I have to admit, it was cold and rainy, so I wanted something soupy. And of course, something healthy to fight off any chance of a cold. Getting sick in this town of eats would be devastating. So off to a popular destination in the heart of Myeongdong, Baekje Samgyetang. It’s on the second floor which we missed the first time we walked by.
Inside, it’s a very spacious establishment. Plenty of tables for all party sizes. We got a table for two pretty easily. Not to say it was empty, it was almost full and a bit early for dinner. Yeah, being a tourist has its perks. After we sat down the waitress came over. And guess what, she spoke Chinese to us. She assumed we were Chinese and at least she was half right. But the thing we learned was, this place was heavily advertised in Chinese tour books. And of course they get lots of Chinese tourists so they are staffed with Mandarin speakers.
We ordered the basic meal of stuffed chicken soup. I chose the one with ginseng and black chicken while my friend chose the the normal ginseng chicken. The food came out quick along with the banchan. At first, we were disappointed. Adding the salt and pepper, upped our feelings to a little disappointed. Then came the kimchi. That got us to meh. Unfortunately, that was the overall feel here. I really wanted it to be awe inspiring. Gotta find local recommendations next time.
Baekje Samgyetang (백제삼계탕)
8-10, Myeongdong 8-gil,
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Verdict: You can probably find better places than this and I recommend you do so.
Not a shot for you to down, unless you're hardcore like that. For the rest of us non-extreme eaters, we pour this into the soup to give it the nutritional boost.
You may think this isn't enough rice, until you dig into your chicken. It's stuffed with rice. So all you rice lovers, don't fret. Unless you want more of this kind of rice, you can always ask for more.
The chicken has been slow cooked long enough so you don't have to deal with the tough meat characteristic of black chicken. The taste on the other hand was rather bland. It got better once I ate it with kimchi or by dipping it salt and pepper. And all you could taste in the soup was the ginseng. That might be the point, but there's so much room for some ingenuity here.
After the disappointing first bites, I tried my friend's soup. Same blandness, though a more meaty chicken. And here you can see what's stuffed inside, white rice. Not too gratifying. It lives up to its name, thought, stuffed chicken.
Salt and pepper. A simple way to add a little taste to your chicken. Well, this and some kimchi to give it a wallop. Unfortunately, it was much needed.
The kimchi was the saving grace of our meal. We kept ordering more of this fresh dish. It got us through our chicken soup.