Korean foodstuff has grow to be rather common in Columbus — it is even highlighted in chain eateries — but scanning a large menu of Korean dishes can even now be overwhelming for folks who did not expand up taking in the cuisine. Enter Manna Korean Restaurant.
Because it focuses on well-executed, group-satisfying classics — and shows them in menu photos — Manna is a fantastic position to check out Korean food items. It’ll hook veterans of the cuisine wanting for good values, also.
(Bonus: You can store till you bop just after dining at Manna.)
“Bop” — aka “bap” and “bob” — pops up commonly on Korean menus due to the fact the phrase indicates “cooked rice.” Manna (like Momo Ghar and Ranchero Kitchen area before it) is one more solid-accomplishing eatery introduced inside the worldwide-ingredient wonderland of Saraga International Grocery on Morse Road.
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Just after eating at Manna, then you can store for the bop and other elements in the dishes you just ate mere ft away— then intensify your education by striving to replicate the dishes at dwelling. Or you can just maintain “studying” at Manna.
Manna Korean Cafe: Classic dishes, generous parts, affordable selling prices
Occupying a niche on the suitable-hand aspect of Saraga’s entrance with about a 50 %-dozen uncomplicated, well-spaced tables and a blond wooden counter with about a 50 %-dozen stools, Manna is little but not cramped. Even though hardly fancy, Manna gives pleasant service, and its mostly wood-paneled place contains endearingly homey touches: numerous crops, swaths of pink paint, strings of multi-coloured lights and (head-scratcher alert!) Norman Rockwell-fashion ornamental plates on sale for $3 to $5.
Color photographs of popular Korean dishes, most positioned over the buying counter with their affordable charges, serve as Manna’s attractive, simple-to-navigate menu.
The Kimbap ($7) — a Korean twist on sushi with out uncooked fish — was characteristically even larger and improved than quite a few community versions. The maki-model roll’s correctly sesame-oiled and faintly sweet interior of rice (the “bap” in kimbap), fish cake, omelet-like egg plus pickled and marinated veggies (carrot, fernbrake, daikon) produced it an uncomplicated-to-like delight.
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Ditto for Manna’s characteristically sizable consider on beef bulgogi with rice, maybe the most effective-acknowledged Korean dish (bulgogi deopbap, $12). Seared and notably tender great meat was dealt with to a less-sweet-than-normal marinade that accentuated fairly than dominated the beef’s steak taste. Stir-fried carrots, scallions and onions made vibrant, suitable partners.
If botanical warmth is calling, the spicy pork bulgogi ($12) was similarly superior and distinctive ample from the beef bulgogi to advantage buying equally if you are not eating by itself — or even if you are.
Each occur with rice and all entrees occur with banchan — pleasant tiny sides that could possibly include semi-sweet pickled veggies, garlicky greens, kimchi or (if you are lucky) a full-sized, fiery salad assembled with cabbage, cucumber and watercress.
Like botanical and thermal heat? The kimchi soondubu jjigae ($10) — a kimchi, tofu and pork stew with veggies and a whole egg beneath its spicy broth — arrived gurgling incredibly hot, as is standard with this healthful and delectable vintage.
The new “KFC” — sweet-and-spicy Korean fried chicken — has been soaring in acceptance recently. Manna’s model ($12) was good: ample knobs of breast meat beneath comparatively light-weight breading coated in a soy-and-gochujang-primarily based sauce that’s finger-licking superior.
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By emphasizing its salad-like qualities, Manna’s bibimbap ($12) was an outlier, and not in a negative way. A single of the much more vibrant, veggie-ahead shows of bibimbap close to, it was rice topped with significant garnishes these kinds of as : raw and cooked-down greens and spinach, fernbrake, kimchi, carrots, daikon, cucumber, crimson and yellow pepper strips, bulgogi and a fried egg.
You will come across various of the very same veggies — as well as zucchini, shiitakes and bulgogi — in Manna’s served-awesome, umami-loaded, successful acquire on an additional old beloved, japchae with rice (listed here spelled “jbchae bob” $12). You will uncover sweet-potato-dependent glass noodles — like the form nicely cooked to business-nonetheless-yielding in this dish — on a grocery-store shelf just a limited stroll from this welcome new restaurant.
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Manna Korean Restaurant
Where by:1265 Morse Street (inside of Saraga), Northland space
Hrs: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays by means of Thursdays 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays closed Sundays and Mondays
Price range: $7 to $12
Ambience: welcoming, homey and idiosyncratically appointed market in the Saraga Intercontinental Grocery on Morse Road
Children’s menu: no
Liquor license: no
Brief simply click: Nicely-executed Korean classics are offered in huge portions at really inexpensive prices at this welcome new minimal eatery within a worldwide-ingredient-prosperous grocery keep.