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Nov 1, 2011 12:31 PM

Best Samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup) in Koreatown?

Does anyone have a rec for a place in Koreatown that specializes / serves up good samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup).

It's supposed to be cold-friendly. Just what the doctor ordered.

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  1. Good question. I'd be interested to know too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cheeryvisage

      Me too. I love samgyetang, but have never found a good version outside of Seoul. I tried the samgyetang at that semi-hidden 2nd floor K-town place (forgot name) that specializes in noodle/chicken dishes, but found their samgyetang to be very weak (greasy, and lacking an intense ginseng punch). Interested to hear more suggestions.

      32 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

      1. re: Simon

        Not in Manhattan, but Joe DiStefano just wrote about one in Queens on his World's Fare blog:

        1. re: Peter Cuce

          And I had a good version at Tang, out on Northern Blvd near Francis Lewis. Best since my last bowl in Korea. They are actually an off-shoot of the Gam Mee Ok (sp?) on 32nd, so you might want to give them a go. Different menu though, me thinks.

          Gahm Mi Oak
          43 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

    2. Give Cho Dang Gol a try, and the weather certainly calls for it! We usually make our own, and so I haven't tried their version, but the restaurant and their menu is one of more unique Korean place in K-town including their house-made tofu, ssam platter, and traditional casseroles called jungol.

      Cho Dang Gol
      55 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

      1. I ended up trying out Arirang last night. It was on the 3rd floor of your typical K-town building, and its specialty is samgyetang and noodle dishes (as Simon mentioned). Definitely satisfying samgyetang and enough to feed two people (1 bowl = $18.99) if you order something else (e.g., kimchi pancake). I did think it was a bit on the mild side. Is the real stuff supposed to taste this way? Thick, savory broth with a whole chicken whose meat is so tender that it falls off the bone. The black sesame, ginseng, gluttinous rice, boiled dates and red mushrooms were nice touches. I wanted more of a gingery/ginseng kick though. Don't know if this is just the gringo in me talking.

        And maybe it was all psychological but I really did feel great afterwards. Restorative meal.
        I will try out Joe DiStefano's rec though to make a comparison.

        I will say that the service at Arirang was super nice. And the proprietress herself came out to greet everyone at the end of the meal. I appreciated this personal touch.


        32 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

        3 Replies
        1. re: ravi_queens

          Nice review. The staff were very friendly the time i went there too. Maybe i'll give it another try.

          1. re: ravi_queens

            I've been to both of their locations, and one in K-town to have their whole chicken shabu. The food in K-town is I think overall better, but their kimchi - raddish and cabbage versions - in both of their location is what keeps me from returning. It's pretty awful, and there's something quite off-putting about it IIRC which was about a year ago. Hopefully things have improved?

            1. re: Kurtis

              And I thought I was the only one who preferred samyetang at their Manhattan branch to Flushing. :-)

              Unfortunately, their kimchi banchan is quite weak (in fact I believe that all kimchi offerings in the K-town are weak), but I feel their kimchi soup base is quite satisfactory.