On the hottest day of the summer in Korea, there is a cultural tradition to eat 삼계탕 (SamGaeTang) - a Korean version of chicken soup! This year, the hottest days of summer 2014 start on July 18 (초복 - ChoBok), July 28 (중복 - Joong Bok) and end on August 7 (말복 - Mal Bok). You will see lines of people out the door at every SamGaeTang restaurant on these days!

(Some used to eat 보신탕 (BoShinTang) - dog soup, but because of the taboo of eating dog, many people now eat the chicken soup instead.)

삼계탕 (SamGaeTang) is known to be a healthy "well-being" dish with a lot of nutritional value if made with proper wholesome ingredients. It is usually a whole stuffed hen with sticky rice, garlic, a date, chestnut, ginkgo and stem of whole ginseng. 

삼계탕 (SamGaeTang) is known to be a healthy "well-being" dish with a lot of nutritional value if made with proper wholesome ingredients. It is usually a whole stuffed hen with sticky rice, garlic, a date, chestnut, ginkgo and stem of whole ginseng. 

The stone pot is served with the broth still bubbling so it is boiling hot - perfect! Topped with green onions, sunflower seeds and black sesame seeds. The broth is boiled for so long here its is the most flavourful SamGaeTang I've yet had. Love the creaminess of the broth along with the tenderness of the chicken falling off of the bones!

The stone pot is served with the broth still bubbling so it is boiling hot - perfect! Topped with green onions, sunflower seeds and black sesame seeds. The broth is boiled for so long here its is the most flavourful SamGaeTang I've yet had. Love the creaminess of the broth along with the tenderness of the chicken falling off of the bones!

You dig in to get the delicious sticky rice full of flavour infused from the garlic, garlic, a date, chestnut, ginkgo and stem of whole ginseng.  When you eat it, dip the chicken meat into a mixture of the sea-salt and black pepper you can make in the little side plate. 

You dig in to get the delicious sticky rice full of flavour infused from the garlic, garlic, a date, chestnut, ginkgo and stem of whole ginseng. 

When you eat it, dip the chicken meat into a mixture of the sea-salt and black pepper you can make in the little side plate. 

The simple and best sides to go with the soup: 깍두기 (GgakDooGee). Cubed radish kimchi, and 김치 (Kimchi). Cabbage kimchi. 

The simple and best sides to go with the soup: 깍두기 (GgakDooGee). Cubed radish kimchi, and 김치 (Kimchi). Cabbage kimchi. 

Love love love the kimchi here!

Love love love the kimchi here!

Cheers! They give you a cup of ginseng alcohol here to start. You can either drink it like a shot, or put it inside your soup if you want. 

Cheers! They give you a cup of ginseng alcohol here to start. You can either drink it like a shot, or put it inside your soup if you want. 

It is quite large on the inside, always full of locals as well as tourists. Mostly floor seating. 

It is quite large on the inside, always full of locals as well as tourists. Mostly floor seating. 

토속촌 삼계탕 (TokSokChon SamGaeTang). A classic favourite.   Even if it's blasted in many tour guide books, this is one place I will still keep going back to - can't get this broth anywhere else! 

토속촌 삼계탕 (TokSokChon SamGaeTang). A classic favourite.  

Even if it's blasted in many tour guide books, this is one place I will still keep going back to - can't get this broth anywhere else! 

Try to go at off peak hours, but even if there is always a line, the turn-over rate is pretty fast! You can get seated pretty quickly so don't let the line scare you away! You can even get take-away if you please - but it won't taste the same/as good at home. Something about it being served in the bubbling stone pot and the toppings they add for garnish. 

Try to go at off peak hours, but even if there is always a line, the turn-over rate is pretty fast! You can get seated pretty quickly so don't let the line scare you away!

You can even get take-away if you please - but it won't taste the same/as good at home. Something about it being served in the bubbling stone pot and the toppings they add for garnish. 


The concept of eating a hot temperature food on a hot day is called 이열치열 (e-yul chi-yul). If you eat something hot to make your inner body temperature rise, when you step outside into the heat, it's supposed to make it feel like it's cooler outside. I personally prefer eating it when it is freezing outside or when I am not feeling well, but either way, this is one of my favourite soup dishes!


What? Piping hot Korean chicken soup for 15 000won. 

Who? All ages, casual dining. Most of the seating is on the floor, so if you have trouble with that, be warned. 

When? Everyday, 10:00am-10:00pm. 

Reservations? Yes, call up to 1 day ahead. 

Parking? Yes, valet service and free parking for up to 1hour.

Cards Accepted? Yes

Where? 

대한민국 서울 종로구 체부동 85-1. 85-1 Chebu-dong 5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Call: (02) 737-7444

 

Directions: Go to KyungBok Station, Line 3, Exit 2. Walk up about 150 metres and then turn left at an alley way. You will see the restaurant (or the line) on your left. Parking is just past the restaurant and they also have an overflow parking lot across the main street. 

Comment