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robertlf Jul 23, 2009 08:59 PM

What is the official date that H-Mart will open?

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  1. b
    bear RE: robertlf Jul 24, 2009 03:21 AM

    I don't know about the date, but I drove by yesterday and it looks like the cash registers are in. There was some activity, but it doesn't look quite ready yet.

    1. PinchOfSalt RE: robertlf Jul 24, 2009 04:51 AM

      There is a website (the one that listed the property as being up for sale) that claims the grand opening is August 1. The H-Mart website itself is mum on the date.

      1. g
        Guido RE: robertlf Jul 24, 2009 08:17 AM

        Is this the H-Mart in Burlington near the Market Basket?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Guido
          PinchOfSalt RE: Guido Jul 24, 2009 10:28 AM


        2. n
          noodlely RE: robertlf Jul 24, 2009 09:50 AM

          I have to say they have been really mum about everything considering all the buzz..... I am breaking down and heading to Kamman this weekend. We are out of everything and super 88 in Malden doesn't look like it is stepping up any time soon.

          4 Replies
          1. re: noodlely
            peregrine RE: noodlely Jul 24, 2009 02:11 PM

            They sure have been quiet.

            Does anyone here read any local Asian newspapers or magazines? Are they perhaps advertising to their most likely customers?

            1. re: peregrine
              noodlely RE: peregrine Jul 26, 2009 05:55 PM

              My husband reads the chinese paper on saturdays and nothing in there.

              1. re: noodlely
                robertlf RE: noodlely Jul 26, 2009 06:50 PM

                He might want to check the Korean paper as Han Ah Reum (H Mart) is Korean not Chinese. ;-)

                1. re: robertlf
                  noodlely RE: robertlf Jul 27, 2009 08:17 AM

                  yes we know its Korean but we read Chinese. H Mart in other communities advertises heavily in chinese papers.

          2. litchick RE: robertlf Jul 24, 2009 11:32 AM

            Thank gawd-amighty that things look like we're moving towards an opening sometime this century! I had a chance to visit an H-Mart in Virginia last week and it was like walking into some kind of nirvana. Then, yesterday, I went to the Super 88 by BU and was depressed (again) at how measly and depressing their selection is. If H-Mart is only 1/10 better than Super 88, it will such a vast improvement that I will willingly dance a jig.

            I hope this H-Mart has a prepared Korean foods section like the one I visited last week.

            4 Replies
            1. re: litchick
              StriperGuy RE: litchick Jul 24, 2009 03:58 PM

              Can you compare to Kam Man in Quincy?

              1. re: StriperGuy
                Luther RE: StriperGuy Jul 24, 2009 06:31 PM

                Yeah, KM is my reference point, it's pretty much like how S88 used to be, but they have better meat and seafood

                1. re: StriperGuy
                  noodlely RE: StriperGuy Jul 26, 2009 05:59 PM

                  They have one in Toronto. It is super clean and caters to a more asian-american clientele. Lots of pre-made food, packaged meats, clean produce areas and they sell a lot of american groceries too. It was set up a lot like whole foods with little stands around the edges a bakery, sushi counter, bbq meats, prepared foods etc...

                  1. re: noodlely
                    C. Hamster RE: noodlely Jul 27, 2009 11:15 AM

                    Impeccably organized and clean.

                    Two things 88 never was

              2. peregrine RE: robertlf Jul 28, 2009 07:59 AM

                I drove by yesterday. They now have a regular sign, replacing the "coming soon" banner at the top of the driveway.

                There wasn't much visible activity in the store itself. The name is not yet on the building.

                The website continues to say "coming soon," no details.

                1. t
                  taterjane RE: robertlf Jul 28, 2009 12:31 PM

                  I drove by today. Not much new to report in addition to what peregrine posted, except that there were 3 cars parked in the lot and no activity inside or out to be seen.

                  Edited to add: Forgot to mention the sign by the road says "H-Mart" and "Food Court" and also "Tous Les Jours" which kind of threw me for a loop, until I got closer. It says in small letters that it's a fresh bakery, baked everyday. I think this is the website for that company. http://www.touslesjoursusa.com/

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: taterjane
                    PinchOfSalt RE: taterjane Jul 28, 2009 01:15 PM

                    Oh that sounds yummy. An Asian-French bakery. At first I thought, "Alright, bahn mi bread!" but then I looked at the list of their products. OMG. And this place is, what, 15 minutes from my home with no traffic? I am in serious trouble.

                    1. re: PinchOfSalt
                      robertlf RE: PinchOfSalt Jul 30, 2009 07:06 PM

                      It's looking like HMart will be the Korean equivalent of Mitsuwa. The NJ Mitsuwa also has a French-Asian bakery called St. Honore.

