Kickin' it at H Mart yo!

Eminem, kimchi, coconut milk, aloe vera and the Indian Bitter Melo

By Kris Blondin on November 10, 2010

Weird things are happening. It's like I've entered some parallel universe or something. Worlds are colliding. Cats love dogs, rain is awesome, and to some of us, Bret Michaels is attractive (yeah, Steph DeRosa, that's for you). There's something way cool in Federal Way.

First of all, I don't drive to Federal Way for just anything. I'll make the drive for work (rarely, thank gawd), a doctor appointment or sushi. That's about it. Nothing else really matters. But then ... I stumbled on H-Mart. Every time I say that, I can only think about "Evil Dead" and "Shop, S -Mart."

Anyhoo, this Asian market really blew my mind. I've shopped a lot of Asian markets, and aside from Uwajimiya in Seattle, this one takes the prize. Sorry Tacoma's Paldo World or Boo-Han Market, this is the shiz my peeps and don't forget it.

I mean, who can hate a busy Asian market that blasts Papa Roach? Not my choice to set the shopping mood, but I respect it. Nearby is the Bangkok Garden restaurant. I'm sorry, am I the only one that snickers at that? Probably ...

This store hosts an amazing produce department, everything from persimmons to chestnuts and every kind of squash on the planet. Bananas are only 59 cents a pound, but bell peppers red, yellow and orange were about $2.50 on average. Not a good deal in my book, but it is almost wintertime.

Mushrooms abound with oyster, enoki, brown and white beech, portobello and some other mystery shroom only identified in Asian.

Oh, and holy crap, there's a cucumber pickle thing called an Indian Bitter Melo that looks like it has a bad case of shingles. I almost heaved. Sorry, years of nightmares ...

This place is truly amazing: coconut milk, two for $1.79, every Nori (seaweed) for sushi possible, rice choice galore, and the seafood. Dungeness for $5.99 a pound, Manila clams, live tilapia, catfish and even sea cucumber.

In the center of the store is a doublewide aisle of small kitchen appliances, utensils, tableware and cooking pans. My favorite deal was the $26 stovetop woks in bright colors like chartreuse, red and deep blue.

From rap-metal to hip-hop, we were lucky shoppers this fine day. You can have your kimchi and Eminem too. And there was A LOT of kimchi: spicy kimchi, sweet kimchi, salty kimchi, you name it - they have it. A grand variety of Pocky stick snacks are available, too.

H Mart hosts several dining spots with a great selection of freshly made Asian dishes to enjoy in-house - or to go. Hey, and don't forget to wash that down with some aloe vera juice. You don't have a choice. It's everywhere you turn. Apparently, some of the medicinal properties of aloe vera juice are: anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti viral and also an anti inflammatory agent. Cool, sign me up.

As most cool Asian supermarkets you'll find a huge selection of teas, condiments, frozen foods, dried fish, whacky crackers, and Shiseido cosmetics. Hard to find Asian products are a breeze to find here. H Mart has all this and more.

Shop smart, shop H Mart!


31217 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way