We Have Our Very Own Tasty Dumplings at Mandoo Bar

3 weeks ago our Downtown Lunch correspondent Daniel Krieger wrote his inaugural post about Tasty Dumpling in Chinatown.  The purpose of the column is to make Midtowners feel the same jealousy that Downtowners feel every time they log on to this site.  And it worked.  (I want dumplings!!!)  The post sparked in me a craving for dumplings, and while we don’t have any stand-alone Chinatown style dumpling “houses” in Midtown, we do have a very righteous Korean alternative,  Mandoo Bar on 32nd btw. B’way+5th. 

If you have ever walked down the main block of Koreatown (perhaps to visit Midtown Lunch favorite Woorijip), then you’ve surely noticed the women in the window making fresh, perfectly formed, multicolored dumplings every day.  If it’s a thursday or friday, there was probably a line out the door.  ”Oooh… that sounds good.  Are they 5 for $1.25?”  No.  They’re not, you snarky downtown lunch’er lucky enough to live walking distance from Chinatown.  They’re not 5 for $1.25.  The prices recently went up, making them more like 1 for $1.25.  But they’re good!  So stop raining on our dumpling parade.

Korean dumpling porn (with innards) after the jump…

A small sit down casual restaurant, you can sit and eat or take the food to go.  They have other non-dumpling items on the menu, but you don’t see them making Bi Bim Bap in the front window, so why would you order anything but the mandoo?  Pan fried, or steamed, they have a number of different kinds of dumplings, from pork to seafood, mixed vegetable to kimchee. 

Trays of dumplings waiting to be steamed or fried. White is pork, green is vegetable, orange is seafood

Goon Mandoo (Pan Fried Dumplings w/ Pork & Vegetables) 4 for $5.50

Steamed Seafood Dumpling Innards

Steamed Vegetable Dumpling Innards

Steamed Pork & Chive Dumpling Innards

10 for $9.24 is admittedly very expensive, and just makes it under the $10 cap for a proper Midtown Lunch, but what are you going to do?  We work in Midtown. They’re really tasty, and clearly made with care…

Alright, I admit it.  I’d rather be working in Chinatown!

Mandoo Bar, 2 W 32nd St (btw. B’way+5th Ave), 212 279-3075


  • They make a pretty good fried seafood pancake as well.

  • Is that artificial crab meat I spy in the seafood dumpling filling?

  • @JustNancy – We though it might be… the seafood dumpling was actually our least favorite, but the amazing pork one, and surprisingly great vegetable one more than made up for it.

  • I like mandoo too, but I draw the line when you can take a 10-spot, make a $4 round-trip to Chinatown on the subway and come back with 10 HUGE dumplings and change. Yeah, Midtown is expensive but a hole in the wall on 32nd Street isn’t – I think mandoo is fleecing us. And the free radish slices and kimchee don’t make up for it!

  • i’m korean and i’m gonna have to give a thumbs down to mandoo bar – their mandoo is just inauthentic and not very good imo. Their goon mandoo is better than their steamed ones, but even those don’t make the cut.

  • If you work on the orange line, it’s 15-17 min each way down to Grand St… just sayin’…

  • Will is correct on the menu choices too – the fry-i-ness is the only thing worth getting. They’re good if you need a fix, but you usually still need the fix even after you eat them. If I’m standing on the street there I usually opt for the Pho place next door.

  • i’m korean as well and i quite like mandoo bar – at least the veg and pork. it’s pricier than chinatown, for sure, but i have to wonder what i’m getting in those 5 dumplings for $1(.25).

  • Will, I’m Korean, too, and felt the same way about Mandoo Bar. But their steamed kimchee dumplings are really good, even for the price.

  • @e,
    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but I’m pretty sure the cheap price of Chinatown dumplings has to do with the massive quantity they make and the crazy high turnover rate and accessibility of raw materials down there.

  • After a few tries, I still do not like their mandoo. It is overpriced, and the skin is too thick and tough. The vegetarian one was pretty good. I would not suggest the seafood mandoo.

  • 1.23 for one small mandoo. Thats ridiculous. These dumplings better be filled with not only the freshest ingredients, but there better be specks of gold

  • correction…$1.25

  • Those look like some tasty, substanial dumplings.

    But $1.25 each?!?! Tell you what Zach, I’ll treat when you come downtown to Tasty Dumpling and you can cover me if I ever make it up there for lunch :)

  • My co-worker really loves dumplings, we work around the block from Mandoon, we stopped in to get lunch. We quite liked that these had more filling to skin ratio than the usual chinese takeout dumplings. If you don’t know what a madoon should normally taste, like I think you wont be disappointed.

  • It defies all logic that you people would actually eat a soggy “dumpling” filled with unknown animal matter.

    This is the quintessential difference between New Yorkers and the rest of the normal world.

  • those ladies at Mandoo are chinese.

  • @Dustin – Shut up! Is that true?

  • People that eat soggy dumplings are not allowed at Mrs DocChuck’s profitable hair removal establishment.

  • DocChuck only lets known animals fill his mouth

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.