Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dumpling = Delicious, Mandoo = Mashisoyo

I lived in South Korea for a year during the late 90s.  I gained about 15 pounds, in part because I found it depressing to live in a concrete city and my work was draining.  The other part due to an unexpected love affair with Korean cuisine. 

I don't understand why Americans love their Chinese food and sushi, but are almost entirely unfamiliar with Korean fare.  Before I moved to New York, I was occasionally able to find Korean restaurants, but they were almost always far away or were some watered-down version of the cuisine.  I am now in easy reach of an entire district of Korean food.  It's heavenly, especially on cold winter days.  Kimchi chigae, dolsot bibimbop and japchae are now in proximity whenever I have a craving.

When my two young cousins came through town this weekend and asked for an interesting place to eat, the choice was easy.  We met in K-Town (Koreatown) at Mandoo Bar, a sweet little place that specializes in dumplings of all sorts.  Their staff makes dumplings right at the entrance:

As you walk into the restaurant, you can see the various steps on the dumpling-making process.

Aren't they cute?

Later, the vat of oil (yummier than the steamed variation, a misfortune for the health conscious):

My cousins shared a plate of vegetarian dumplings.  I had some too, but first had steaming bowl of soon dubu chigae, or spicy tofu soup.

Yum.  If you eat this soup when you have a cold, it immediately goes away.  Now the dumplings:

The dumplings were unlike any I had seen (green for vegetarian?!) but they were delicious.

Aju mashisoyo!



  1. OMG, soon dubu is my absolute favorite. So jealous of your proximity to good Korean.

  2. you are welcome to visit any time, with the twins in tow!