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!