The weather was extra chilly at night, partly because I was running on high temperature and having the chills myself. I came here once after getting lost walking on the wrong lanes and with much dismay, arrived when everything was sold out. Imagine 1 hour’s walk at zero degrees and no food. Haha.
I’m kinda glad I have a photographic memory (sorta, though I suck at studies), I managed to lead the team here this time without any errors. (Phew! Can’t be subjecting my bosses to get lost walking and having no food)
It was about 10 minutes or so from our hotel (Lotte Hotel), and despite being sick, I was very excited to finally have my first ever Sam Gae Tang 삼계탕 after many trips to Korea. Strangely, I really didn’t have any fate with this cuisine until now.
The place was packed with locals and tourists and we almost had to wait long since we didn’t make reservations, thankfully some patrons got up earlier to give us their space seeing us standing by the counter waiting.
As my nose was congested all week, my tastebuds were pretty much gone. I hoped that this nutritious ginseng chicken soup would clear up my throat and nose a little.
Everyone ordered the same dish and each one cost about 20-25K Won (wow, it is pretty expensive!)
When it came, the bowl was piping hot, as if I was eating from a hot pot on a stove. The soup was off white in colour bubbling all the way. The waitress gave us each a small plastic cup of yellowish liquid, which we were told that it was the ginseng essence.
You can opt to bottoms up the essence or pour it into the hot pot. I chose the safer route, pouring it into the hot pot.
The portion was crazy huge! Each pot came with a WHOLE CHICKEN. Definitely best to share but for this dinner, each of us had a pot each. Cray Cray!
The chicken was quite tender and hidden inside it was Korean rice. Once you sliced through the chicken, the rice flowed out into the nutritious ginseng soup.
This dish would have been perfect those having a bad flu at winter. It was quite a good dish, since I had the sick bugs with me, but if I was well, I’d liked it more if the soup was a little spicier. Definitely too nutritious for me haha.
Each bowl cost a whopping 21,000 to 25,000 won, which would be nearly RM 80-100 for us. Yikes!
But hey, I’m glad i can finally crossed this cuisine off my check list of Korea’s must-eats! Friends are bewildered over the fact that I have yet to eat this dish despite coming in to Korea multiple times. Now, I can finally join in the crowd of Sam Gae Tangs 삼계탕 !