Posted by: englishdubai | March 2, 2010

Korean Times

Don’t you just love it when you walk into a restaurant for the first time to see it filled with people from that particular background enjoying the food there?

It happened to me the other day when I was invited to the Korean Restaurant called Manna Land. It is nestled in an unassuming position alongside the Capitol Hotel just off Al Dhiyafa Street.

While I am no expert in Korean food it was an excellent education as one of our dining partners had lived in Seoul for three years and was happily conversing with the staff in their native tongue, which took everyone by surprise.

In the times of going out to eat in Dubai the choice seems to be polarised at the moment between super high end designer chef places to international franchise chains to the Pakistan and Indian restaurants in Karama and Bur Dubai. It is always hard to find a middle ground. I believe Manna Land fills the gap perfectly.

Quickly a selection of Kim Chi and other traditional accompaniments are brought to the table in a blink of an eye.

We ordered some nice starters the bipat bibimbap(a super heated metal bowl containing rice, egg, beef and veggies) that you stir vigorously to complete the cooking process was excellent and would make a perfect lunchtime meal. Alongside some tasty seafood pancakes and rice cakes setup us up for the main course.

We opted for the Korean BBQ and a hot plate was brought to the table alongside some tongs and scissors. The waitress asked if we wanted to cook it and we promptly said of course. The beef short ribs we ordered looked amazing.

Long and beautifully marbled they were soon sizzling on the hot plate alongside some chilli, garlic, mushrooms and onions. Eating instantly cooked pieces of beef short rib with a dab of bean paste wrapped in lettuce leaf was a taste sensation.

The other great thing about Manna Land is that they also offer some special treats i.e. Pork Belly and they even serve alcohol. A rare decadent treat for those of us in Dubai who indulge in such things.

However, more than this it was a super sociable way to eat. Far better than the slews of buffets that haunt Dubai meaning I usually end up eating food on my own while my companions or I are getting stuck into their nth course.

Overall 9/10 – Manna Land is an authentic, inexpensive taste of Korea. Mix it in with a wonderful social eating experience it is a regular on the I want something both casual and tasty dining list.


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