Mandoobar (Paris)

© Yves Nespoulous

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Nondescript K-pop playing in the background, exposed lightbulbs, a light inlaid wooden bar, a concrete workspace… Mandoobar is a sight for sore eyes! The night we went, the South Korean boss dazzled us with his classic mandoo (wheat and sticky rice flour dumplings, similar to Japanese gyoza) stuffed with kimchi, pork, garlic, tofu and chili, or bulgogi (beef marinated in soy sauce), tofu and sesame seeds – our personal favorite! What came next? A brutalist sea bream tartare prepared fresh with soy sauce, Korean spices, shiso and buckwheat; then a small salad of cabbage, soybeans, pepper, yellow radish and garlic shoots with a zingy yuzu and a passion fruit vinaigrette; before an ultra-creamy scoop of homemade toasted coconut ice cream! // V.Z. & S.S.

FEELING THIRSTY? Besides their bekseju (a fermented sticky rice Korean liqueur with a dozen spices, €16 a bottle), there’s a good Daiginzo junmai sake (€8 for 80 ml), Korean Cass beer (€5 for 330 ml), plus a few wines – a Menetou-Salon white from the Domaine de l’Ermitage (€7 a glass), a natural Rhone red from the Domaine Barou (€43 a bottle)…

PRICE: Dumplings €8-12 for six, €10-14 for ten, €10-14 for 10, tartares €10-12, sides €4-6, desserts €5.

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