Finding Naemamdu Mandu required an odyssey normally reserved for stackable cities like Tokyo. I wandered all three floors of City Center on 6th and circumnavigated the building twice armed with the knowledge that the Korean dumpling stall had to be somewhere at this address, only to strike out at every turn. I even questioned cashiers at Zion Market, showing them Yelp photos of the facade. Somehow, they couldn’t connect the photo to a stall that lives 50 feet from checkout lines in the back corner of the Korean grocery store. Thankfully, I persisted and encountered Naemamdu Mandu, which features a photo menu and three tables with blue plastic stools, and proceeded to feast on a variety of steamed and pan-fried dumplings, none better than the version filled with a classic K-Town combo: corn cheese.
Dumplings with Corn and Cheese (10 for $8) feature pan-fried dumplings with oozing mozzarella cheese, corn kernels and flecks of red pepper. Thin skins sported good sears and arrived tossed with caramelized onions, which added balancing sweetness.
Initially, I was ready to give up on Naemamdu Mandu and opt for one another nearby dining gem, but left Zion Market pleased that I saw the search through to its cheesy conclusion. Could it be that the cashiers wanted to keep corn cheese dumplings to themselves?