                    2. re: taterjane
                      lisa13 RE: taterjane Jul 28, 2009 01:37 PM

                      oh holy hell WHEN WILL IT OPEN???? I can't stand it!

                      please please please let it be August 1st

                      1. re: taterjane
                        peregrine RE: taterjane Jul 28, 2009 05:03 PM

                        The T-L-J website has no mention of Massachusetts at all.

                        1. re: taterjane
                          noodlely RE: taterjane Jul 29, 2009 03:10 AM

                          ooooo.... its sad that we are all this excited for a decent asian market to open! great news on the bakery if its true! It sounds like this will be a great place to have lunch and get my grocery shopping done. Maybe this will throw some business to the other asian businesses in that area like China pearl for dim sum in woburn and New Jang su in Burlington. Perhaps some other Asian restaurants will pop up in the area (like when the Kam Man center went in).

                        2. Dinsdale45 RE: robertlf Jul 31, 2009 06:03 AM

                          A nice pan-Asian food court like the Super88 in Allston would be heaven.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Dinsdale45
                            peregrine RE: Dinsdale45 Aug 1, 2009 06:54 AM

                            I saw the floor plan and there was a food court area with eight or ten stalls at the right-hand entrance.

                            There was also a strip of small retail spaces between the two outer doorways.

                            From floor plans to reality, however, could take a while, at the rate this place is(n't) going.

                            1. re: peregrine
                              mikmum RE: peregrine Aug 1, 2009 05:14 PM

                              I was there today.. it was definitely NOT opened!!!!

                          2. m
                            madscientist RE: robertlf Aug 4, 2009 10:31 AM

                            In this other H-mart thread, someone who contacted customer service was told they would open sometime in September: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/593523

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: madscientist
                              mikmum RE: madscientist Aug 10, 2009 06:56 AM

                              The store-front sign was already up yesterday. This is a good sign.

                              1. re: mikmum
                                robertlf RE: mikmum Aug 14, 2009 06:06 AM

                                Need daily status!

                            2. C. Hamster RE: robertlf Aug 14, 2009 06:47 AM

                              I just got a gift certificate as a thank you present and am dying to use it up!

                              1. r
                                robertlf RE: robertlf Aug 16, 2009 02:40 PM

                                Stopped by HMART today. No food yet but the shelves, registers and signs are in place. SEE PHOTOS!!!!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: robertlf
                                  noodlely RE: robertlf Aug 22, 2009 07:38 PM

                                  *eeeee* the most highly anticipated supermarket ever!
                                  in the meantime I have been shopping at battambang in lowell. They have the greatest selection of Southeast asian greens, veggies, a hot bar and prepared food (and plenty of chicken and duck in the egg). We were really impressed to find a lot of things we haven't seen since we lived in Toronto. They have Asian shaved ice too! Husband had condensed milk w/ beans. Great prices on meat and seafood. Way cheaper than Kam Man.

                                  1. re: noodlely
                                    qianning RE: noodlely Aug 24, 2009 09:25 AM

                                    If you like Battambang, and if Lowell is convenient for you, Hong Kong Market on Westford St, Lowell is also an excellent option, imho, their veggies, fresh herbs and Cambodian prepared foods are better than Battambang, although Battambang is still my first choice for South Asian condiments.

                                    It is true the Cambodian groceries in Lowell are less expensive than Kam Man, but for a full range of Chinese (not so true for South Asian ) ingredients, Kam Man wins hands down in the Boston area.

                                    1. re: qianning
                                      noodlely RE: qianning Aug 26, 2009 09:02 AM

                                      on a vietnamese kick this week so Battambang fit the bill. I will have to revisit HK market I went before and didn't think much of it. Battambang is always fresher on the weekend.
                                      So far this week we made banh xeo (all really fresh greens from B.), sesame fried shrimp (its sold in packets in the vietnamese aisle), cilantro and garlic BBQ shrimp and today we are having bo kho soup. Its hard to find lots of vietnamese products at kam man (they do have a large selection but once in a while its nice to load up on the hard to find stuff).

                                      1. re: noodlely
                                        qianning RE: noodlely Aug 26, 2009 09:30 AM

                                        Totally agree that for Viet Namese, Cambodian, Lao, or Burmese ingredients Battambang is a better choice than Kam Man. Since we cook both Southeast Asian and North Asian (Chinese and Korea) a lot, and since both Lowell and Quincy are on well trod paths for us, we shop at either depending on schedule and menu. AS for HK Market in Lowell, I particularly like the fact that most of their herbs are not pre-packed, by being able to select and sort my own, the produce seems to keep much better.

                                2. Eatin in Woostah RE: robertlf Aug 16, 2009 08:28 PM

                                  We peeked in the windows but weren't bold enough to take pictures! The food court looks incredible - nice lighting, spacious... It can't open soon enough!

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Eatin in Woostah
                                    PinchOfSalt RE: Eatin in Woostah Aug 17, 2009 02:54 AM

                                    I drove by about a week ago and saw a large banner advertising for in-store tenants. Apparently not all the spaces are rented out yet. Here is a website that hints at what we will find when the Big Day finally comes and H-Mart's door open... http://www.clarapaik.com/hmart-forms....

