04/16/14, 6:07 PM UTC+9
This place was recommended to us by my friend Jongho-hyung.
Tonsokchon serves ginseng chicken a.k.a Samgyetang.
Our day long walk in Gyeongbukgung allowed us a short walk to Tonsokchon. The lunch crowds had dispersed and it was before the dinner crowds.
Early 6pm was a good time.
This restaurant is housed ina traditional house with many smaller houses. The space is used as dining areas.
As customary in all Korea, take off your shoes.
You may opt for the more western style of dining : Sitting on chairs.
Tonsokchon is a well known place and you would expect the lines to be long.
Samgyetang is a soup that comprises of chicken cooked in herbs, ginseng and glutinous rice.
We ordered chicken samgyetang and as all korean dining, served with kimchi.
But what arrived was black chicken samgyetang.
The chicken absorb the flavours of the soup. You can taste that this was not a pour-soup-over-chicken-and-serve dish.
The chicken was probably boiled to perfection. The chciken meat did not fall apart and ketp its shape. Overcook your chicken in soup, and the meat usualy falls apart.
As you eat, the soup will taste better having the flavours of ginseng, glutinous rice and chicken all merging together.
The warmth from this dish was perfect for the cool spring of Seoul.
I would rate the samgytang 5/5. It was an awesome meal, very heart warming. I cannot take strong bitter ginseng, but this was a light ginseng and just nice for my choosy palate.
Service I would rate 2/5 due to the snob we got from the staff when we asked for more time to go thru the menu. They also messed up the order and gave us the black chicken instead.
Will I return? Most likely not as I would want to try other samgyetangs around Seoul.
It is worth the experience to come here jsut for a try. Service ratings depends on your luck, if you ask me. People have bad days and sometimes, one staff’s bad mood does not mean the entire service levels are similar.