Brimming with hidden gems such as London Bagel Museum and a traditional teahouse, the quiet neighbourhood of Anguk is now bustling with locals and tourists alike. Supplementing the list of places to visit at Anguk is a Korean restaurant called Kkangtong Mandu that specialises in handmade dumplings and noodles.
Around for more than 3 decades
The restaurant first opened its doors in 1988 at Itaewon, and it has been in operation for more than 30 years. Currently, Kkangtong Mandu is just a stone’s throw from Anguk station.
Despite the unrelenting Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant continues to attract regular and new customers thanks to its amiable staff and efficient service. Needless to say, the food here makes subsequent visits worthwhile.
Every dish is made from scratch
Shoutout to our Korean ahjummas for imbuing the food they cook with the irreplaceable taste of home-cooked food. You can rest assured that all the dishes served at Kkangtong Mandu are handmade with love.
We strongly encourage you to try their representative dish, Kal-mandu (KRW9,500, ~USD7.04), which is a combination of knife-cut noodles and dumplings. It’s no surprise that the chefs at Kkangtong Mandu take pride in the rich and deep flavour of this dish as the soup alone is simmered for more than 12 hours.
Packed with finely chopped vegetables and a huge piece of shrimp, the dumplings here are legit. As the name of the restaurant suggests, mandu or dumplings are their speciality, and we can say for certain that they didn’t disappoint.
In addition, the dumpling skin was silky to the extent that it slipped out the spoon a few times before we managed to scoop it out of the bowl and into our mouths.
If you prefer dry noodles to noodles drenched in soup, we recommend their Bibim-guksu (KRW9,500, ~USD7.04). Think of it as bibimbap, but with noodles instead of rice.
The term “bibim” refers to “mix”, so give the ingredients in the dish a good mix before scooping up the noodles and yukjeon, a pan-fried battered meat, for a flavourful mouthful of goodness.
It will be helpful to note that there’s a tinge of spice to this dish. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, we suggest you stick to the Kal-mandu.
Besides the signature noodle and dumpling dishes, there are several Korean pancakes for you to choose from. Glancing over the thick and juicy nokdujeon (mung bean pancake) that many customers were ingesting, we simply couldn’t give it a miss.
Each piece of nokdujeon is priced at KRW8,000 (~USD5.93), while 2 pieces cost KRW15,000 (~USD11.12). Although the price is twofold of what you usually see in traditional markets, the pancake was made with a generous amount of ingredients. Better still, it wasn’t overly greasy and oily.
Here’s another tip to help you differentiate authentic Korean restaurants from the rest: taste their side dishes.
Because every dish at Kkangtong Mandu is handmade, even the basic side dishes, such as kimchi and pickled onion, are stand-outs. We particularly enjoyed pairing our noodles with freshly made kimchi.
Another bonus: the restaurant uses metal tableware and utensils, which means you get an authentic Korean dining experience here.
Directions to Kkangtong Mandu
It doesn’t matter if you’re a connoisseur or new to Korean cuisine – we’re confident that the dishes at Kkangtong Mandu will tantalise your taste buds as long as you appreciate good food.
How to get there:
- Head to Exit 2 of Anguk Station.
- Walk straight for about 200m, then turn to your right.
- Turn into the corner and walk straight until you see the restaurant.
Address: 5-6 Bukchon-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-9pm | Sat 11.30am-8pm (Closed on Sundays)
Take note that the restaurant takes a break from 3.30pm to 5pm.
Also check out:
- London Bagel Museum: a homey cafe in Seoul with speciality bagels
- Bangi-ok: retro Korean BBQ restaurant with premium meat
- Han River Park guide: food delivery & bicycle rental
- Gangchon Rail Park: rail bike park in Korea
- Gyeongnam Masan Robot Land: futuristic theme park
Cover image adapted from: TSL