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Posted by Daniel on 04/19/2007
OK. So I have had MUCH better Korean food...in NYC. DC, however, is not NYC or Northern NJ. Nor is it Seoul. And I am not about to travel out to the suburbs to get some grub--even if there is tastier and more authentic food out there (as there is better Chinese, Peruvian, or El Salvadorean, for that matter). That is why I like Mandu. The service and atmosphere are superb. The food is very good (not excellent), portions are fine (we eat too much anyways--drink water with your meal it fills you up and is much better for you), prices are on the steep side but still affordable. If you want the real deal then go to Annandale or wherever. However, if you want a very tasty Korean meal and you live in DC then go to Mandu (and avoid the dumplings).
Posted by koreanfoodlover on 04/17/2007
It's worth the metro trip into Dupont Circle for real home-made Korean food at Mandu, just 4 blocks north betwen "S" and "Swann" on 18th St. Very tasteful light wood interior; quick service; fresh food with no additives. The "locals" love it and those of us from further out who hanker after good Korean food don't mind the trip into town. Much better atmostphere than the locales in No.Va. Refreshing to see such a tastefully remodeled restaurant, almost "Scandinavian" wood effects.
Posted by Hanshik Lover on 03/21/2007
When my wife and I found mandu, we were extremely excited becuase there aren't many Korean restaurants in the city. The restaurant itself is very hip and interesting. Unfortunately, the food left a lot to be desired. First we tried vegetable mandu. They came out of the kitchen less than 1 minute after we ordered, and the edges were crusty. The filling was not well mixed and had a distinct Chinese eggroll flavor. For the main course, I had kimchi jigae. The jigae was absolutely disgusting. It had a vegetable soup base, which made it way too sweet and gave it a canned soup smell. My wife had dolsot bibimbap. Overall, her dinner was not too bad, though the kochujang (sauce) had been largely toned down to fit American tastes. Overally, we felt that Mandu left a lot to be desired. My recommendation is to skip Mandu and head for any one of the fine restaurants in Annandale.
Posted by diogenes on 02/27/2007
I have been to Mandu four or five times since it opened last fall, and have left with a smile on my face every time. The staff makes you feel at home, the atmosphere is hip without being pretentious, and the food is satisfying, tasty, and fresh.(An aside: One of the previous reviewers, claiming to know how Korean food is "supposed" to taste, have argued that Mandu isn't "authentic." How ridiculous--especially when Mrs. Lee cooks every dish herself! I love my mom's macaroni and cheese, but I don't run around expecting everyone else to cook it the same way in order for it to be "authentic.")
Posted by foodie on 01/20/2007
We had great drinks, good service, and good food. Not the absolute most authentic Korean food out there, but in DC there is a dirth. The dumplings were the worst thing that we ate, but the bimbop was great. I've recomended it to others who have been similarly pleased
Posted by Anonymous on 12/18/2006
I am Korean, so I know my Korean food; I usually go to Annandale, VA to get Korean, but because Mandu opened in DC (I'm a DC resident), I had to try it. My standards aren't snobby-high, but certain minimums have to be met -- Mandu in Dupont Circle hardly meets any of them. First, the food portions are absurd, given the price, i.e., same prices as Annandale, but the portions are "happy meal" sizes. Second, the food is just not good -- let me put it this way: If my parents came to visit me in DC, I wouldn't take them to Mandu for Korean food because it's just embarrassing. The name of the restaurant is called "Mandu" or "dumpling" -- so you'd figure that the dumplings at this place would be, at the VERY least, handmade -- OMG, they tasted like they were from those frozen bags you find at the non-Asian grocery stores ... ugh! Thhe kimchee stew could have fit into a dixie cup. Service was not good because they didn't know the foods on the menu (I'm more forgiving on this because it's new and it takes a while to become accustomed to the ethnic menu if you're not Korean). Decor was okay, but the cramped quarters wished you were dining elsewhere. If I can't eat here, as a Korean, I don't think it fit for non-Koreans to eat here either, i.e., I wouldn't recommend it, it is not authentic; to think otherwise would be fooling yourself. Save yourself the disappointment and make the long trek out to Annandale.
Posted by Great great great on 12/03/2006
This is a great little addition to town. The food is great at a great price, service is good, and food is excellent. I highly recommend this spot to anyone looking for great food for a great price!