Saying Mandoo Korean Dumplings is kind of the same as saying ATM Machine, considering 'mandoo' is actually the Korean word for dumpling. While most dumpling bars around Adelaide sell the crescent shaped Chinese style dumplings, Mandoo's handcrafted parcels are something different.
The small store is on Bank Street, an unassuming street tucked between the city bustle on North Terrace and Hindley Street. It can only seat a handful of groups, so expect a packed restaurant if you try to visit during peak times.
Obviously dumplings are the main feature of the menu. You can choose between steamed and fried dumplings in pork, chicken, or vegetable. There are also kimchi dumplings, that you're far less likely to come across at other dumpling bars. Kimchi is a popular Korean dish made with fermented vegetables and a range of spices, these dumplings have a nice kick, especially when combined with the chili-oil dipping sauce.
The dumplings can also be enjoyed in a dumpling soup, or you can choose from other menu items like the subtle and warming ramen, bimbap, or the Korean hot pot (a dish that is best shared). If you're new to hot pot Mandoo offer instructions on their menu, which give you a guide of which to ingredients to submerge first. This is a good place to go as a group, so you can try a bit of everything.
The nicest touch at Mandoo is the fact that it is a family owned business, and it's possible that these dumplings taste even better because of the love and care that so obviously goes into them. You'll always see the owner up the front, making dumpling after dumpling. You can safely say that there isn't a frozen dumpling in sight, everything this is handmade fresh.
If you can't stop by to eat in, or you can't get a table, Mandoo offer takeaway as well. Their dumpling packs come with salad, mashed potato, pickle, and dipping sauce, and everything mostly travels well. The only issue is that the salad can get a bit soggy thanks to the steam from the hot dumplings.
Just had the Mandoo guk (dumpling soup) for $12 you couldn't go wrong, 6 very large house made dumplings (they make them in front of you), lovely broth with bean sprouts and clear noodles, also a side of pickles... which I LOVED and a lovely chilli condiment served on the side to add to your liking.. I have had many dumplings and these by far take the cake!