This is a mandoo moment in Flushing, and lovers of Korean dumplings are reveling in it. ZenFoodist says two-week-old Da Myun makes exquisite wang mandoo: thin-skinned, king-size steamed dumplings with a finely minced, well-seasoned filling of kimchi, fresh vegetables, and a bit of ground pork. “They might well have been the best wang mandoo I’ve had in Flushing. And I’ve had a lot of mandoo,” she says. Peter Cuce is also sold: “The dumplings are giant, look like brains, and are worth every penny”—even at a relatively steep $8.95 for a half-dozen.
Da Myun arrives hard on the heels of nearby Daheen Wong Mandoo, a fast hound favorite that’s working similar turf. But ZenFoodist gives the nod to the newest kid on the block. Da Myun also offers a broader menu, heavy on noodles as the restaurant’s name suggests. Peter says its janchi guksu (with seaweed and vegetables) and an unspecified cold noodle dish were both tasty and satisfying.
Speaking of Korean noodles, this corner of Queens is suddenly awash in them. The newest outpost of hound-endorsed Arirang just opened around the corner from Da Myun and has quickly become “basically an offshoot of my kitchen,” ZenFoodist says. It’s turning out great, warming kimchi soup with sujebi (hand-torn wheat noodles) and simple, satisfying chicken-vegetable soup with sujebi and kalguksu (knife-cut wheat noodles), among other things. This branch of Arirang also brews the best samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) that ZenFoodist’s had in New York.
There’s more good news from Korean Noodle Restaurant in Bayside, but that generic English name tells only half the story. The specialty here is northern Chinese cuisine as remade over generations by Koreans, and the restaurant’s whimsical Korean name (roughly, You Eat Jjam Pong, I’ll Eat Jja Jang Myun) refers to two beloved Korean-Chinese comfort foods: spicy noodle soup and noodles with bean sauce. Polecat says the jjam pong boasts uncommonly fresh seafood and a welcome garnish of spinach leaves; it’s a notch above the next-best version he’s had recently, at nearby Guh Song. Noodles seem to be the people’s choice at this popular spot, but Polecat also caught appetizing glimpses of fried rice and gunpunggi (sweet-spicy chicken) on other tables. “I would have no problem coming back here,” he says.
Da Myun [Flushing]
41-10 162nd Street (near Station Road), Flushing, Queens
41-04 163rd Street (near Station Road), Flushing, Queens
Korean Noodle Restaurant [Bayside]
210-07 Northern Boulevard (near 210th Street), Bayside, Queens