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.
My first trip to Seoul, Korea and one of the things I wanted try was jogae-gui, grilling clams. Yeah, sure, we all know about the grilling fun at your favorite Korean BBQ restaurant. Plates of beef, pork, chicken, and any other land animal you can think of. But this was with shellfish. And on a cold rainy day, this was utterly perfect.
Jogae-Gui Alley is in Nonhyeon-Dong. As the name suggests, it’s an area popular for grilling clams. Though there’s shops serving steamed clams and other types of seafood creations. This was an area for those who wanted fresh seafood without traveling to the ocean front. We walked around looking for a specific shop in the rain. It was difficult passing up all the shops offering their specialties. However, I wasn’t sure how foreigner friendly they would be. None of us could speak Korean and we’d only waste aggregate people pointing and playing charades all night. Yeah, it was a travel noob mistake not to even bring a phrase book or study up. Too occupied researching places to eat.
Once we finally found the place, we got seated right away. I think the rain held off the crowds, because the lines started forming after we started to eat. Inside, it was lively. The staff was busy running around helping out loud tables. The crowd was more of your happy hour types, friends laughing and offering up cheers for the horrid rain soaked day it was. I liked the vibe here. We ordered our food along with drinks, beer and soju. When in Rome! It was easy to order, not because they spoke English, but Mandarin. This was going to be a revelation to me on this trip. We soon found ourselves with the VIP set and we feasted for over an hour. It was more then we could finish.
Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Verdict: I do know there are better places, but I recommend the whole experience here.
₩49,000KRW (Business VIP Set for 2)