With Bunch Mandoo Now Open in Food Gallery 32, a Dumpling War in K-Town is Imminent
Ever since Food Gallery 32 opened in K-town almost 2 years ago, I’ve been a regular haunt whenever I’m in the area. Even if I’m not eating there, I’ll make a point to peruse the grounds, for the dynamics of the space are always in flux. To be cliché, it seems that the only constant at Food Gallery 32 is change – we’ve seen the unfortunate closure of Bian Dang and Crepe Monster, only to find that new food concepts spring eternal . The newest openings at Food Gallery include Bunch, a stall specializing in jjin (steamed) mandoo, located immediately at the front entrance. Open now is also Spot Dessert Bar on the 3rd floor, which carries most of line-up of its East Village location – pastries, bubble teas, coffees, and the like.
If my first experience at Bunch is indicative of future performance, I think it may become may favorite spot in K-town for a small snack or cheap lunch. Each of their steamed mandoo are only $2.50, and currently include flavors such as beef, pork, kimchi, curry, and sweet red bean. Additionally, they’ve promised that they’ll be adding chicken, shrimp, and bacon kimchi flavors in the near future.
During my visit, I sampled both a kimchi and pork dumpling ($5 total), which provided enough heft for a light lunch – a third dumpling would have been a feast. Tucked inside the pillowly soft steamed dough is a hefty payload of filling including tender tendrils of sweet potato noodle, minced meat, chopped kimchi, and other finely chopped veg. Both the kimchi and pork flavors were fairly similar in profile – meaty, zinged with plenty of heat, and utterly hearty – with the kimchi dumpling slightly spicier and juicier. And both were certainly worth ordering again.
This opening re-affirms our love for Food Gallery 32, and we could simply end the story at this point. But we do love inciting a little controversy and competition, and we can’t close the book on this note without noting that the jjin mandoo at Bunch will see fierce competition when Daheen Wang Mandoo opens across the street. Both restaurants offer nearly fungible flavor bombs at fantastic bargains, so we’re excited for the impending head-to-head dumpling battle post. But in the mean time, we’d recommend that you return to Food Gallery 32 and eat a Bunch.
Bunch Mandoo at Food Gallery 32, 11 W 32nd St (btw. B’way+5th)