Deli Oriental Meat Style & Food – Calgary, AB


Deli Oriental Meat Style & Food
117-15 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 233-2252

Taking a short break from the usual dine-in experience we like to report on here at foodosophy, I bring to you a quick write up on what I believe is a little known but pleasantly surprising Asian food store…

Visiting the Stampede City recently on business, I remembered this tiny shop along 15th Avenue SE that I used to frequent when I lived for a time in Calgary,  which was my go-to spot to buy my supply of delicious homemade kimchi.  To be precise, they sell it in $5, $10, and $15 batches, all weighed and packaged by whoever might be working at the time.  I recommend you switch it to an airtight container once you are back home and store it in your refrigerator to ensure maximum freshness.  It can last for weeks, and when you start to notice the sourness peak up, mix it in a big pot and create your own kimchi chigae.

On most visits, I’d be kindly greeted by a grandmother-like figure, the person who makes the kimchi herself, and by a young man who is probably her grandson.  The elderly woman speaks little English (if at all) but she’s pleasantly offered me tasting samples of the kimchi or the other delights she makes herself (to be mentioned later in this post) and offers for sale inside.  Its a game of hand gestures and smiles, but hey, if I can get some free treats while I wait for my kimchi to be packaged together, I won’t complain…

Of course, aside from the homemade kimchi that is my sole purpose in visiting this store, they also sell other grocery items like packaged snacks and cooking ingredients of the Asian persuasion.  From Korean miso (dengjang), instant curry mixes, and snack foods, the assortment is all over the place.

One of those items that I noted earlier that the grandmother often gave me were portions of the chapssalddeok.  Made of glutinous rice (like Japanese mochi), and on the inside is a mixture of sweet red beans, and often they are all coated in white sugar to give it more sweetness.  Sizes and shapes vary, you can find them in larger cubes (like the ones pictured on the left of the stand) to more rounder formations that resemble giant gumballs (like those on the right).  I forget how much these were, but they are very reasonable in price, and I’d usually pick up a tray to go with my kimchi purchase.

I wish I could see into the vault in the back where the kimchi is preserved and stored.  Sometimes I would see the person putting my order together go even further into the back, so not exactly sure where its kept.

And here it is, the cabbage kimchi.  A small sample tasting of it revealed that this batch was perhaps still on the “young” side, meaning the flavours hadn’t fully marinated into the vegetable, but still even in this fresh stage, better than those mass produced, pre-packaged varieties found in the Asian grocery stores of the city.

So please Calgarians, if you’re ever in need of some spicy Korean side dish to spruce up your attempts at home-style Korean barbecue, try to remember Deli Oriental and help support another local, mom-and-pop store that is still surviving amid all the intrusions of the Asian supermarket mega stores like T&T in Calgary.  You’ll definitely get much more personal service and with a smile.

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18 thoughts on “Deli Oriental Meat Style & Food – Calgary, AB

  1. Thanks for the review. I used to live near there, but never ventured inside. I don’t know my kimchi from a hole in the ground, but I might have to go and poke around the store next time I find myself in the area.

    There is also a Korean grocery store on 10th Ave and 13th St SW (next to Community Natural) if you’re interested.

    • You’re welcome BeeBop. I agree, it may seem a bit daunting to step inside as its hard to really know what might be sold inside, but its pretty welcoming and easy to place and receive your order.

      The other grocery store you mentioned, perhaps has a wider selection of other food items and is a better choice for those things (dried seaweed, rice, etc. come to mind).

  2. This place is so much better than Ariarang (large plastic containers of 2 weeks to 2 years old… usually a bit skanky) and T&T… but it was top secret! You’re really letting all the cats out of the bag arent you? :)

  3. Oops! Didn’t mean to!

    With a review like that, I’ll head over to the Deli Oriental one of these days and give the kimchi a go. ;)

  4. Thanks for the head’s up on this place, good Kimchi is not easy to find in Calgary.

    As far as Korean food in general, I’ve recently discovered a little stripmall complex in the 3600 block of 52 ave NW across from Churchill high school that contains a Korean market and also a small place that pre-makes Korean dishes for cooking at home. This complex is also the home of Hankang Korean restaurant. I’m hoping to soon find out what can be found there in the way of homemade food.

    Again, thanks for the info.

    • I’d visited that place in years past. It was out of the way for me at the time, so I only went once or twice. Can’t recall from memory what homemade food items they might have had, but if you do go, please report back and share! :)

    • Hankang is actually pretty tasty. They have a good selection of non-westernized dishes (you know the ones, galbi, bogulgi, bibimbap, jap chae, pajeon). It’s slightly more expensive than Sura and Bow Bulgogi, but for Korean in the deep NW, there isnt anywhere better that I know of.

      • I’ve been there now and the food was really quite good. I like that they offer seasonal dishes that we would normally not find.

        I’m hoping to get to Bow Bulgogi hut, I’ve heard good things.

      • Speaking of Sura. How is it there? I know that it is a fairly new establishment. I always drive by it as it is on the way and back from work but never had tried it.

        • TMoney – i really enjoy Sura. Food’s good. People are friendly. Prices are very reasonable. No real atmosphere, but knowing that going in, i believe you’ll have a great experience!

    • The Korean market there is excellent for various Asian goods — but on the trips my family and I have made there, we’ve found that the beef that they sell is actually some of the best quality, not just for home-made bulgogi but also for Chinese hot pot.

      Hankang I’ve been there once, and I didn’t really like it all that much. It was okay, a bit on the steep side, and was overtaken by Seoul…

  5. Hello, just reading the comments and find them very helpful. I will soon be hosting a student from Korea and wanted to attempt to make them feel good by cooking some traditional dishes. Can anyone suggest some fail-safe meals?

    • Thanks for stopping by and love that you’re opening your home to an international student! I’d suggest maybe you go shopping for ingredients together and learn from the experience with them, though the chance that a younger person doesn’t really know their way around the kitchen is likely – as a last resort, you could work to create some standard dishes from known recipes. :) Look for some hints at some classics at food counters, restaurants around town to familiarize yourself with some typical Korean dishes. Plenty covered on this website as well, just do a search of “korean” and loads will pop up! Good luck!

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