                                    1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                      Luther RE: PinchOfSalt Aug 17, 2009 05:38 AM

                                      For the lazy:
                                      Rice Pop [?]
                                      Toreore [Korean fried chicken]

                                      1. re: Luther
                                        Eatin in Woostah RE: Luther Aug 20, 2009 07:51 PM

                                        I'm so hoping for some Vietnamese!

                                        1. re: Luther
                                          robertlf RE: Luther Aug 21, 2009 07:07 PM

                                          Toreore? http://www.toreore.com/

                                          1. re: robertlf
                                            Eatin in Woostah RE: robertlf Aug 23, 2009 05:11 PM

                                            Oh how I wish I could read that website.

                                    2. PinchOfSalt RE: robertlf Aug 21, 2009 12:30 AM

                                      Here is something I just found on the H-Mart website:


                                      The picture shows the Burlington store. The little maps at the bottom confirm - this is about Burlington. And, in the upper left hand there are two balloons that say "Grand Opening". But when? Oh how I wish I could read Korean!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                        Luther RE: PinchOfSalt Aug 21, 2009 04:12 AM

                                        September 5? Someone back me up here!

                                        1. re: Luther
                                          another_adam RE: Luther Aug 21, 2009 07:18 PM

                                          Looks to me like it just says at the top *estimated* opening of september... (as part of an invitation for tenant applications)

                                      2. PinchOfSalt RE: robertlf Aug 24, 2009 09:56 AM

                                        Another Burlington-specific addition to the H-Mart website.


                                        I don't read Korean, but from the looks of it, it looks like they are hiring people.

                                        1. gansu girl RE: robertlf Aug 24, 2009 01:18 PM

                                          This is too funny - was up that way this a.m. and seriously considered doing a drive by, but didn't. Those of you who live closeby, please keep us posted! We're 20 min. away (same w/traffic from Allston Super 88) and if this place is as good as it's hyped to be, we will become regulars.

                                          1. t
                                            tkdtkd RE: robertlf Aug 31, 2009 07:41 AM

                                            September 25th! A friend stopped by and asked, and I just called for confirmation. I suspect there will be grand opening giveaways in addition to the many samples they always offer. I cannot wait.

                                            1. Dinsdale45 RE: robertlf Sep 1, 2009 09:51 AM

                                              So, will H-Mart provide one-stop shopping for all our Asian food needs? Will it be like a huge Reliable Market in Somerville (few Chinese/SE Asian products) or will it carry a good supply of non-Korean/Japanese items?

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                PinchOfSalt RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 1, 2009 10:22 AM

                                                Check out the HMart website, click on the English button, and tell us what you think!

                                                1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                  Dinsdale45 RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 1, 2009 11:08 AM

                                                  There's an English button? Thanks for the info.

                                                  Looks 100% Korean/Japanese. The fresh food and Food Court will be well worthwhile, though. There will be a need to trek into one of the new Hong Kong markets for Chinese stuff and there's the nearby Battambang for SE Asian.

                                                  No one stop shopping.

                                                  1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                    C. Hamster RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 1, 2009 11:33 AM

                                                    The H-Mart I went to in Chicago was heavy on the Korean but had everything else.

                                                    I doubt if a trek will be needed unless you are in need of something obscure.

                                                    But we shall see.

                                                    1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                      PinchOfSalt RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 1, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                      Yeah, there is a Korean/English button pair in the upper right. But even when you click for English, there is still an awful lot of Korean on your screen. So, H-Mart must really be concentrating on the Korean community, with other folks (Asian or not) being icing on the sales cake.

                                                      I have looked at their advertisements for the New York area (almost certainly very similar to what we will see here) and am very much looking forward to the fresh foods (vegetables and otherwise).

                                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                        C. Hamster RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 1, 2009 01:07 PM

                                                        H Mart or Han Ah Reum is a Korean chain, so it's understandable that they have Korean on their website.

                                                        They have a wide variety of Korean items, like kojujang and kimchis, but their veggies and fish are great and they have aisles and aisles of other asian stuff.

                                                  2. re: Dinsdale45
                                                    another_adam RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 1, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                    The H-Mart in manhattan is pretty heavily Korean, with a bit of Japanese stuff-- not much southeast asian, for example, and not even really that much Japanese stuff if it's not also used in Korea. I've never been to the big stores, though, just the cramped little one on 32nd, where there's already barely any room for the Korean stuff, and it wouldn't make sense to compete for other markets!

                                                    Southeast asian flavors in general are not very popular in Korea (except for a recent mini-craze for Korean-ified pho, but that was basically just relabelled guksu!) It would be cool if they stock other things, but I'm not sure I'd expect it...

