Dumplings and noodles – two of the foods that we can never get enough of in my house. To me, they are deeply comforting, and have the ability to take away all the tension from the day.
So when you open a dumpling and noodle shop right outside Aldi (my usual hangout), it’s like the heavens have opened and smiled down upon me, enabling me to get my noodle fix, anytime.
Korean naengmyeon – cold noodles served with radish pickles, cucumber, nashi pear, and hard boiled egg – is especially comforting. The long strands are chewy, and can be made out of a variety of starches: from buckwheat, to arrowroot, to wheat. Sometimes served with a mild beef broth (mul naengmyeon), I particularly love the spicy variety, called bibim naengmyeon. The spiciness come from a chilli paste made primarily from kochujang, and can range from sweet with a little heat, to mouth-numbingly spicy.
Mandoo is a type of Korean dumpling, and can be boiled, steamed or fried. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, and are quite a bit larger than your average Japanese gyoza.
Bibim Naengmyeon (Level 3 spiciness), Kimchi mandoo
The naengmyeon here is made out of wheat, and is slightly less chewy than the buckwheat or arrowroot variety. That being said, the lightness of these wheat noodles make the dish much easier to eat, and much more balanced – no more clumps of long strands that never come apart. The wheat noodles are also easier to mix through with the sauce, so you’ll never get clumps of chilli on some strands and none on others again. You also get to choose your spiciness out of 4 levels – I like the kick of level 3, but if you’re not so good with chilli, a level one is plenty satisfying too.
The mandoos were hearty and filling, and much more than the mouthfuls that I’m used to with Chinese and Japanese dumplings. They were filled with kimchi, meat, and some noodles, and are all made on site. There’s even a little window where you can stare uncomfortably at the chefs if you’d like. These particular dumplings while tasty, weren’t quite as satisfying as the noodles for me, but great as a side option to share.
This family run restaurant has always been super friendly, and are ready with a smile even when I’m just passing by to do my weekly shop. I love how proud they were that the dumplings were all made on site, and the Eastwood branch is the first expansion beyond the other restaurant in Strathfield.
The Mandoo sits just outside Aldi, which has lots of parking in the basement. It’s also about a 5 minute walk from Eastwood station, and has lots of comfy seating inside the bright, clean dining area. It’s nice that we didn’t have to wait too long for our takeaway, but the downside is that I can’t find a phone number for them – no website, no card – which means I can’t place my order in advance for pickup.
One upside though is that they accept card payments, and even have Paywave installed with no card minimum – a rarity in a neighbourhood like Eastwood.
The Value for Money:
At around the $10 mark, the food might not look like it’s a large serving, but is actually very VERY filling. The dumplings, which would usually be relegated to side dish status because of their dainty nature, are actually quite large, and so quite filling. I wouldn’t get an order of dumplings and noodle all to myself, unless I really feel like being extremely full. And in a neighbourhood where many eateries charge you through your nose, this is a great, convenient option that won’t break the bank.
If you, like me, are into your cold noodles and dumplings no matter what the weather is like, then I would recommend The Mandoo for an easy takeaway option. Besides, they’re just so friendly!
02 9701 0949
62-80 Rowe St
Sydney, NSW 2122