Virgin Sam Gae Tang experience@고려삼계탕 (Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup), Jung-gu, Seoul

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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.

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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.

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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 !

Address:
고려삼계탕 (Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup)
55-3, Seosomun-dong,
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel:+82 2-752-9376
Website: http://www.koreasamkyetang.com
FB page: https://m.facebook.com/samgyetang/

My best beef experience@Maple Tree House 단풍나무집, Myeongdong, Seoul

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This trip allowed me to learn something new about my MD. That he, is also a big time foodie fella! As our meeting venue is at Lotte Hotel, and the Myeongdong shopping district was just across the road, we were in luck to have this dinner meal with our big boss, who raved about how good Maple Tree House was.

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We left the ordering to the expert. The side dishes seemed boring. But boy oh boy, they did make really good kimchi. If I wasn’t sick (with the whole fever, flu, sore throat, cough package) I’d think my gluttony appetite would have soared up the roof.

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The colour of the charcoal tells you how good the food was going to be. Gorgeous shades of red and grey. The heat from this thing was pretty intense, coupled with my fever.

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The Sam geop sal, was also one of the freshest and prettiest I’ve seen in a long while. Tummy juices running wild as we watched these delicious strips of porkylicious goodness grilling over the pot of charcoal.

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Today! Damn, they were yums! And to think it was barely marinated. I was never let down by the freshness of South Korea’s meat. I don’t blame my Korean friends who reside in Malaysia and sometimes declining some meat dishes served here since they get good quality meat in most places in Korea, whilst we don’t get good quality meat in many places.

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The biggest highlight of Maple Tree House was the beef. Shizers. The Beef. The bomb. The kaboom. The fireworks. Speechless. By far the best beef I had besides Mitsui in Taipei.

Teeheehee. 1/3 of the patrons on our table do not take beef. I could tell the 2/3 including me, were going all out taking the extra portions willfully haha.

So tender, so juicy, so soaked with the smokey smell of charcoal. Each piece in the mouth made me want to rip my hair off and hop around like some mad kid on a lolly

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Then came the lamb chops, gorgeous slabs of redness. The meat were all so undeniably fresh! Very tender juicylicious, after being grilled to perfection! Not a single hint of that foul gamey smell of lamb meat you get very often in overcooked below average lamb meat quality dishes.

If I had to rate the best meat in sequence, it’d be : beef, lamb then pork.
The meal was rather pricey though, 7 of us ate this dinner which cost nearly RM 1000. Phew. Burning a hole in the pocket if it hadn’t been for our big boss around. Teeheehee.

I would definitely return to this place for the beef alone! (Due to cost containment). The service was pretty good, and the staffs could speak really minimal English, enough to order and bring us what we need.

Address:
Maple Tree House 단풍나무집,
Myeongdong
B1F, 8-1, Myeong-dong 1-ga,
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel : 02-771-9700
Website: http://www.mapletreehouse.co.kr/eng/html/about.asp