Friday, October 9, 2009

Mandoo Bar 10-09-2009

Location: 2 West 32nd St.
Time: 6:30pm
People: RB and myself

Feelings: A man with perhaps the biggest smile in the city welcomed us to the Korean dumpling bar, Mandoo in K-Town. As soon as we were seated, tasty banchan was served. Unfortunately, the man's smile and banchan were the only things that we enjoyed at this place.

We started our meal with boiled vegetarian mandoo ($9.24 for 10pcs). These unauthentic, overpriced small dumplings lacked flavor, and the skin was overly thick and doughy. I have had much better dumplings for $4. However, they were incredibly cute to look at, and I would highly recommend them to your out-of-town friends who are unfamiliar with Asian cuisine. They are cute, approachable and taste like most dumplings from mediocre Chinese takeout joints.

When the mandoo dishes at a place called the Mandoo Bar is a disappointment, you can't expect much from their noodle dishes. I was utterly shocked when I saw my mandoo ramen ($9 with egg and pork mandoo in spicy broth). The noodles were not freshly made and tasted like they were from a package. They actually tasted like the dry kind you used to eat in college. It was disturbing that a restaurant would serve cup-a-noodle type dried ramen noodle. I would understand if this was middle of nowhere, but this is Manhattan. This is Korea Town!

RB's joll noodle ($10) was spicy, and he enjoyed the chewy texture of the noodle. The sauce was boring and tasted like your typical Korean sweet chili sauce. But at least he didn't get the cup-a-noodle...

This place would be perfect for people who have only eaten Asian food at Ruby Foo's or are not quite familiar with the delicate flavor and texture of dumplings. They would probably do very well in suburban malls if they cut down the prices. For me, I have never been so upset to see dried crinkly ramen noodles in front of me.


Emily said...

Actually it's very common in Korean cooking to use packaged ramen, so don't be too shocked... in fact, *because* it's K-Town, it makes sense that they used packaged ramen!

Yosh. O said...

Ahhh Thank you so much for this, Emily! This is really helpful.