NJ Dining: Mandoo Bar II


Mandoo Bar
476 Bergen Blvd, Palisades Park NJ
(201)944-8778

Click for Hi-Res Flickr Slideshow!

A few months ago, when I heard that a New Jersey outpost of the 32nd Street/Koreatown restaurant Mandoo Bar (click for previous post) was going to be opening in Palisades Park, I was overjoyed. While there are numerous Korean restaurants here in Bergen County, few are as friendly to non-Koreans as Mandoo Bar is, and there’s something about its dumpling-focused menu that I find incredibly appealing.

Mandoo Bar storefront on Bergen Blvd.

Signage on Bergen Blvd.

Koreatown color-coded dumplings come to Bergen County. Now all we need is a Pinkberry and we’re all set! Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

The NJ Mandoo Bar is spacious and has a warm, all-wood interior. However, it lacks the Mandoos-in-the-window cooking as performance art factor of the original NYC location. You’ll forget all about that when you eat the dumplings, though.

The carte de Mandoo. The menu is more or less identical to the New York location, with a few minor changes — the “Vegetable” mandoo has been omitted. I suspect because its more labor intensive to chop up all those veggies and because Mandoo Bar NJ is serving a more hardcore Korean crowd where vegetarianism is less common.

Kkak Doo Gie, The obligatory spicy kimchi made from Moo, a large white-fleshed Korean radish.

Radish kimchi closeup.

Da Kwong, a type of preserved radish.

Salt globe on the table, which I thought was a nice touch.

“Baby” Mandoos filled with pork and vegetables.

Combo Mandoo plate, with seafood, kimchi and pork/vegetable.

Goon (Fried) Mandoo

Gamjajun Korean-Style potato pancake, which is made with potato starch. It has sort of a sticky/gooey although pleasant consistency.

Seafood Mandoo closeup. Unlike the New York location the seafood mandoo is in green wrapping as opposed to orange.

The orange wrapper contains the kimchi/meat filling.

The Palisades Park location is much more comfortable and larger than the NYC location.

A Pajun, scallion/seafood/hot pepper pancake, destined for another table.

Udon noodles (left) and Joll Myun noodles (right)

10 Responses to NJ Dining: Mandoo Bar II

  1. John Walker says:

    Jason,

    First, this place looks very interesting. Might have to try.

    More importantly, I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed “Off the Broiler” since I found it several months ago. Especially considering I’m a New Jersey guy living in Hoboken, and a foodie. You’ve exposed me to a number of fantastic NJ/NY restaurants that I never knew about. I’ve tried a number of them. Thanks for a compelling blog.

  2. Thanks John, glad you are enjoying it!

  3. wonders says:

    Mm..I think I’m going to head down to 32nd street to pick up some Mandoo dumplings for lunch later!

  4. SeaKing says:

    you need to work on correctly naming and identifying these korean foods

  5. snoh says:

    Excellent! I was actually going to scout out this place since it is only 6 blocks from my place! Oh if you can give a plug for my pitiful blog page… snoh.wordpress.com, I would appreciate it. We will hook up soon. This weekend, I am working…

  6. Jon says:

    SeaKing, as far as I can tell he took the names right off the menu. If there’s an issue, it would have to be with what the business itself is calling the food.

    The one exception to that is probably the yellow turnip. I know thats got to have some other name.

  7. snoh says:

    Jon:

    Moo radish kimchi = kkak doo gie. Moo is radish so it is redundant to call it Moo Radish.

    I don’t know about the vegetable mandoo being difficult to make because you have to chop up all those veggies. It is same as JJin Mandoo without the pork. With the latest Korean craze for the so-alled “wellbeing” foods (wholesome, natural ingredients, blah, blah, blah) I think more Koreans would be willing to go for vegetable dumplings. I prefer it over veggie & pork because they are less greasy.

    As for the yellow turnips, they are not turnips rather radish. Japanese call them daikon. Koreans call them da kwong or dan moo ji, or dan moo for short. If you go to Chinese Cuisine Korean Style restaurants a la Mandarin, this is the standard “banchan” along with pieces of raw onion. You pour vinegar over them and dip them with dab of black bean sauce.

    I made 2 batches of mandoo few weeks back on a lark. It is very time consuming at least the filling of the meat into dumpling wrappers that is. And I learned the hard way that you should have plenty of time to steam a batch because with the pots I had, I could only do a batch of 6-8 and each took about same amount of time.

  8. Thanks snoh I made the corrections. I’m glad we have someone to explain some of this stuff..

    As to the lack of the veggie kind they serve at the NYC branch… the owner did say that the chopping takes a lot of extra work and they will introduce them in the future. If you look at the cross section photo from the previous post on Mandoo bar, its got a couple of other vegetables in it than what the standard jjin mandoo has.

  9. Jon says:

    It did seem to me to be a little strange that Jason was calling the yellow thing a turnip.

    What surprises me is that its a daikon. I’ve always thought daikon was a white radish. It only occurs to me now that it IS a white radish and the yellow color is probably due to the pickling, right? For some reason I thought the yellow radish was some other kind, although I’ll bet at some point someone told me otherwise and I simply forgot.

    Jason and I aren’t speaking from a position of total ignorance, but the two biggest problems are a combination of our occasional faulty memories and that our information is often pieced together from different encounters with different people, with various language skills. So if the occasional radish gets mislabeled, its the exception, not the rule, but as you can see Jason is more than happy to fess up to the problem and correct the mistake.

  10. Victor Sasson says:

    I am really looking forward to visiting this mandoo restaurant. As for some of the comments, all I can say is that some of your readers should lighten up. Thanks, Jason.

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