So forget what I said about no Manhattan posts for a while. This weekend was sell day for most banks, so there were many a soon-to-be banker enjoying the all-expense-paid hedonism, the fruits of a grueling interview process. I hopped on this bandwagon and was convinced by N, that I, too, deserved a weekend in the city. And what better way to start off the adventure than a dumpling gorging session? A and I headed down and met N and S at Mandoo Bar in Koreatown. Except that, there were a series of buildings with the same address, and we found ourselves standing inside a closed office complex wondering what the heck was going on. Turns out we only had to walk 10 more feet to find the place. What smart cookies we are.
Dumplings in the window
It seems like the entire dumpling operation is run by this woman. I admire her skill in not only making the dumplings from scratch, but boiling/frying them to order. Amazingly enough, our dumplings only took a few minutes to come out. She's the poster child of efficiency.
Pretty narrow space, minimal decor and simple wood tables. The place was packed and we were hungry, but we survived the 15 minute wait.
We started off with some pickled and kimcheed radish.
Goon Mandoo - Lightly pan fried dumplings filled with pork and vegetables 7.99
These were some of my favorite dumplings that night. The crispy, slightly chewy, browned dough enveloped juicy pork and green onion innards . All was well until I realized that I had given up pork for Lent, but these were so good I continued eating them anyway.
Vegetable mool mandoo - boiiled vegetable dumplings filled with mixed vegetables 7.99
These dumplings were also quite good, though they required more of a workout for the mouth. The chewy wrapper housed some minced pieces of cucumber, carrots, sprouts, vermicelli, cabbage, and onion pieces, which were healthful but a bit too bland. They could not compete with the peppery delicious vegetarian dumplings at Din Tai Fung.
Kimchee mandoo - steamed dumplings filled with Korean kimchee, tofu, pork and other vegetables 7.99
Another favorite of the night were the kimchee mandoo. A softer wrapper contained a delicious mixture of kimchee, pork, and vegetables. Spicy and amazingly addictive, I continued to consume these until my tongue started to sting.
How sightly! The picture really doesn't do it justice.
Seafood mandoo - boiled dumplings filled with shrimps and vegetables 8.99
The seafood mandoo turned out to be a disappointment. It contained mostly minced surimi and small pieces of shrimp, but tasted entirely of the surimi. This made the dumplings a bit too sweet, with little flavor variation.
Pajeon - Korean style scallion pancake, lightly pan-fried with squid, mussels and shrimp 11.99
The pajeon was also a disappointment. The texture was a bit off, as the center was extremely chewy, sort of like a Chinese rice cake. The edges, on the other hand, were crackerlike and thin. Flavorwise, it lacked depth since we couldn't really taste any hint of seafood. Next time, I'd skip the pajeon and head straight to the dumplings.
2 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001
Labels: New York