Thursday, December 13, 2012

Seoul 11.12 - One Chicken

The first meal John and I had was 닭한마리, which literally translates to "Chicken One," or "One Chicken."

I had read about this dish, and found one of the best spots to try it. I don't even know how to say the name of the shop, but I had a photo of the storefront that I saw, and a few directions written down, and I found the place!

This restaurant is in the Dongdaemun area, and the easiest way for me to find it was to find Doota first, which  should be fairly easy, since it's among the busiest and hottest spots in Dongdaemun.

John and I walked past Doota, and toward Cheonggyecheon (the river). Made a left turn as soon as Cheonggyecheon is in sight, and took a right turn (cross) at the first bridge. After crossing the bridge, we turned left on the first little street and walked past a couple One Chicken places, and then we saw THE signage (with the lady who started the shop on it) ! I knew we were at the right place. 

We were sent to the second floor of the restaurant when we walked in. I didn't even think I made an order, but I simply said "for two." 

Very soon our "One Chicken" came! It was a small chicken, with a potato stuck on its back. 

A server lady came by to help us with the chicken. The chicken was only half-way cooked, so it would be a little while before we could eat it, but at the mean time the server lady instructed us to cook the "rice logs" (like toppokki) and started eating those first.

And you might have been thinking, since neither John or myself speak Korean, how did we manage to understand the server lady? Simple enough. The lady came by our table, and started talking, and as soon as she realized we didn't speak Korean, she started using both Japanese and Mandarin to speak. Since I responded to both Japanese and Mandarin, she asked if Mandarin was ok, and I said yes. And from then on she was using Mandarin the rest of our "One Chicken" eating journey. 

There were some Japanese girls who sat next to us, and the same language method was used and everyone was happy! (One of the Japanese girls did speak fluent Korean though.)

After a little while the server lady came back and started cutting up the chicken for us. 

She then helped me to put together a dipping sauce mixture. She explained how the chili, vinegar, and soy sauce would go together, and if I liked what she made then I could make more just like it.


John making his dipping sauce.

The rice logs were super soft, chewy, and tasty, and the chicken, even though tiny, was absolutely delicious. We added all the chopped garlic on a side dish into the broth, per the server lady's suggestion, and it was oh so yummy. The kimchi was in a giant tub and it was self-served, so I got a big bowl, and added some of the kimchi into the soup after we had tasted its "original" flavors. The chicken itself was tender and flavorful. It was yuuuummmmy!

And of course I forgot to take more pictures because I was busy eating the yummy chicken.

So I say next time you're in Korea, either visit this wonderful "One Chicken" shop, or find a great "One Chicken" shop and try it out yourself. mmmmm.

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