I have been running errands with J these past few weeks and it's just hectic. We're around Koreantown often so we decided to revisit a spot where we once loved. It's been a good 2-3 years since we been here and before that, we use to come every week. No joke, the waiter knew us back then because of how often we ate there.
After a couple of years, the place completely changed...for the worse. Upon arrival, I noticed that the staff that wraps the dumpling has gone from 4 to 2 ladies. The inside smelled of nail polish, the floors were sticky. And the patrons were all non-Asians, not a single Korean customer in sight. That's quite sad considering this is a Korean dumpling house. The waiter was also very clumsy and seems to not be able to handle a couple of tables by himself while his colleage goes out for a smoke break.
They also have a larger menu now, and I mean literally larger menu. There's ramyun and an extended bibimbop selection on the menu.
Their usual banchan. Yes, it only consist of radishes. Although the kimchi-ed radishes looks poorly presented, like they only gave us scraps.
The Goon Mandoo ($9.24), what a weird price...was the only thing that tasted good, sadly to say. Crunchy exterior with a good meat filling, nothing to complain about here.
J and I love their Fried Tofu ($5.50) because of the delicious sauce. But the tofu definitely looks a lot messier this time around. The pieces weren't even and it wasn't pan-fried long enough to give it that crisp edge.
We always get the Combo Mandoo ($12) just because it's consist of a better deal with 3 different kinds of dumplings. I liked the vegetable, J liked the meat, and we both have mutual disagreements for the seafood. This time, the seafood was poor, it was just half filled. The vegetable lacked the potato noodles they used to put in and the vegetables tasted like it had been freezed for months. The only constant thing was the meat dumplings.
Last but not least, it was definitely one of those colder nights so we took a shot and ordered their Ra-Myun ($10) that had tofu and egg. It was just a mediocre dish with no meat. I rather have a bowl of Japanese ramen than this.
So we were extremely displeased with the meal. Most likely we won't return and I really don't suggest coming here because I'm sure you can find better mandoos elsewhere. At this rate, Mandoo Bar is barely surviving then again, as long as non-Korean customers continue to come, they'll last.
2 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001