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Previous: Seoul Itinerary Day 2 – Gyeongbokgung Palace & Gwanghwamun
Remember in previous post we mentioned that ideally it is best to do Gyeongbokgung Palace – Gwanghwamun – Lunch @ Tosokchon – Cheongwadae – Tea @ Samcheongdong – Bukchon Hanok Village in one day? After spending a morning soaking up Joseon culture at Gyeongbokgung, we exited the palace via Gwanghwamun. From Gwanghwamun, one is just 10 minutes away from having one of the nation’s best Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)!
We reached Tosokchon around 12 noon and there was already a long line consists of a good mix of locals and curious tourists forming by the road side.
15 minutes later…
25 minutes later, we were ushered into the restaurant. The restaurant is sitting on a huge compound with plenty of open space and tatami style room. Even so, every corner we turned, we saw patrons quietly enjoying their meal.
Why is Tosokchon so famous? It is a Korean restaurant known for its signature samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) made with typical ingredients like glutinous rice, gingko nuts, ginseng, garlic and jujube, as well as 30 different types of medicinal herbs and grains. The restaurant was also frequented by the Late President Roh Moo-hyun.
The wait staffs are able to converse fluently in Chinese, Japanese and English. They handed us this one page menu which acts as a bill too.
The meal is served with ginseng wine, which was a bit too potent for my liking. According to my korean friend, it improves one’s stamina (word for word, from her). In our words, it acts as performance boosters and will improve sexual function. Haha!
Having the best flavour balance of spiciness and saltiness; Tosokchon’s home made kimchi tasted really good!
Gom Bae! (‘cheers’ in Korean)
We observed and learnt from this ajaashi (Korean elderly) sitting next to us. He dunk his chicken meat into this salt and pepper dipping, so we made our own too! If you like it to be peppery, then add in more pepper. It all boils down to your own preferences after all.
Chicken Stew with Ginseng (15000 won, ~ RM42). Served in a hot spot, our chicken stew came piping hot. The whole chicken was stuffed to the brim with delicous ingredients such as sticky rice, chestnut, jujube, ginseng, red dates and sunflower seeds. The broth has a rich white milky appearance along with a sweet after note.
Black Chicken Stew with Ginseng (22,000 won, RM60). It is a premium version of the normal chicken stew. Black chicken, which has been considered to be very nourishing, is used instead. The health properties of a ‘white’ chicken and ‘black’ chicken may be different, but they tasted the same.
The portion may be too much for a lady’s stomach. It is recommended to share 2 stews among 3 person, that would be just nice.
Haemul Pajeon (15000 won, RM 42). It was quite a decent seafood and green onion pancake, loaded with prawns and squids.
We really love the samgyetang at Tosokchon. Service was fast and efficient, despite it being a very busy restaurant. Remember to include this into your itinerary if you are traveling to Seoul, Korea.
From Tosokchon, we walked along the west outer wall of Gyeongbokgung to Cheongwadae, the President of Korea’s residence. The signature markings of Cheong Wa Dae are its blue tiles.
The surroundings of Cheongwadae is tightly guarded. A portable guard box is on the road outside the entrance to Cheong Wa Dae, the guard overseas traffic and redirect traffic.
Address: 85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Operating Hours: opens daily from 1000 to 2200.
Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), exit 2/from Gyeongbokgung Yeongchumun Gate
Go 120 meters towards Hyoja-dong direction. You will past “popoyes”, then look for GS25 convenience store, turn into the small lane at the corner of this store. Turn left onto Jihamun-ro 5-gil and go straight for 10m.
Gyeongbokgung Palace Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), exit 5 and walk 10 minutes.
Exit from the back door of Gyeongbukgong.