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May 15, 2017

Just One Thing… at Mandoo

And no, it's not dumplings.

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  • Story: Sharmonie Cockayne

We’ve spoken about Mandoo before.


Find Mandoo Korean Dumplings at 26 Bank Street, Adelaide.

Monday to Friday 11.30am to 9pm
Saturday 12pm to 9pm
Sunday closed.

Readers of Collect might remember that, way back in 2011, we had a chat to Mandoo Korean Dumplings owner and chef Kidong Ra about how he came to be in Bank Street.

Before Kidong moved to Australia and started Mandoo, he learned to make mandoo (a style of dumpling specific to Korea) from a famous chef in Seoul under the proviso that he never open a store in Korea.

When he and his family moved to Adelaide and established Mandoo, there was only one other authentic mandoo shop outside of Korea in the world – and that was in New York.

Fast forward to now, and we’re still frequenting the tiny restaurant more times in a week than we can afford. The CityMag office alone probably eats there enough to keep Mandoo afloat.

Though the dumplings are incredible, they’re not the reason we come back every lunchtime.

Louie briefly leaves Mandoo – Coke Zero in-hand – after ordering lunch.

It’s the bibimbap – a bowl of warm white rice topped with separated sautéed vegetables, seaweed, shredded egg, marinated meat or inari, and chilli paste on the side. Mix it all together at your own leisure and it transforms into a comforting, healthy (ish), warm salad-type concoction.

The dish is accompanied by pickled cucumber and onion, which Mandoo make in-house.

Traditionally, in the office of CityMag, we walk our bibimbaps back to the office and eat behind our screens, which is just as well, as the restaurant is known for their limited seating and lengthy lunch-time queues.

But, if you have time to spare, it’s worth waiting in line, The dine-in experience seems to include a slightly larger serving size (we can’t confirm. It might actually be an illusion, because the size and weight of the bowl the dish is served in is bigger than big) and a complimentary side of soup.

There’s some argument over whether the beef or the vegetarian bibimbap is the ultimate winner, but rather than fight it out in our office (because this could be the one thing that divides us), we’ll let you decide. After all, they’re both really, really excellent.

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