                                                    1. re: another_adam
                                                      mikmum RE: another_adam Sep 8, 2009 09:19 AM

                                                      not necessarily true that Koreans don't like SE Asian flavors. Lots of my Korean friends love (I meant LOVE) Thai food.

                                                      1. re: mikmum
                                                        another_adam RE: mikmum Sep 8, 2009 03:58 PM

                                                        Yes, didn't mean to imply all, of course-- just that it's also very common to find Koreans who don't like things with cilantro, lemongrass, tamarind, etc. :) As far as I can it, these are still things like cheese was a generation ago in Korea- new flavors that many still find off-putting, and haven't had time to be transformed with Korean sensibilities about flavor profiles. (And I'm also sure it doesn't help that vietnamese-korean places in seoul, and also in LA, are often quite mediocre! dunno about thai...)

                                                        Anyway, as with many things (Korean food in the US being a case in point!) I'm sure it's something that will take off with increased exposure, if someone can just find the right way to market it!

                                                        1. re: another_adam
                                                          mikmum RE: another_adam Sep 10, 2009 07:44 AM

                                                          You may be right, Adam. All my Korean friends who love Thai food are relatively young and live in the States. I am sure older generations in Korea may feel differently about foriegn food. :)

                                                  3. h
                                                    hhouh RE: robertlf Sep 8, 2009 03:29 PM

                                                    I drove by today, and the signs posted on the doors said "Opening September 25". Many shelves were stocked too - a few weeks ago they were all bare. So, it seems to me that Sept 25 (Fri) is realistic...

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: hhouh
                                                      doctor_mama RE: hhouh Sep 11, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                      Drove by yesterday. There are shopping carts in the parking lot.

                                                      1. re: doctor_mama
                                                        Stellar D RE: doctor_mama Sep 12, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                        Awesome! Regarding what kinds of foods a store will stock.... they are going to (eventually) have to stock what the clientele want. So if people get in there and there is an overrepresentation of certain area and underrepresentation of others, shoppers will complain and eventually go elsewhere.

                                                        That being said, I think the store will make back it's opening costs within a week of it opening.

                                                        1. re: Stellar D
                                                          PinchOfSalt RE: Stellar D Sep 12, 2009 03:25 PM

                                                          Yeah, in general, supermarkets tend to fine-tune their inventory to the local customer base. Hence, the MB in Chelsea has more Latino-oriented products than the one in Burlington... however.... The flexibility has limits. H-Mart gets pricing from its suppliers based on the volume of business it does with them. If the people in the Boston area were to demand some products that would require H-Mart to use different suppliers, there might not be enough margin available to H-Mart (consistent with their brand) to make it worth-while.

                                                          My take on H-Mart is they really try hard to address the needs of the Korean community, and if other people are customers, that's fine but not a high priority for H-Mart. Just try this experiment. Go to the H-Mart website, click the button in the upper-right that says "English" then click the text (right under the main bar across the top of the page) that says "Sign Up Now! You can get FREE SHIPPING coupon - see details". You MUST be able to read Korean to make any sense of the "details" on the page that takes you to.

                                                          1. re: Stellar D
                                                            mikmum RE: Stellar D Sep 15, 2009 02:38 PM

                                                            Can someone tell me more about their food court? Do they usually have good variety (e.g., korean, japanese, chinese, etc.) and good prices?

                                                            1. re: mikmum
                                                              litchick RE: mikmum Sep 16, 2009 06:39 AM

                                                              I don't know how representative this is, but at the H-Mart I visited in Annandale VA there wasn't a food court, per se. Instead, they had a section of the store that was devoted to prepared hot foods, made in-house (reasonably priced and delicious). The selections were largely Korean, with a little Japanese thrown in. That said, the Annandale H-Mart was located in a heavily Korean area with lots of Korean restaurants, so it makes sense that the majority of what H-Mart offered would cater to this base.

                                                              I am looking forward to the possibility that the Burlington H-Mart will have prepared rice cakes in spicy sauce that's as good as those I found in Annandale.

                                                              1. re: mikmum
                                                                krazykid RE: mikmum Sep 16, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                                The one in NJ had mostly Korean stalls. It's been a while since I've been there so my memory may be faulty. There was a asian slush/boba stand too. I think there may have been a Vietnamese stand too. But I'm Korean and when I was a the NJ food court I was mostly concerned with the Korean food. But based on my experiences with these types of food courts, with the exception of the Super 88 in Brighton, they tend to be the same ethnicity as the main store.

                                                                Sorry if that's a little vague. I am psyched for the bakery.

                                                                There were a lot of cars in the parking lot this morning. Here are some picts I took of the place when I was there a week or so ago.

                                                                1. re: mikmum
                                                                  joebloe RE: mikmum Sep 18, 2009 05:45 PM

                                                                  The two I went to in Lawrenceville and Duluth had all Korean food stalls and one extremely expensive bakery.

