So recently i had first real, traditional Korean food experience, now don’t get me wrong i’ve had the odd bits and pieces of food from Korea, but never a full set meal in a traditional Korean restaurant this.
The place i visited is the only Korean restaurant (that i know of) that is local to me, and it is called Mannaza, and is located in Newcastle Upon-Tyne. Check out their facebook page HERE.
Mannaza, as it states on the menu, is a traditional Korean grill house and specialises in Korean BBQ. When we visited we chose not to go for the self grill options and chose a set meal for 2 people, which they offer a couple of variations of on their menu.
So, here are some pictures our starters of Japchae and a Kimchi Jeon. Japchae is a dish that i’ve been really wanting to try, made with stir-fried glass noodles, sesame oil, soy sauce, vegetables and sometimes beef. Our’s came with strips of onion, bell pepper, mushroom and beef in it. This was by far my favourite part of the whole meal… Next we have the Kimchi Jeon, which is a fried pancake made with Kimchi, which is a vegetable, usually cabbage, fermented in Korean chilli paste. Honestly, Kimchi is something that has always scared me because i’m incredibly fussy with food and there are so many things i won’t eat, so i assumed i wouldn’t like this at all… But i did try it and it wasn’t so bad. The kimchi jeon was crispy on the outside and soft inside and tasted kind of sour, but i didn’t really mind the taste.
Now mains and side dishes. Our meal came with 2 bowls of Bibimbap that came with either beef, pork, chicken or tofu, i chose beef. Bibimbap translates to Mixed Rice, which is exactly what it is. Bibimbap is a bowl of rice, usually white rice, that is topped with mixed vegetables and meat like you see in the above pictures. This Bibimbap came topped with glass noodles, spinach, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrots, and a raw egg yolk. The idea with this dish is that you mixed everything together and add a spicy chilli pepper sauce (which i didn’t get a picture of). Our side dishes were Kimchi, of course, and seasoned spinach, both of which are insanely popular in Korea.
Overall, i really enjoyed my first proper Korean food experience. The staff in the restaurant were so lovely and friendly and offered to box up any left over food for us, and there was a lot left over… The food was ready pretty quickly after we ordered and because there was so much food we thought it was really good value too. They offer a cheaper lunch menu too and also participate in Newcastle Restaurant week.
My trip to Mannaza has left me hungry for more Korean food, and i can’t wait to get out to Seoul next year and try so much more of their food! The restaurant is in a bit of a strange place and is a little bit tricky to find, but it’s totally worth it!
So once more, check out Mannaza here.
You can also check out some more reviews of Manazza here, here and here.
(All pictures are my own.)