It took me a while to get into Korean food because I only perceived it (inaccurately) to be laden with meaty delights. I’m much more of a veggie-lover, so the idea of Korean BBQ just didn’t appeal to me. Luckily, in the last decade or so I befriended a few Korean friends, and especially Jeff steered me towards the wonders of Kim Restaurant, Danjee, BCD Tofu House, and most recently The Mandoo.
The kimchi and pork dumplings at the Strathfield restaurant are plump and round, crammed full of flavour. But the tofu and vegetable dumplings, though ginormous, are sadly venturing into bland territory (and I chose them – soz, dud pick of the day). Fortunately, we’ve also gone out on a limb with the deep fried pork dumplings and salad, which more than make up for the unexciting veg dumplings. There’s a drizzle of spicy sauce on crunchy shredded cabbage, crowned with tasty fried dumplings, spring onion, and mayo. Yes, please.
It’s my first time trying naengmyeon (cold noodles) and it won’t be my last. The noodles perfectly perch in an ice-cold broth, topped with a spicy sauce, radish, cucumber and half a boiled egg. Scissors are provided to cut the thin, long noodles into more convenient, shorter bits. Go to town stirring this all together and get stuck into the spicy broth. It makes for awesome eating, especially if you add a few drops of mustard, adding another dimension of heat.
It’s so worth stepping outside of that Korean fried chicken or Korean BBQ bubble to explore what I find so much tastier. The Mandoo is the perfect place to start.
12A The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW
Daily 11am to 9pm