Sunday, 4 December 2011

Mannaza, Newcastle

I spotted this little Korean café on a previous visit to Newcastle and made a mental note to return at some point. You can find it tucked away in a little courtyard just opposite the famous Blackfriars restaurant. Although it's a small canteen style place they are licensed and the menu is lengthy, extending to Korean barbecue as well as rice and noodle dishes.

Banchan (vegetable side dishes) were provided free of charge, as is the norm in many Korean places. There was kimchi (fermented cabbage with chilli), kongnamul (beansprouts with sesame oil) and Korean style potato salad, all of which made for enjoyable snacking with a beer before the rest of the food arrived. Extra kimchi (I bloody love the stuff) was happily provided.

Goonmandoo were the Korean version of Japanese gyoza or Chinese guotie. Lightly fried dumplings served with a soy dip, these had a filling that I think was chicken rather than the more usual pork. Whatever it was they were delicious, the skins nicely crisped on the fried side and the filling deeply savoury.

Next up was Yukkejang, spicy brisket soup. The red colour derives from the copious quantity of chilli bean paste in the broth; - it was satisfyingly spicy on a cold winter night but lacked a little depth. There wasn't much flavour to it other than salt and chilli. Hidden in the depths were beansprouts, thin glass noodles and slices of slightly chewy but tasty beef. A bowl of rice on the side soaked up the juices.

Service was quick and friendly and it's cheap too. I paid £14 including a beer and service. Worth a visit.


Mannaza Restaurant
Monk Street

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