Han Nam Supermarket (Deli)
106-4501 North Road
Bibimbap. Quite possibly the best known and also most tongue twisting dish in Korean cuisine. Its a simple one-bowl combination.
Comprised of a base layer of steamed white rice and topped with a colorful arrangement of sauteed vegetables, often some kind of meat (like sliced beef), a runny fried egg and seasoned with the deep flavored and spicy chili pepper paste better known as gochujang.
With its balanced arrangement, it has a very eye catching presentation despite its simplicity. But alas, that’s not where it ends. For you see, the bibim in bibimbap really means “to mix”. Combining all of these ingredients, their distinct textures and flavors, so that in each spoonful you get the complete package of tastes available is what makes this dish come to life.
In this case, that led to having a little bit of some zucchini, bean sprouts, mushrooms, spinach and beef with each mouthful of the mixed rice that was nicely coated in both the yolk of egg and the spicy red paste. Serving size was spot on for a single portion.
It wouldn’t have been out of place being served in a more proper bowl in a restaurant setting, but being charged a few dollars more. I enjoyed it.
The Han Nam Supermarket in the Korea Plaza along North Road now has an interesting deli and eatery in operation along side the main grocery store and bakery area. It feels almost convenience store-like its in appearance, but don’t let the layout of this space fool you.
It has a pretty decent kitchen, and the food is cooked to order. And the ingredients were certainly fresh (operated by the same grocer certainly helps).
The clientele that was seated around me as I waited for my food to be ready as well as when I was eating ranged from groups of older gentlemen, to solo dining young women, as well as couples. Its always fun finding these little places to eat in unexpected places.
Additional note: I know when the weather gets colder, this place has a small cart outside in the parking lot that makes and sells bungeoppang – the waffles shaped in a fish-looking mold, that are filled with sweet red bean paste. If you’ve had it say at the Richmond Summer Night Market, you’ll know what I’m talking about.