Archive for the ‘Asian Supermarkets’ Category

H-Mart – The Asian Market Sensation

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Location: Burlington, MA

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends

Baller dumplings from the H-Mart Food Court

Shopping List:

  • Fish and seafood balls of assorted sizes and colors
  • Pickled radishes
  • A super-size vat of kimchi
  • Spicy squid
  • Shabu-style beef
  • Crispy dried salted baby sardine snacks
  • Seven bags of frozen dumplings
  • Huge sack of rice
  • Udon and vermicelli noodles
  • Bok choy
  • Shrimp cracker
  • Whole fish
  • Legit green tea

Every time the words “H-Mart” have been uttered in conversation with Asian friends, their eyes light up with a sort of twinkle and they describe their experiences with this huge suburban market with fondness and glee. I have resolved for years to travel East by driving West of Boston to Burlington to see what the 幸福 was all about.

My first encounter with the Asian market started where most curious white people would go – Super 88.  Grab a bubble tea and take a ride through another culture while picking up some cheap fruit and noodles.

But over the years I’ve expanded my culinary horizons to some of the items on the list above (though I’ve never fallen for the salty baby sardines) and loved every minute of it. My local Reliable Market  in Union Square somehow manages to pack half the inventory of a large Asian grocer into a store 20 times smaller and for that I applaud them.

The all-powerful H-Mart really does take it to a new level though. Their parking lot is insane on weekends but once you navigate to a spot and enter the automatic doors you encounter Asian food heaven. They rock the following:

  • A legit little bakery (red bean bun anyone?)
  • A food court slinging all manner of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine (check my dumpling centerfold pic  above)
  • Huge fruit and veggie section with lots of shrooms, greens, bean sprouts and more
  • A noodle aisle that stretches from here to Beijing
  • Section of their “famous” BBQ beef
  • One of the largest fish counters I’ve seen anywhere with everything from live lobster to whole monkfish head
  • More sauces than you could count
  • Think I saw an industrial-size rice cooker in there?

In the end, true to the word of many hungry mouths – I left H-Mart feeling like this: