Monday, May 21, 2012

Mandoo Korean Dumplings, Adelaide (South Australia) by Big Fil

It’s been really hard to write this post about MKD. Two of the biggest difficulties I have are when you visit a place which is unpopular and you have a really good experience, or when you go somewhere really popular and you have a poor experience. Did you catch them on a particularly good day or pick the one good dish on the menu? Alternatively did you catch them on that one day when things went wrong or pick the only thing on the menu not to your taste? After two visits to MKD I suspect I had one of the latter experiences here, a day where I just happened to choose dishes that I was never going to like.

I do the way that MKD is set up. It’s simple, it’s basic, but it’s clean, bright and airy. Popular too, but not so popular that you feel like just another customer, with a nod and a welcome from the guy making the dumplings and a bright and cheerful hello from the service staff.

What made my second visit particularly problematic though was that after a great first experience I'd dragged Hungry Pete along to try some excellent filling dumplings, perfect for those cold winter month lunches ahead. On the previous day I’d ordered the steamed pork mandoo. Served with some salad leaves, a side serving of pickled vegetables and a dash of mashed potato, these were as good as any dumplings I've had in Adelaide. Good skins and perfectly steamed, full of minced pork goodness but with just a touch of vegetables. Knowing they were so good I should probably have gone for them again but no, I had to try something different.

To see what more of the menu was like I thought I’d go for the fried chicken dumplings and the steamed kim chi. Result, a bit of a disaster. Neither of us liked these very much. The chicken dumplings had been deep fried, not an issue in itself but I didn’t like the texture it gave them. I found these not so much crisp as a little hard, with a chewy and uninteresting texture.

I liked the texture on the steamed kim chi dumplings but not the filling. Kim chi wasn’t something I’d had in a dumpling before and in general I’m not a fan of vegetarian dumplings. I always figure though that if you enjoy everything you try you aren’t being adventurous enough in your ordering. I think the lesson here might be that I don’t like kim chi.

The sign I think said that Mandoo are similar to Chinese dumplings or Japanese gyoza but they reminded me more of Nepalese Momo. The dumplings are obviously made with care, are generous with the filling and nicely cooked. The people are nice, the place is good for a dumpling bar and the prices reasonable. The only thing which would stop me giving it a big two thumbs up was that I enjoyed the dumplings so much more the first time.

Food – 6
Service – 8
Ambience – 7
Price – 7

Shop 3, 23 Bank Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel: (08) 8231 3303

Mandoo Korean Dumplings on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

i like the presentation of the dumplings - looks pretty.

Celeste @ Berrytravels said...

I think it's always so good to read a range of reviews for a restaurant - seeing only good reviews from a restaurant tends to make me wary! Everybody likes different things after all.

I personally adore Mandoo. I esp love the fried dumplings. Being a huge dumpling eater, I actually think Mandoo has some of the tastiest dumplings I've tried in Adelaide. The fried dumplings have quite a different texture to the fried dumplings I'm used to (which are normally done the chinese method of half frying-half steaming) which makes them interesting to me. I agree that the Kimchi dumpling could do with more flavour, but have chalk that up to the fact that maybe they have westernified their food a little and dumb down the spice level on the kimchi.

Your review was a good read. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Celeste

If you want a tip for some good dumplings in Adelaide, there is a little place Suzuki Sushi I think it is called near the central market. You'd never know from the name but they mainly do NE Chinese food. Not much variety but great homestyle noodles and dumplings. They also do kebabs later in the day.

Filsourtb heybee

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