by Nicki Wood
Case in point: the mandukook on the menu at Korea House. It's the very last item on the restaurant's extensive menu. It's described reasonably well, but the description doesn't convey the full impact you'll experience from this basketball-size bowl of handmade dumplings and hand-cut noodles in a homemade broth.
Let me say it again: hand-cut noodles. Making noodles by hand tries the patience, even with a pasta maker. But Korea House isn't using a pasta maker. They're rolling the dough thin, rolling it up, and cutting off noodles by hand. That's clear from the knife marks and slightly uneven noodle sizes, and the occasional noodle that didn't unfurl before cooking.
Then there are the dumplings, stuffed with chicken and scallions, hand folded and crimped.
You've got three choices with the mandukook: noodles only, dumplings only, and half-and-half. Get the half-and-half, and eat the noodles first, giving the dumplings time to cool a little.
The Choi family continue to take pride and care with the food at Korea House. You could look a long time at menus all over town without finding a handmade noodle at any price, making this $9 bowl as good a value as it is a treat.