                                                          2. h
                                                            Hill110 RE: robertlf Sep 18, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                            Drove by last night; opening day is today! I am planning on checking it out this weekend.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Hill110
                                                              litchick RE: Hill110 Sep 18, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                              Really? Not the 25th? Whee!

                                                              1. re: Hill110
                                                                amy_wong RE: Hill110 Sep 18, 2009 01:12 PM

                                                                I tried calling their number ( (781) 272-0320 ), but no one's answering. Could you report back if they are open today?

                                                                Thanks. It's close to my workplace so I'd like to check them out when I leave for home.

                                                                1. re: amy_wong
                                                                  joebloe RE: amy_wong Sep 18, 2009 05:42 PM

                                                                  Where is it located at?

                                                                  1. re: joebloe
                                                                    amy_wong RE: joebloe Sep 19, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                    The new Hmart is in the same strip mall as the Market Basket, Joann's fabric and the now closed Expo store, along Middlesex Turnpike. It is south of the Trader Joe's and Bed, Bath and Beyond, so it's just on the Burlington/Lexington line.

                                                              2. n
                                                                neposter RE: robertlf Sep 19, 2009 06:18 AM

                                                                This morning, Saturday Sept 19th, on the way to MB, I stopped by the Hmart location and there were a lot of activity going on, but the sign said that the Grand Opening is on Sept 25!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: neposter
                                                                  peregrine RE: neposter Sep 19, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                                  Is this a soft opening before the Grand event?

                                                                  1. re: peregrine
                                                                    PinchOfSalt RE: peregrine Sep 19, 2009 01:07 PM

                                                                    No, the store doesn't seem to be open at all. I swung by this afternoon. There were a bunch of cars in the lot but they probably belonged to the swarm of 20-something guys wearing H-Mart uniform tops and sitting on the curb out front. As neposter reported, there is a huge banner saying that the grand opening is September 25; there are also signs in the windows that say the same thing (more than were up last week). There were lots and lots of cartons stacked up inside. So, definitely not open, but real real soon now.

                                                                2. p
                                                                  pga123 RE: robertlf Sep 21, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                                  September 25, 2009; 10:00 AM

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: pga123
                                                                    PinchOfSalt RE: pga123 Sep 21, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                                    Yes indeed! Here is the announcement on the HMart website


                                                                    Unfortunately I do not read Korean and don't know what else the announcement says. (The date and time are on the first line.... ) In particular, I am intrigued by what the H-Mart guy might be saying through his megaphone. Give-aways? Special sales? .....???

                                                                    1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                                      hmartgal RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 21, 2009 05:02 PM

                                                                      I can't read the characters coming out of his megaphone (they're a bit small), but basically the announcement lists the types of tenants in the bldg: pharmacy, gift shop, eye care, flower shop, cell phones, makeup.

                                                                      1. re: hmartgal
                                                                        Dinsdale45 RE: hmartgal Sep 21, 2009 07:15 PM

                                                                        So, these tenants are in addition to food court stalls, right? Sounds like a Korean Kam Man.

                                                                  2. b
                                                                    buffet king RE: robertlf Sep 22, 2009 03:42 AM

                                                                    Does anyone know if the H-Mart in Burlington is going to have a fish market like Super 88? Will they be selling live crabs, fish, lobsters, etc.? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: buffet king
                                                                      Eatin in Woostah RE: buffet king Sep 22, 2009 05:13 PM

                                                                      We'll know on Friday! Can't wait.

                                                                    2. PinchOfSalt RE: robertlf Sep 23, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                      More from the H-Mart website. http://company.hmart.com/ad_press_vie...

                                                                      Alas, the page only shows up on the Korean version of the website. When I run it through the Google translator, the results are rather intriguing, but difficult to fathom completely. There is a snippet that may be a reference to a feed tasting at 4PM (but which day???) and some other text that sounds like a discussion of the impact H-Mart may have on smaller Korean grocery stores.

                                                                      1. litchick RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 03:58 AM

                                                                        The Globe has a video about the opening:


                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: litchick
                                                                          litchick RE: litchick Sep 25, 2009 05:48 AM

                                                                          I called them this morning to see what the hours will be today and this weekend -- the dude didn't sound totally sure, but he told me that they'd open today (9/25) around 10a, and close around either 8p or 9p. This weekend, they'll likely open around 8am, and he didn't know what time they'd close.

                                                                          1. re: litchick
                                                                            Dinsdale45 RE: litchick Sep 25, 2009 05:49 AM

                                                                            Does anyone know what the hours will be?

                                                                            1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                                              PinchOfSalt RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 25, 2009 05:53 AM

                                                                              The website says 8AM to 9PM. Today the Grand Opening is supposed to be at 10.

                                                                              More generally, here is the H-Mart website page for the Burlington store: http://www.hmart.com/company_new/shop...

