Food Review: Tosokchon Samgyetang

(located in Chebu-Dong area, 2km walk from Myeong-Dong)


Once you step into this restaurant, it will remind you of the traditional korean deco and having that separate rooms of dining. The deco is laced with wood decoration, ginseng display (I'm not sure if the big ginseng is real though) and it's a pretty cosy place to start with. The servers are friendly though they don't speak English but again the menu is available in English so it's not that difficult to order stuff.

Opening up the menu, you will see how to enjoy the ginseng chicken step by step. It also shows the pricing menu for different types of Ginseng Chicken, ranging the cheaper ones with Ginseng of younger age to the better ones. There are also black chicken if you like it (there isn't much difference in taste though from normal chicken, other than colour).

As per any Korean restaurants, Kim Chi is a sure given at each of the dining desk. The kim chi here is decent and nice. Quite flavourful as well (there are bad kimchi in Korea by the way).

Ginseng Chicken
Price: $24,000 Korean Won (Approx SGD$25)

Going straight to the Ginseng Chicken. Ginseng Chicken was given the name obviously because of ginseng used in the ingredients. Any Korean Ginseng Chicken will come with glutinuous rice stuffed inside the chicken with a whole of ginseng root as well. That is the baseline of any Korean Ginseng Chicken. In addition, each Ginseng Chicken will come with a cup of ginseng wine in Korea (we don't really get this in Singapore) and you can choose to drink it alongside while you eat the chicken or you can pour into the soup to add that additional flavour.

The ginseng chicken came boiling hot literally with the soup boiling away. The meat is very tender and fresh and the glutinuous rice came with a little hint of ginseng flavour. When dipped into the salt and pepper for the chicken meat, it greatly enhances the flavour of the chicken.

The ginseng wine given here is pretty strong in ginseng taste and heavy in alcohol as well but I think the key here is the soup which taste pretty flavourful of the chicken. However, don't expect the soup to have ginseng flavour in this shop though. I'm not too sure if Korean Ginseng Chicken soup is supposedly to be flavoured with Ginseng but most of the ones I had till now do not have the strong ginseng flavour unless of course you pour the wine in. But as of other ginseng chicken I have tried in Korea, this shop has the better tasting soup compared to the other restaurants. You can also see this from the colour of the soup as well.

In summary, Ginseng Chicken is something you have to try when you come to Korea and I think Tosokchon is a restaurant you should start with. It's better than the ones in Singapore.

3.5V out of 5


5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Google Map:

Nearest Rail Station
Gyeongbokgung Station