I’d like to say I discovered a new gem, but I didn’t. Some readers did.
I’ve been to Aberdeen quite a few times now, but I usually scurry up to the food court, into Daiso to buy yet another item for my kitchen, or to one of the various restaurants skirting the outer walls. I hadn’t given much thought to the grocery store located in one of its far corners, tucked away from the mall’s vibrant, fountain-filled centre.
Then a few people suggested I go to H Mart for lunch, so to H Mart I went! Although it carries all kinds of Asian foods, this grocery store is primarily Korean. I wandered up and down the aisles, sneaking photographs of items I don’t often see when shopping – I LOVE exploring unfamiliar grocery stores, and being in this one made me feel like I was travelling. Here’s some of what I found:
In the far back corner of H Mart is where you’ll find your lunch. Your INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS lunch. They refer to it as a food court, though it’s just composed of a kitchen that prepares hot food, a juice/coffee/snack bar (apparently for your wellbeing), a bakery case, and a cashier where you order and pay.
The fruit juices – various mixes of papaya, mango, watermelon, strawberry, and banana – are blended up fresh, and only cost $2.45! I had a strawberry mango juice. What a steal.
I ordered the #4 from the hot station, which was pork bulgogi with rice, soup, and sides for just $7.65. You’re given a number by the cashier, which will come up on the screen to the right of the kitchen’s counter when it’s ready.
So far I’ve only had the beef version of bulgogi, but I might have a new favourite. This stir-fried pork was thin, perfectly cooked, and spicy red from its marinade. When he saw what I’d ordered, the man behind the counter stuck his head out and said “you know, it’s spicy!” to which I replied, all casual-like with a flip of my hair, “Oh, I know!”
I didn’t actually flip my hair.
But it was spicy.
And phenomenal. The soup was plain but lovely, although I didn’t really need it as the pork and rice were filling enough on their own. It also came with a mayo-covered cabbage salad, and a plate of sides; one section held a small scoop of kimchi and pickles, and the other, a plain macaroni salad
This had me sort of perplexed. Is this traditional? Anyone know?
If you’d like to have fresh bulgogi at home but don’t want to prepare it from scratch, H Mart has pre-sliced and marinated meats for sale. There’s also kilos and kilos of kimchi to choose from, as well as rice and rice cakes.
If you need enough kimchi to feed a football team, or groceries, or you’d like to visit Korea but lack the time and/or funds, head to H Mart. It’s conveniently located, filled to the brim with Korean, Japanese, and Chinese foods, and is an wonderful spot to have a quick lunch or dinner (they’re open to 8:30pm).
A big thanks to the readers who got me into this place!
Cash and cards accepted
Food court open 7 days a week, 11:30am – 8:30pm