                                                                              1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                                                justbeingpolite RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 25, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                                                Anyone been, yet?
                                                                                I looked in yesterday, big hubub of people setting up, stocking shelves, etc. It looked terrific, nice food court area, at least. It's huge, taking up the space of both the old Decathalon Sports and Lay-Z-Boy!

                                                                                1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                  Eatin in Woostah RE: justbeingpolite Sep 25, 2009 08:35 AM

                                                                                  I'll be there around 4:30. Yea!

                                                                                  1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                    LStaff RE: justbeingpolite Sep 25, 2009 08:48 AM

                                                                                    Yeah, I was hoping for a quick report on the food court and the crowds (if any) before heading out for lunch today.

                                                                                    1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                      PinchOfSalt RE: justbeingpolite Sep 25, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                                                      I was there. I survived. Where's my "I Survived the H-Mart Grand Opening" T-shirt?

                                                                                      More seriously, here's the scoop. I arrived a few minutes after 10. The H-Mart parking lot was full, as was the areas next to and in front of Market Basket. I ended up parking in front of the old Expo Design Center. This turned out to be a Good Thing. Why? When I left H-Mart so were a lot of cars, and they were going nowhere. There had been a fender-bender in the little access road that gets you to H-Mart once you turn off of Middlesex Turnpike. What a mess... More generally, the H-Mart lot may be too small even when things settle down.

                                                                                      Okay, on to the shopping. The produce section covers American and Korean items competently. One of the few negative things I have to say in this report is that there was some produce that did not seem as fresh as one might hope for or expect; Russo's is still the clear choice for me in terms of freshness and variety when it comes to non-Korean Asian produce. However what I found at H-Mart was good enough for things that you need and you happen to be at H-Mart. (To do: on a less hectic day, do a price comparison with the close-by Market Basket on a few everyday produce items.)

                                                                                      Staple items: If you like to buy rice in 20-pound bags (or larger), you will find a nice variety here. Tucked away in a short aisle are some smaller bags of rice, including some Tamaki Gold. But back to the big bags; as one would expect, there are some Korean brands as well as brands you would expect to find in Japanese and Chinese markets. In addition, there were a number of brands of basmati rice and even (very large) bags of atta flour on display. (Rotis, anyone?) White rice, brown rice, black rice, rice/grain mixtures, organic rice, you-name-it rice, it's here.

                                                                                      The other grocery aisles carry Korean items, of course, but significant love is devoted to southeast Asian, Indian, and Japanese ingredients. If what you need is a common, basic ingredient used in one of those parts of the world, H-Mart probably has it.

                                                                                      Prepared foods. I admit I know much less about Korean food than any of the major east Asian cuisines. So, I do not know how to describe the variety of prepared foods. Was it good? Was anything left out? i don't know. But there was what seemed to me a TREMENDOUS variety of prepared items, kimchi aside. And there were more types of kimchi than I can remember without having taken notes.

                                                                                      Meat and poultry. Primarily cuts of pork, beef, and chicken used in Korean cookery. Lots of beef and pork that had been pre-sliced. I was surprised (remember I am new at Korean shopping) to find a significant proportion of the items were frozen. There is a great sale on boneless chicken breast, btw. $1.48/pound.

                                                                                      The fish counter was amazing in its variety. There were a few varieties swimming in tanks; a large array out on ice, and a good number of fish packaged up whole and pre-chopped (into pieces suitable for soup or stew) on styrofoam trays. There were even a few varieties of fish heads (most of which did not look roly-poly). It struck me that anyone wanting to make some fish stock could get fixed up at this one display case.

                                                                                      The housewares section had what you would expect at an Asian supermarket, with a Korean twist. One thing that intrigued me was a display of some very light-weight fry pans that another shopper told me were all the rage in Korea. They are very light-weight and supposedly non-stick due to a ceramic coating.

                                                                                      The food court was packed. I got some #3 soup (seafood, beef, tofu) from the Korean stall to go; there were way fewer places to sit and eat than diners. The other stalls were Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. The Tous Les Jours was open and packed too; to a large extent it seems to be a self-serve place where you pick what you want from little displays and bring your tray/basket thingy to the checkout. Maybe it will work fine when the place is not so crowded, but i did not want to even try to negotiate my way around that little area.

                                                                                      All in all, I am impressed in a good way. No doubt H-Mart will be part of my regular rotation, especially given that TJ's is so close. Now, where did that Korean cook book go? (And why were there none for sale at H-Mart?)

                                                                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                                                        StriperGuy RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 26, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                        WOW. You go POS!

                                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                          PinchOfSalt RE: StriperGuy Sep 26, 2009 06:53 PM

                                                                                          Hahaha, StriperGuy, I am pretty sure you were complimenting me, so thanks.... but you also made me realize that my choice of pseudonym may not have been the best!

                                                                                          (And upon re-reading my post, I see it could have benefited by some more careful editing. Ah well, I still hope it is helpful to our fellow Hounds.)

