular chicken or with black chicken. Our group of three opted for one regular samgyetang (15,000 won) and one pajeon, a savory seafood pancake (15,000 won). At first we couldn’t decide how much to order for the three of us when another helpful table overheard our discussion and commented that one chicken soup is big enough to share. We took their advice and were glad we did. After finishing our soup and pancake we ordered an extra rice (1000 won) to soak up the remaining broth and were left very full!
The chicken was soft and tender and the broth was full of flavor. When our dishes arrived it came with 3 small shot glasses of ginseng wine which can be drunk or added to the broth to enhance the flavor of the broth. The broth is subtle in flavor and the seasoning is light which is why there are salt and pepper on the table so you can adjust to your taste.
The savory pancake was very tasty but note it is a pajeon so it has seafood such as baby shrimp and octopus inside. While this is a great thing for me, it might not be for some people and it isn’t mentioned on the menu. The pancake was tasty and a great side to the soup, but I’m a massive fan (and critic) of pajeon and personally I’ve had better at the Gwangjang market.
The restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike and the workers speak good English.
Hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily
Phone: 82 2-737-7444
Address: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
GPS Coordinates: 37.5775632, 126.9715804
Directions: The closest subway station is Gyeongbokgung station. Take exit 2 and walk along the main road for 200m. When you reach a cross junction, turn left and you should see Tosokchon with the menu sign outside.