Gaesung Mandu is a must try in Seoul. Jongno-Gu is the city center of Seoul and home to many of the Korean palaces like Gyeongbok, Changdeok, Changgyeong and Unhyeon. With attractions like those, it’s hard not to find amazing restaurants in the area.
Gaesung Mandu is an extremely popular and a little cozy restaurant serving Korean dumplings. Gaesung Mandu has been around more than 75 years and a family run restaurant. It was started by the owner’s grandma and mother. The most important thing is the restaurant is filled with locals, which is an indication of the goodness of the food.
As you walk by, you will see a woman by the window making the dumplings by hand. Gaesung Mandu menus come in both Korean and English. The restaurant doesn’t hold more than 20 tables and delivers friendly service with a smile. The host was very helpful. He assisted me with ordering and demonstrated the proper way to eat the bossam with the dumplings.
Now, the important stuff. The food. The meal came with your traditional Korean ban chans like kimchi and potatoes. I went with one of their specials and it included 3 large dumplings, a serving of bossam, veggies, raddish, and cabbage. It was a good amount of food especially for brunch.
The dumplings were cooked in beef broth and half the size of my hand. The fillings included chopped pork with the additions of a few veggies. It had the same plump texture to it like Cantonese Shiu Mai and the flavor was sweet. The taste changed if you adding kimchi to it. In that instance, you would split the dumpling in half and add a layer of kimchi giving it a sweet, sour and spicy taste on your palate. It was really enjoyable and definitely a comforting flavor.
The bossam (i.e., pork belly) was broiled and soft like a new pillow. The way you eat the bossam is to layer the veggies (e.g., gabbage, raddish, greens and kimchi) with the bossam in the middle. As you bite into it, you would get a mix of flavors from earthy to sour to sweet. The overall bite felt very earthy and fresh due to the layering of the veggies. I really enjoyed it.
Overall, I would recommend Gaesung Mandu Koong for a traditional Korean meal. Every Asian ethnicity has its interpretation of dumplings from the Chinese to Japanese. Gaesung Mandu Koong brings the Korean inpretation in a comforting and relax setting with fresh ingredients.
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- Service - 8/108/10
- Presentation - 8/108/10
- Flavors - 8.5/108.5/10
- Decor - 7.5/107.5/10
- Ambiance - 8/108/10
Every Asian ethnicity has its interpretation of dumplings from the Chinese to the Japanese. The Koreans are no different. Gaesung Mandu Koong has been around more than 75 years as it serves its Korean interpretation of dumplings. The heavenly dumplings with fresh ingredients in a comforting and relax dining atmosphere is a good spot while in Seoul.