Daheen Wong Mandoo has just two items on its menu and three weeks of business under its belt, but countless fans are already lining up for its Korean steamed dumplings.
To ZenFoodist, the namesake, wong mandoo (meaning "king-size dumplings"), are well worth the inevitable wait. "They were delish," she says. "Stuffed with ground pork and scallions, a tiny bit spicy. Big steamed carby-goodness!" The other offering at this shop in Flushing, Queens—which reportedly has a Seoul connection—is jjim bbang, or red bean buns. Hounds have yet to try them. But lwong, who went at 5:30 p.m. one Sunday only to be shut out, chatted up a more fortunate customer who described these thin-skinned, generously stuffed bites as "just a little sweet and quite good tasting."
The main attraction here, however, are the savory wong (or wang) mandoo, which are a close cousin of the Chinese steamed bun and a cherished cold-weather comfort food for many Koreans. They're also a rarity in New York (though not on the West Coast). That helps explain the hungry throngs that descended on Daheen from day one. Go as early as possible and try not to antagonize the Soup Nazi–ish proprietor, who's been known to limit purchases to five wong mandoo per customer. "No arguing," ZenFoodist advises.
Daheen Wong Mandoo [Flushing]
153-24 Northern Boulevard (near 154th Street), Flushing, Queens