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Sinpo Woori Mandoo (신보우리만두) is a restaurant started off as a family store in a small neighborhood at Sinpo, Incheon in 1971. In the past forty years it has become one of Korea's staple mandoo / mandu (dumpling) chains. Now, this popular restaurant chain is available throughout Korea and the outlet we went was strategically located at Dongdaemun. Since Dongdaemun is a shopping district that never sleeps, the outlet here practically opens 24 hours. And here we are, 3am in the morning!

Like any other Korean restaurants, every meal includes from 2 to 6 banchan (side dishes) that form part of the meal or compliment the main dishes. The most important is of course kimchi, and Koreans do not consider a meal complete without kimchi. Everyone's kimchi tastes different even though it is fundamentally the same. The kimchi here was one of our favorite, it was well-flavored with the right degree of spicy and sour taste.

Gogi Mandoo / Pork and Vegetables Dumpling (KRW 3,500 / RM 9.98), eight pieces of Sinpo Woori Mandoo famous handmade dumplings served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce and vinegar. The minced fillings are usually pork, tofu, clear vermicelli noodles and various vegetables such as onions, spring onions, cabbages and leeks.

Korean mandoo tasted slightly different from the Chinese jiaozi (dumpling), it was lighter and less meaty. The Chinese jiaozi are usually meat-centric, while Korean mandoo tend to pile on the veggies.

Kimchi Mandoo / Pork, Vegetables and Kimchi Dumpling (KRW 3,500 / RM 9.98), it tasted very much similar to gogi mandoo except for the little bit of spicy and sour taste. It wasn't too bad but the kimchi flavor wasn't strong enough to stand on its own.

Mandoo Kalgooksoo / Knife Cut Noodles Soup with Pork Dumplings (KRW 5,000 / RM 14.25), thick knife-cut noodles cooked in a clear seasoned soup with seaweed and pork dumplings. The soup was tasty and the hand knife-cut noodles were just right. It had the right texture and chewy consistency - deeply satisfying and hearty!

Nakji Dupbab / Rice with Octopus and Vegetables in Sweet Spicy Sauce (KRW 6,000 / RM 17.10), rice in heated stone pot served with stir-fried octopus and vegetables in spicy sauce.

Mixed everything evenly and ended up with a bowl of red fiery hot rice. It was spicy, sweet and hot all at the same time. We have pretty high spicy tolerance but this dish was beyond us! It was both torture and pleasure.

Verdict: Sinpo Woori Mandoo may look like a fast food restaurant with its simple interior but the food here is made fresh, reasonably good and affordable.

18-37, Euljiro 6-ga,
Dongdaemun, Jung-gu,
Seoul, South Korea
Other Known Outlets:
Insadong, Myeongdong, COEX, etc.
Tel: 02-2263 7501
Business Hours: Opens daily 24 hours
Pork Free: No
GPS: 37.567726, 127.007658

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