BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
2 West 32nd Street
Mandoo, or Mandu is the word for Korean dumplings. Mandoo bar in K Town serves up freshly made dumplings in a variety of fried and boiled flavors. Different than your average Chinese dumpling or Japanese Gyoza, Mandoo has a distinctly Korean flavor much lighter than that of its Asian counterparts.
Mandoo is a staple in my Manhattan restaurant repertoire. Whenever I’m in the mood for some delicious Korean food, but don’t want to shell out the bucks for Korean BBQ, I stop by Mandoo.
Although the shabby digs could use an update and the staff could stand to be a little friendlier, I sure have a hard time passing up a dumpling filled with kimchi, pork, and scallions (Kimchee Mandoo, 10 pcs. for $10). While not every dumpling offered tops my favorites list, like the seafood mandoo, boiled and filled with shrimp and imitation crab meat coming in a little on the bland side, Mandoo Bar is a great place to take a few people and share dumplings with, especially if they have never tried Korean food before.
On my most recent trip, I tried the mandoo soup ($11), a large bowl of clear beef broth with pork dumplings and bits of shredded beef and scallion. Although not the most appetizing looking thing that has ever been placed in front of me with its pale broth and equally as pale dumplings, the mandoo soup was quite good after spiced up a bit with sriracha. The flavors were light, but it was a completely comforting dish that my friend claimed cured the cold she had been fighting!
Mandoo Bar is a K Town staple that I will forever come back to for a dose of Korean comfort food at affordable prices.