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!