Adventures in East Asia

Delicious Warm Sulfur-Fed Sliced Duck at the Tobang Duck Restaurant

The Tobang Duck Restaurant was a deliciously-sounding place, listed in our Seoul guide book (Lonely Planet City Guide), that served sliced, smoked duck kept warm over a caudron of steaming water. It was located in Namdaemun Market and if not for the sign, it was certainly for its visible popularity that we found it.


The restaurant was packed with most of the space filled with rowdy diners at traditional low tables with floor seating. We had to wait for a quarter of an hour and then it was actually on the second floor that some space was available for Linh and I.

With ordering, there were other (cheaper) options on the menu, but we had come for the duck, described as "sulphur-fed" and visible on most other diner's tables. With just some chives and sesame leaves to accompany the meat, we also ordered some dumplings (albeit containing more sulphur-fed duck..).


When our order arrived, our busy waitress set our large portion of duck slices and greens on top of a metal grill that was balanced on the caudron of water. This was heated on a hot plate so that the warm duck meat was slowly heated by the rising steam.

We also placed some garlic cloves amongst the meat so that the heat would allow it to slowly flavour the duck. With empty stomachs, we dug into the meat early and often, sampling the sulfur-fed duck slices both warm and hot.

Delicious to say the least and with a subtle-enough flavour to eat on its own - for awhile at least. The taste of the duck was a little similar to Chinese roast duck slices, and certainly looked very similar, but the flavour was a little more subtle. Each slice was particularly soft however, possibly partly due to the steaming process. We also had two dipping sauces, a mustard sauce and a slightly sour sauce - one that is apparently a local creation.


As with all other Korean meals so far, we had kimchi served too but together with the dumplings, we should have ordered some noodles, which might have balanced the dinner for us since we weren't used to eating mainly meat for a meal.

But who were we to complain with our full, satisfied stomachs. Diners around us didn't take noodles with their meat and were happily drinking away and eating amongst themselves, in quite a rowdy Korean fashion. Watch this video below to get a sense of the atmosphere. And yes, that is a bottle of coke I'm trying to hide.

Our meal wasn't cheap but wasn't extortionate either costing 53,000 KRW (£25) in total including the dumplings (and coke).

To get to Tobang Duck, you'll need to get the metro Line 4 to Myeong-dong and leave at Exit 7. The restaurant is just off the junction of Namdaemumo and Sogongno.


There are a few more photos of the Tobang Duck Restaurant in the Namdaemun Market Flickr set.

This entry posted in : Food. South Korea.

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