Daily Archives: November 12, 2012

[Seoul, Korea] Tosokchon Samgyetang 土俗村蔘雞湯

Chebu-dong 85-1 Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea


Directions:  Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung station, Exit 2.  Walk straight for 100m from Exit 2, turn left at the GS25 convenience store and it’s on your left.  Alternatively, if you’re coming from Gyeongbokgung Palace, once you exit Gwanghwamun, turn right, walk straight (past Exit 2 of Gyeongbokgung station), turn left at the GS25 and the restaurant will be on your left.


Samgyetang is a whole chicken soup, stuffed with ginseng and sticky rice.  This was the best one I’ve ever had.  The restaurant seemed small from the outside, but inside, it’s like a village!  It was converted from a traditional Korean house (a hanok) and so busy with customers.  But, service was really fast.  And it gets crowded, so be prepared for a wait.  Seating can also be a bit crowded, so you might be rubbing elbows with your neighbors.



Outside of the restaurant


Once you’ve indicated the number in your party, you’ll be led to a dining area (there are several).  Take off your shoes before entering the dining area!  Seating is on the floor (with cushions).


The side dishes are self-serve, at every table, so grab as much as you’d like.  The pickled radish was soo good!  It wasn’t spicy…just a bit of a kick, with some sweetness and lots of crunchiness!  So addicting…


And of course there’s kimchi. Nom nom nom…  After you order, the waitress will hand you a badge with a number.  Once you’re done eating, take the badge to the counter to pay.


The menu is simple, just 4 different types of the samgyetang – which either has different kind of ginseng or chicken.  Based on the reviews I’ve read from before, everyone recommended the original samgyetang, which is the second choice on the menu, so that’s the one I went with.  W15,000 is approximately US $15


The samgyetang arrives bubbling hot!  The broth is milky and flavorful.  There’s salt and pepper at the table, if you’d like to season the broth some more.  The chicken itself is so tender, yet still juicy, and just falls off the bone.  The sticky rice stuffing, with dates and chestnut, was perfect with the side dishes.  Awesome meal for a cold day!


Akasaka Restaurant

14926 Clark Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

(626) 336-0871



Akasaka is located in the middle of a residential area in Hacienda Heights, seemingly out of place for a Japanese restaurant.  But, don’t let that fool you.  This place has been around for over 40 years.  It’s best known for its HUGE chirashi bowl (one order serves 2-3 people), which has all sorts of seafood and fish.  All of the menu item portions are pretty generous too.  Just a warning, their sushi rolls are 3 times the size of regular sushi rolls.

Food is always consistent.  Service is pretty great and fast.  Make a reservation, if you can, otherwise sometimes the wait could be horrendous.  Parking wise, Akasaka does have a small adjacent parking lot.  Once that’s full, there’s usually lots of street parking available.

Regardless of what you order, everyone at the table is served with a small salad and miso soup.



The famous chirashi bowl – it has spicy tuna, salmon, eel, scallop, uni, albacore tuna, monkfish liver, yellow tail, salmon roe, tobikko, squid, octopus, sweet shrimp, tuna tataki.  The sushi rice beneath the mountain of seafood is really yummy too!  $38.50 per order


Rainbow roll with tons of fish.  $28.50 for 8 pieces and $18 for 4 pieces.  This is the 4 pieces order, like I’ve said, the portions are huge!  The fish is so fresh and melts in your mouth….


Crunchy roll – with avocado and tempura shrimp.  It’s coated with tempura crumbs.  Yum!  $18 for 8 pieces, $14.50 for 6 pieces


Spider roll – fried soft-shell crab sushi coated with masago.  So good!  $18 for 8 pieces and $12 for 4 pieces.


Tempura udon – big bowl of udon accompanied by assorted tempura (shrimp, eggplant, italian squash, sweet potato).  My friends said this was pretty good!  $11


We were there for a birthday.  Just when we thought we were done with dinner, the waitress brought out a big cake, on the house!  Not sure if they make it in house, but the cake was really moist and tasty.  What a great surprise!


We also ended up with some sushi-shaped lollipops, compliments of the house.  These are so cute!