토속촌 삼계탕 Tosokchon Samgyetang 土俗村蔘雞湯 is easily one of the most famous Ginseng Chicken Soup restaurant known to tourists, having been widely featured in guidebooks, and in Visit Korea website. In fact, when I first said that I wanted to try ginseng chicken soup, the first place that everyone thought of was this restaurant 😮 It even has its own Weibo account!
Knowing that there would be long queues everyday, especially during meal times, we decided to pop over earlier. At 11:30, there was no queue 😀
Located inside a 하놐 Hanok, an additional perk for coming here was that we got a peek at how a traditional Korean house looked like. Of course, we got to seat in a traditional manner, i.e. we had to remove our shoes and have our meals in tatami rooms. Thankfully, there were seating cushions and heating available, but for the less-flexible (like us), we were experiencing numbness in our legs by the end of our meal 😛
Menu was available in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese, and we noted that they have staff who spoke English / Mandarin as well.
Having eaten here before, Ms. V and Ms. W highly recommended the 토속촌 오골계 삼계탕 (Tosokchon Ogolgye Samgyetang) Tosokchon Ginseng Korean Black Chicken (Silky Fowl) Soup 土俗村乌雞骨蔘雞湯 (₩23,000), but I wanted more ginseng, so I opted for 토속촌 산삼 배얀끈 오골계 삼계탕 (Tosokchon Sansam Baeyanggeun Ogolgye Samgyetang) Tosokchon Ginseng Korean Black Chicken (Silky Fowl) Soup with Wild Ginseng Adventitious Roots 土俗村山参养殖根乌雞骨蔘雞湯 (₩29,000). Hubby decided to be unique and chose to have 전기구이 통닭 (Junggigo Tongdak) Tosokchon Rotisserie Chicken电烤雞 (₩15,000).
Who would not love hot soup during winter? 🙂 The soup was a little on the bland side but it was still very heartwarming. The chicken was tender and delicious, and the glutinous rice had a lovely texture. There was a side serving of salt/pepper that you could dip your chicken in. It also came with a small cup of ginseng liquor, which improved the taste. I was not too sure if the additional ginseng bits made a difference though. We enjoyed the yummy kimchi and melon side dishes too! On the other hand, while there was some hint of ginseng, overall, the rotisserie chicken was very salty, and quite dry 😮
We had originally thought that everyone had to order 1 chicken each, but later on, we realised that it was possible for 2 pax to share 1. Frankly, it was too filling for us to try to finish 1 chicken each 😮 Also, we were in for a rude shock, when halfway through our meal, a staff suddenly appeared and informed us that we had to clear the table in 15 minutes, as there was a group reservation. We had to rush through our entire meal, and Ms. V barely finished half the her food 😦 In all, we only had 1 hour from arrival at the restaurant to end of payment for the very hot meal.
By the time we left at 12:30, the queue was beyond the length of the restaurant 😮