Gyeyeolsa chicken (계열사) and Sai chicken (사이치킨) are supposedly 2 of the 3 best fried chicken restaurants in all of Seoul. They are both known for serving more traditional style Korean fried chicken, as opposed to the sometimes saucy and sweet Korean fried chicken. About 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend and my friend went to try Gyeyeolsa fried chicken off the recommendation of a food review. When we got there, we were immediately ushered downstairs. A good amount of people were eating there (mostly older Koreans), but there was still enough seating. We ordered what they were famous for, the fried chicken for 20,000. It came out after about 8 minutes piping hot with a side of a special sauce. After letting it cool a tad, we tried it, and boy was this the best fried chicken in Korea we have ever had! Each bite has some crispy breading, and then a load of delicious juicy chicken on the bone. What I liked but also found different about Gyeyeolsa fried chicken, is that they fry the whole chicken, so you get parts from the chicken that you normally wouldn't eat in America. It was all delicious, and the sweet but spicy sauce on the side was also amazing. The fries were big, chunky potato wedges and also went well with the sauce. The chicken and fry plate was plenty for 2 people, but split between 3 people it might be a little small, so we ordered 2 between 3 people (we are big eaters).
The next week, our other Korean friend wanted to try this famous Buam dong chicken as well, so we went back to the area. This time, we decided to try Sai chicken. While the atmosphere was more pleasant at Sai chicken, we were disappointed. We ordered the boneless chicken (with an extra portion of chicken as well) along with the sprout salad. When the chicken came out, we were immediately saddened by how small the portions were. Additionally, the boneless fried chicken was different than normal boneless fried chicken in Korea. This boneless fried chicken was basically small cut up strips, instead of big meaty chunks. The sprout salad was good, but the chicken came out not hot at all. The flavor was okay, but was not hot and even though we had ordered an extra portion of chicken it was such a small meal, and we left still feeling hungry. After eating there we decided to go back to Gyeyeolsa fried chicken because we knew it was really good. We ordered the same fried chicken again, and again it was delicious and amazing. Our Korean friend, a chicken snob, also claimed it was the best fried chicken she's had in Seoul. Maybe the chicken at Sai would have been better if we had ordered the regular fried chicken and it had been hot, but after that we decided we won't go back there knowing that there is Gyeyeolsa serving incredible fried chicken that we love just right next door. Have you guys had better experience at Sai? Let me know with some comments below! I highly recommend you go try the fried chicken at Gyeyeolsa. You won't regret it :)
Directions: From Gyeongbokgung, take the 7022 or the 7016 bus to Buam Dong. From around Sookmyung womens university, take the 1711 or the 7016 bus (The bus also stops at places like City hall along the way). See the map above for details! Sai and Gyeyeolsa are literally 3 doors down from each other. Enjoy :)
by Michael Jones
Last night I ate at Tuk Tuk for the first time and it was outstanding. Tuk Tuk is a Thai restaurant in Hongdae serving some of the best, if not the best, Thai food in Seoul. The place is incredibly popular and there is always a wait. The first time I tried eating at Tuk Tuk the wait was 45 minutes long and I was far too hungry to wait. The second time I tried eating there it was around 1:45 and they go on break at 2:30, but since they already had a long wait, they stopped taking customers. I was crushed, but determined to go back. Any place that consistently has people waiting is usually doing something right. Last night I finally got my chance to indulge on some incredible Thai food. The restaurant is a decent size and the room is painted light purple and decorated with Thai memorabilia. The kitchen is open and you can hear the sizzling and popping from the Woks. The smell of fresh Thai food is intoxicating. I wanted to buy everything on the menu, but I settled on Pad Ka-Prao. This dish can be made with a variety of different meats and it’s stir-fried with basil, chilies, garlic, and a combination of soy and oyster sauce. It’s my favorite Thai dish and I always order it when I go to Thai restaurants. My friends ordered Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, Gui Tiaow Nam, and we shared a large serving of fried rice. I sampled everything and it was great. The Pad Thai was slightly sour and I really liked it compared to the sweet version served at a lot of Thai restaurants. The Pad See Ew was topped with succulent pork meat and the noodles soaked up the sauce. It was extremely flavorful. The soup was also good, but the broth was interesting. I could really taste the garlic in the broth. I might be a little biased, but my favorite dish was the Pad Ka-Prao (15,000). Most of the dishes are about 15,000, but some of the noodle dishes and soup dishes cost 9,000-11,000. The restaurant is expensive, but the food is definitely worth the price. The sauce was extremely rich and slightly sweet. I ordered mine with chicken and the meat was tender, and the chunks were large. It was nice to see actual chunks of chicken, and not the miniscule strips you get at some restaurants. The stir-fried chilies and basil added incredible flavor to the sauce and the chicken. It had just the right amount of heat and sweetness. It was the perfect combination of flavors and ingredients. I could really taste the quality of the food and I will go back soon to try more. The fried rice was also fantastic. The rice was topped with a fried egg and scallions. I scarfed down the bowl in about three minutes and nearly roasted my mouth. Be wary, the service is great and the food comes fresh off the wok. I didn’t realize this and almost lost my taste buds in the process. It would be devastating to lose your ability to taste at a restaurant this good. Thai food is known for its incredible flavors, and fresh ingredients. Tuk Tuk respects this tradition and serves some of the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. You have to go.
Go to Hongdae Station exit #3
Walk out and turn around
Facing the main road turn and walk left
Walk up the hill and then down the hill
Walk for about 5 minutes
After you pass the Orange building, turn left
Tuk Tuk will be on your left almost immediately after you turn
It’s in the basement, so don’t miss it
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!