Mini-Korea in Philly

24 Jul

Besides being a sucker for fruit, I loveloveloveloveLOVE baked goods, specifically pastries and breads. And so whenever a friend of mine dangles the carrot of “Korean Bakery” in front of me, I leap small buildings and hurdle miles of rush-hour traffic to travel to the H-Mart off of Cheltenham Avenue in Philly.  The Korean Bakery, located inside the H-Mart complex, actually goes by the name of Paris Baguette and offers a wide variety of French, Korean, and fusion pastries.   I try to get something unique and different every time I go, so this time I devoured a red-bean glutinous rice cake (mochi) and another dumpling-shaped pastry that was also stuff with a red-bean paste.

Chocolate-Filled Muffin/Bread

In addition to the bakery, you can get your fill of Korean food in the food court where you look at images of the dishes available, and order whatever one seems to whet your appetite. For under $10, you can order a slew of Korean staples that will leave you beyond satiated and lead you to the realm of stuffed.

I ordered bibimbap, a dish that is served in a hot stone bowl filled with rice, an array of vegetables, and topped with a raw or sunny-side-up egg which you then mix together, along with a hefty dab of chili-sauce.  The meal was made complete with a bowl of miso soup, kimchi, and other pickled/fermented vegetables.

Here are the other dishes that my friends ordered:

Tempura-Sushi Box

Pan-Fried Dumplings

Generally, it is good to go here with someone who is familiar with Korean cuisine and will guide you towards the more savory dishes, however; it is also fun just to go and try something new and see how it goes.  But if this is your first time experiencing Korean food (and have a slight aversion to heat/spiciness) make sure to avoid food that is red or vaguely tinted red because usually this means HEAT i.e. chili paste.


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