H Mart Opens in Hartsdale
To be honest, March 23’s Hartsdale debut of H Mart was a little bit scary—and that’s not just because H Mart’s fish tanks hold saurian lobsters, snow crabs, and live, writhing eels. H Mart is frightening because it suddenly makes Westchester’s small, neighborhood Korean and Japanese markets feel irrelevant. Basically, this new Central Avenue store is giant, comprehensive, and taking no prisoners.
For those who may not know, H Mart is a national chain (it’s located in 13 states from New York to California)_of mostly suburban supermarkets that caters to Asian-American shoppers. While H Mart focuses on Korean foods, it also offers Japanese and Chinese products including many organics. H Mart has a wondrous fresh seafood selection with live conch and whelks, and swimming carp and blackfish. When I was there last week, I made a note to return for fish—I saw a lot of shining eyes, red gills, and buttery skin. The store offers a vast frozen food section with prepared Korean, Japanese, and Chinese dumplings, and, be still my heart, an entire aisle of roasted/toasted seaweed snacks, which are an intractable addiction of mine. H Mart’s produce section is large and boasts some hard-to-find items like fresh perilla leaves and softball-sized Korean pears.
But even better is some of Westchester’s best convenience foods, found in the meat section: (marinated or non-) beef for bulgogi (sliced), kalbi, and other Korean dishes. It’s not expensive and it’s easy to make—just grill or broil up the meat, roll in lettuce leaves with some rice, pickles, and kim chee. Predictably, there’s a whole kim chee section at H Mart – and a whole section of ready-to-eat banchan, side dishes.
And, when you get hungry, H Mart has a great food court (see below).
HotDates: Cocktail Historian David Wondrich to Teach Modern Mixology Seminar at Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, May 17-20
Saturday, May 19
$25 per person
We’re pretty excited to have David Wondrich leading our Modern Mixology seminar. His James Beard Award-winning book, Imbibe!, chronicles the storied history of American cocktails. Here’s the New Yorker with a glowing Q&A with the author about his book, Punch, and, even better, here is Wondrich on the Colbert Report:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Colbert Bump Cocktail – David Wondrich|
HotPlate: Soba Noodles at H Mart’s Food Court
That’s right. You heard me: food court. These fat, slurpy, chewy noodles are just the thing after wading through H Mart’s crowded aisles. Sure, you could surfeit on all the free snacks on offer, but we think you deserve a proper sit-down. At H Mart, look for a deep bowl of juicy soba noodles that rest in a nicely balanced broth delicately seasoned by kombu’s hint of the sea. The noodles rest beneath shreds of roasted seaweed, fresh scallion shreds, and a crunchy scattering of just-fried tempura. It’s good!