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neverfull

[HOU] Super H-mart

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i found myself at Super H-Mart the day after tetsujustin's recommendation. sorry for the delay in posting this review, i just couldn't find the time to figure out how to load photos from our visit into a post.

Super H-Mart is an impressive supermarket period. the fact that it is an asian/korean market, it doesn't stink at all, and it's super clean makes it even better. my mother tells me it opened on may 1st in a building which previously housed a randall's. a quick google search on the web revealed that it is part of a large chain of korean grocery stores nationwide. there are 26 locations currently in cities such as denver, seattle, and philadelphia with another 6 slated to open. the houston location is located at 1302 Blalock, just north of 1-10 @ westview.

the food court is modern and impressive. flat screen tvs and professional marketing materials adorn most of the food stalls. the bakery was so popular that everything was almost sold out. next there is a counter that sells bubble tea. after that, a korean fried chicken franchise, then a chinese stall, a sushi stall, a place that sells korean snacks, a dumpling place that wasn't opened yet, and lastly a korean food stall. (sorry, the photos are a bit blurry. i used my camera phone.)

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the korean fried chicken franchise, toreore, only sells chicken right now (no sides), but i like their motto, "chicken and joy."

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you can buy 7 or 14 pieces only and the pieces are small as they cut the thighs and breasts in half so they are about the size of wings and legs. orders come with a side of pickled white radish. get the #6 which is the HOT sweet & spicy chicken. i was warned twice that the chicken was really spicy. her third warning in which she told me it would make me cry, didn't deter me either. it only made me anxious to get some in my mouth. the chicken was tender and delicious and i found myself breaking a small sweat on my second piece (no tears though).

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from the korean food stall on the opposite end of the food court, we also ordered a bibimbap with beef which came in a heated stone bowl. it definitely beat the one i've had at komart. the sides included sliced fish cake, julienned potatoes, and cucumber kim chee. it came with a bowl of miso soup.

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we also ordered the soft tofu soup with seafood. it was good but not as good as the tofu village version.

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here are some photos of the seafood dept. there are 2 flatscreen tvs broadcasting CNN mounted on the ceiling. i guess the fishmongers are pretty up-to-date on their current events.

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here is a tank of live abalone:

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i was also impressed by their selection of vinegars:

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my friend and i were giddy as we left H-mart. our bellys were full and happy and we were just delighted to discover this new gem in town. i can imagine komart is going to suffer with it's new neighbor down the street.


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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brucesw   

Thanks for the report neverfull, and to tetsujustin for the heads up. And thanks for the pics. I'm a noobie to Korean but I'm going to try it soon. Pics are always appreciated.

How is the abalone served? I was at El Temucano, the Chilean place, a few months ago and abalone is also a delicacy in Chile and they've added an abalone dish to the menu. As I understood it, described by the waitress, it's served in a home-made kahlua like sauce??? I've been meaning to get back out there to try it but haven't; maybe I'll try it at H-Mart.

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How is the abalone served?

the abalone is sold in the grocery store's seafood dept. but wow, that would be amazing if they served it in the food court!


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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Nest time you go, see if you can find malted barley syrup. It is a sugar syrup made from rice and it has this smokey taste that I find delicious. I'd rather have a spoonful of this elixir than a Snickers bar.

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Nest time you go, see if you can find malted barley syrup. It is a sugar syrup made from rice and it has this smokey taste that I find delicious. I'd rather have a spoonful of this elixir than a Snickers bar.

umm, sounds delish. thanks for the tip, i'll definitely check it out. i did try and buy some balut, but they didn't have any. does anyone know where you can buy it in houston?


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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muichoi   
Doesn't stink?  Sign me up!  That's one of the issues that I have with Chinese grocery stores.

Er.. you may have difficulty with asian cuisines in general, then. Actually with great food in general, thinking about it!

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brucesw   

My question: ok, when do I get one of these on my side of town?

Loved the chicken; just roamed the perimeter of the store while waiting for it to be ready. It could take several months to work your way thru the kimchees.

There were no abalones in the tank - at least not the side I saw. I realized after leaving maybe I could have walked around to the other side of the aisle (didn't feel like getting down on my hands and knees as jenny must have for that shot).

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jscarbor   
Doesn't stink?  Sign me up!  That's one of the issues that I have with Chinese grocery stores.

Er.. you may have difficulty with asian cuisines in general, then. Actually with great food in general, thinking about it!

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Jay was being slightly tongue and cheek.

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Doesn't stink?  Sign me up!  That's one of the issues that I have with Chinese grocery stores.

Er.. you may have difficulty with asian cuisines in general, then. Actually with great food in general, thinking about it!

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Jay was being slightly tongue and cheek.

yeah, i think jay is pretty okay with all cuisines in general, including the good ones


Edited by neverfull (log)

"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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You had Toreore chicken? Good! They just opened up a store here in my little town of Janghowon. We have got to try it out. Your bibimbap bowl looks good, it's the first I've heard of putting fish cake slices in the bibimbap.

And you eat balut! Do you suck up the balut juice after you crack the egg open? It's the best especially when the balut egg is still nicely hot and toasty.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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You had Toreore chicken? Good! They just opened up a store here in my little town of Janghowon. We have got to try it out. Your bibimbap bowl looks good, it's the first I've heard of putting fish cake slices in the bibimbap.

And you eat balut! Do you suck up the balut juice after you crack the egg open? It's the best especially when the balut egg is still nicely hot and toasty.

there was no fishcake in the bibimbap. it came sliced and cold as one of the side dishes. and no, i've never tried balut because i can't find it anywhere!


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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Aaaah, the fishcake came sliced as a banchan (side dish). It was probably stirfried in a little oil and then sprinkled with some salt.

When you do get balut, ask if they have the 5 day old ones. Or 7-day old. The chick size (or embryo) would be the size of half your thumb. These are my favorite. The 20-day old ones would have chicks that look like they are ready to hatch. Some beer drinkers would prefer this as they like to munch on the tender bones too.. I prefer the 5-day old balut as the chick is easily slurped up and you get a whole lot of creamy yolky goodness.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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When you do get balut, ask if they have the 5 day old ones. Or 7-day old. The chick size (or embryo) would be the size of half your thumb. These are my favorite....

thanks for the suggestion. although i think i would be lucky just to find the 14 or 15 day old balut in my part of the world, the 5 day old ones seem a lot less intimidating.


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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O.M.G

I have died and gone to heaven. What a fantastic place. Props to Neverfull for getting those great photos. They're a little skittish about photos so surreptition is the buzz word.

When you check out, you'll get a giant pack of sponges and other cleaning type things.

I had never seen before and bought some Korean melons, mini yellow melons that are kind of a cross between the texture of a cucumber and the flavor of a melon. You peel the skin but can eat the seeds. There's a lady making fresh kimchee, samples given freely.

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Also, I saw some very interesting vinegars, made with unusual fruits.

And I came across a chlorella ramen noodle pack and some cinnamon sodas.

Interesting place for sure.

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There's a lady making fresh kimchee, samples given freely.

she's MAKING kim chee? free samples? i need to go back on a weekend.

Balut's Phillipine, not Korean, right?

you are right. balut is not native to the philippines (it originated in china), but the city of pateros in the philippines has the most well known balut-makers.


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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Jay and Neverfull - you're right, balut is from the Philippines (I guess influenced and adapted from chinese cuisine). Would you believe I found a version of balut here in Korea but only old people would eat it? The snack truck owners were amazed when I bout a bagof the stuff (4 eggs to a dollar) and the senior people who were dining on the mobile snack stand (this was in the street market) kept asking me in korean "You can eat that? Is it good for you?" LOL

Those yellow melons are called chami. Their aroma reminds me of juicy fruit gum. I wish kimchi could easily be mailed so that I can send you guys a huge package each. I get inundated ith free homemade kinchi from my friends. As in gallon bags full.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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jayejo   

I'm so excited, I went to Super H in Atlanta last year and could have spent a week in there. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law was with us and pregnant at the time and she got really woozy and we had to leave. (But not before spending about an hour there.)

I think I'm going to have to suck up the gas prices and make a special trip to Houston from Austin with a cooler and have a day of fun pretty soon! Thanks for the great report and photos!


There's nothing so bad in this life that pork fat can't make better.

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kbjesq   
I'm so excited, I went to Super H in Atlanta last year and could have spent a week in there. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law was with us and pregnant at the time and she got really woozy and we had to leave. (But not before spending about an hour there.)

I think I'm going to have to suck up the gas prices and make a special trip to Houston from Austin with a cooler and have a day of fun pretty soon! Thanks for the great report and photos!

Woot! I have to drive to Atlanta next month. I am going to add an extra day to my trip so I can spend it at the H-Mart. If anyone knows, how does H-Mart compare to 99 Ranch markets? I presume that H-Mart specializes in Korean food, but also sells other Asian products, correct?

(This trip is getting longer and longer . . . I'm already taking a detour through Jacksonville to go to a new dim sum cart restaurant and hopefully Penzey's).

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Balut's Phillipine, not Korean, right?

"Balut" is Filipino, but you can find it (under different names, of course) in other parts of the world. Anyone looking for it can also try Vietnamese markets, but Filipino markets are your best bet.

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Woot!  I have to drive to Atlanta next month.  I am going to add an extra day to my trip so I can spend it at the H-Mart.  If anyone knows, how does H-Mart compare to 99 Ranch markets?  I presume that H-Mart specializes in Korean food, but also sells other Asian products, correct?

i think i went into a ranch market in san gabriel valley just north of LA a couple weekends ago. it is a chinese supermarket, no? i didn't go into the supermarket proper, but it is just as big. the food court stalls there was seemed more chinese with some vietnamese.

yes, h-mart sells other asian products besides just korean.


"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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kbjesq   
Woot!  I have to drive to Atlanta next month.  I am going to add an extra day to my trip so I can spend it at the H-Mart.  If anyone knows, how does H-Mart compare to 99 Ranch markets?  I presume that H-Mart specializes in Korean food, but also sells other Asian products, correct?

i think i went into a ranch market in san gabriel valley just north of LA a couple weekends ago. it is a chinese supermarket, no? i didn't go into the supermarket proper, but it is just as big. the food court stalls there was seemed more chinese with some vietnamese.

yes, h-mart sells other asian products besides just korean.

I went to the 99 Ranch Market in Cupertino last September when I was visiting relatives in CA. I was on my way home (via SFO) and the stop at the 99 Ranch Market made me miss my flight. On the bright side, I ended up with an extra 12 hours in SF which I used to visit the Ferry Terminal Building. :)

The 99 Ranch Market that I visited was huge and had a variety of Asian products, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, etc. I'm hoping that the Super H-Mart in ATL will be similar. And since I'll be driving, I won't have to worry about missing my flight. :raz:

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Ai Leen   

Among other things, I've been very excited to find scallions and cilantro for 1/3 the price of my local Kroger, wild caught scallops 1/2 the price of Central Market, and strawberries and carrots... as well as pork belly with the rind still on (roast pork with crackling!), and fish still swimming in tanks (best way to ensure freshness). I could go on and on.

I wish they carried a better range of South East Asian groceries though (e.g. belachan, sambal tumis, curry paste, fresh tumeric, galangal etc). Where do you go?


Fresh from London. Eating as always.

http://www.artisanedibles.blogspot.com

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