                                                                                          1. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                                                            StriperGuy RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 26, 2009 09:14 PM

                                                                                            Dear me, definitely a compliment. Just saving keystrokes on spelling PinchofSalt. That was a heck of a comprehensive post. Had me drooling for a trip to Burlington once the dust settles.

                                                                                        2. re: PinchOfSalt
                                                                                          Eatin in Woostah RE: PinchOfSalt Sep 27, 2009 01:44 PM

                                                                                          I also feel I deserve the "I Survived the H-Mart Grand Opening" t-shirt, though I was there at 4:30, and at least there weren't any fender benders.

                                                                                          I did however get my complimentary plastic container and reusable HMart shopping bag!

                                                                                  2. re: litchick
                                                                                    Eatin in Woostah RE: litchick Sep 25, 2009 08:42 AM

                                                                                    Unfortunately the link above wouldnt' play the video for me. If you have trouble, try this one. Love the rows of Sriracha chili sauce and packaged octopus!


                                                                                  3. r
                                                                                    robhagopian RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                                                    Pics don't do it justice - and I couldn't capture everything due to how long we had to wait for lunch (only #4, #19, and #20 today; #19 pictured)

                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                      robhagopian RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 10:35 AM

                                                                                      More pics

                                                                                      1. r
                                                                                        robhagopian RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 10:44 AM

                                                                                        Last four. Note that they were starting to tow the cars parked to the left (along the road). If you go - I suggest:


                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: robhagopian
                                                                                          tallen103178 RE: robhagopian Sep 25, 2009 11:22 AM

                                                                                          Wow that is crazy! I know that area very well, lived nearby in Woburn for a few years. I was thinking I could always park behind the Market Basket and just walk if I needed. I plan on going tomorrow morning. It's a good thing I know a few back roads as I can imagine tomorrow will be just as bad.

                                                                                          Thank you so much for sharing your pics. Looks awesome and I can't wait to go! :)

                                                                                          1. re: robhagopian
                                                                                            Kiyah RE: robhagopian Sep 26, 2009 05:03 AM

                                                                                            We went last night and parked behind Market Basket. It's best if you take a left before the Bugaboo Creek or whatever restaurant that is and drive behind the building to avoid the traffic in front. I hope MB puts up with people parking there. The H Mart lot is big, but it may not be big enough to handle capacity.

                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                            LStaff RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 12:42 PM

                                                                                            Pretty crazy scene there around lunchtime today. People were parking at Market Basket and walking over, but I got lucky and found a space near the store. Tomorrow will be absolutely insane I think.

                                                                                            First time at a store like this for me. I was impressed with the meat selection and blown away by the fish selection. If everything stays as fresh as everything looked today, this I will be shopping there on a regular basis.

                                                                                            Saw some great looking noodle bowls at the food court, but lines were too long for me to stand in them. Got plenty of samples walking around the store though.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: LStaff
                                                                                              Kiyah RE: LStaff Sep 26, 2009 05:09 AM

                                                                                              They should have made the seating area bigger. I stood in a long line to get food at the Korean place. We had to put our trays on the stacks of sushi rice and eat standing up. I hope once the furor dies down it will be adequate seating, but I doubt it. Wouldn't surprise me if the town restricted the amount of seating they could have. Fortunately, I live in town, so I can go back during the week when it's (in theory) less busy.

                                                                                              1. re: Kiyah
                                                                                                Dinsdale45 RE: Kiyah Sep 26, 2009 01:35 PM

                                                                                                Do the stands in the food court do "takeout" or is everything made to be eaten there. Can you order entrees or are most dishes made up as plates with different items?

                                                                                                1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                                                                  PinchOfSalt RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 26, 2009 02:49 PM

                                                                                                  The Korean stand (the one at the left end of the line of stands) does do take out. It is probably fair to assume that the others do, too. What you can order depends on the stand; for example the Indian stand has combo plates but the stand where I bought my meal you get one thing in an order (with rice and kimchi on the side, as appropriate).

                                                                                                  It probably makes sense to remember that even though all the stands are inside the H-Mart, they are all operated separately.

                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                              krazykid RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 12:45 PM

                                                                                              I stopped by today. Here are the pictures I took, they're on Facebook. I set it to be publically viewable.


                                                                                              It was basically a zoo. There were people all over the place. I had to park behind the Market Basket. There was no way I was going to be able to park closer.

                                                                                              Here are some photos of the food stalls though (2MB file limit?!)

                                                                                              1. k
                                                                                                krazykid RE: robertlf Sep 25, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                                                                And these two.

                                                                                                1. p
                                                                                                  pocketviking RE: robertlf Sep 27, 2009 02:43 PM

                                                                                                  Do those of you who've been to H-Mart think it's better than Kam Man?!

