Tucked away in a strip mall in the Korean neighborhood of Federal Way, Daebak Wang Mandoo is a family-owned restaurant that specializes in Wang Mandoo.
Mandoo (만두) or mandu is dumplings in Korean. Wang (meaning king) mandoo (왕만두) refers to buns.
The restaurant has about 20 seats. Most of the customers are Korean.
Upon sitting down, I was served a complimentary cup of beef broth. This home-made broth comes with a kick, most likely powered by a handful of white peppers.
After spending a day freezing in the cold photographing winter birds, this broth instantly warmed me up.
For dinner, I ordered a variety of dishes
including a seafood noodle soup $9.99
The broth was flavorful – although a bit on the bland side, and there were about 30 or so little clams. I saw other people ordering cold noodles ( Naeng Myun), which looked great. I think I will try that next time.
Next, I tried fried kimchi dumplings $4.99
They were delicious, except that the skins were not as crispy as the Chinese or Japanese counterparts.
But my absolute favorite is their signature bun $2.5
It was pretty good sized – larger than my fist, spongy, and ultra-soft. The pork bun I ordered was filled with pork, cabbage and Korean sweet potato noodles.
It was tasty! Frankly I would pop into this place just for the buns. I also order a red bean/black rice bun to go for breakfast the next day. But it did not last that long nor did I get a chance to take a picture before finishing it off 🙂
Federal way is halfway between Seattle and Olympia, state capital of Washington. While it is a bit out of the way to make it a trip on its own, it makes a good rest stop for visitors on their way to/from the south.