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: pocketviking
                                                                                                    PinchOfSalt RE: pocketviking Sep 27, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                                                                    H-Mart is primarily a Korean supermarket. Kam Man is primarily Chinese. From that point of view, one is not better than the other, no more than an apple could be better than an orange. Which one to go to all depends on what you are looking for. H-Mart is so much closer to my home that I will probably go there even for items I could get at Kam Man.

                                                                                                    1. re: pocketviking
                                                                                                      Luther RE: pocketviking Sep 27, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                                                                      Obviously better for anything Korean or Japanese. Also, they have the largest variety of basmati rices I've seen anywhere, including at the big Indian stores like Patel Bros. The seafood counter is similar in size and variety to Kam Man's, but at least right now, it's cleaner and they're running some killer prices like tuna for $13/lb, lobsters for $5/lb, and large shrimp for $4/lb.

                                                                                                    2. Dinsdale45 RE: robertlf Sep 27, 2009 07:24 PM

                                                                                                      Was there tonight (Sunday). Still a zoo. The kimchee varities were all sorts of awesome. I can't wait to try some of the marinated meats. I can't handle that kind of mob scene, though, so I'll wait a month or so before I actually shop there.

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                                                                        taterjane RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 27, 2009 07:43 PM

                                                                                                        We went about 5pm. Had no problems finding seats in the tiny food court, but the bakery stand, Tous Les Jours, was almost completely wiped out by then already, so we couldn't get anything from there.

                                                                                                        The aisles and lines weren't bad at all during the hour and a half we were there, but cars were still storming into the lot as we left.

                                                                                                        Some of the produce prices were ridiculously cheap. Green peppers for 39 cents a pound! Mushrooms, 9 oz for 50cents! That being said, I was not overly thrilled with their snack aisle--I'd rather see fewer American/standard snacks and more Asian ones.

                                                                                                        1. re: taterjane
                                                                                                          krazykid RE: taterjane Sep 27, 2009 08:38 PM

                                                                                                          Produce selection was pretty awesome. They had fresh baby corn in the husk!

                                                                                                          If you get any of the Korean BBQ meats, and grill them up, make sure you get the sesame leaves (they're actual name is Shiso/Perilla). They're either on the stalk or packaged. Take one leaf, and wrap the meat around it. It's yummy.

                                                                                                          1. re: krazykid
                                                                                                            another_adam RE: krazykid Sep 27, 2009 08:48 PM

                                                                                                            Just a minor refinement: the leaf usually labeled "shiso" (Japanese perilla) is related to, but different from korean sesame leafs (kkaennip, a different perilla)-- be sure to look for the big green leafs with a slight reddish hint on the underside, often sold in bundles wrapped in half; not the smaller and more delicate "purely" green leafs, usually stacked flat on styrofoam. (They're both good, but the Japanese one may be a bit strong for wrapping ssam-bap style!)

                                                                                                            If you want a really festive feast, you can serve BBQ with a variety of leafs: sesame leaf, red leaf letture, green leaf lettuce, blanched green cabbage; serve with rice, and ssamjang (pepper paste with soy paste, pine nuts, garlic, sugar, etc.)

                                                                                                            1. re: another_adam
                                                                                                              Luther RE: another_adam Sep 28, 2009 04:21 AM

                                                                                                              I grabbed some of the (rather cheap) kkaennip from H-mart the other day. They are indeed weak in "shiso" flavor but they do pack a strong-tasting punch if eaten on their own.

                                                                                                              1. re: another_adam
                                                                                                                qianning RE: another_adam Sep 28, 2009 04:26 AM

                                                                                                                adam thanks for your post. we were looking at the "sesame" leaves at h-mart, and thinking "that does NOT look like a leaf from a sesame plant at all, it looks like some kind of perilla", Any idea why this leaf is labeled "sesame leaf" ? I've grown both green and red perilla, but neither had leaves as large as this, and both were quite strongly flavored.

                                                                                                                and on a similar topic, we saw something labeled "taiwanese basil" that looked a lot like "Thai Basil" (i.e. horapa), any idea if it is one and the same?

                                                                                                          2. re: Dinsdale45
                                                                                                            Luther RE: Dinsdale45 Sep 28, 2009 04:22 AM

                                                                                                            I got some of the boneless skinless marinated chicken thighs for $1.50/lb. They're mechanically tenderized as well, so they cook up pretty much instantly. Good flavor.

                                                                                                          3. greygarious RE: robertlf Dec 9, 2009 05:30 PM

                                                                                                            Due to some mobility problems, I didn't want to buck the crowds and still haven't shopped there. I thought that by now, the crush might have abated, so I turned into the H-Mart lot at 12:30 yesterday (Tuesday). Good weather, and only a few available spaces at the farthest reaches of the lot. I could see a police detail directing traffic near the door....and made a U-turn. I don't know if they are still having freshness issues, but clearly business is still booming. I am not a morning person but I guess I need to make the effort to go there before mid-morning. I needed to go to Trader Joe's anyway - I should have thought to ask them if they've had a volume increase due to H-Mart overflow.

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