H-Mart Revisited

I’m always surprised at how many people have never heard of H Mart, the huge Asian/Korean grocery store in Tigard Oregon. Bigger by about two-thirds, it dwarfs the better known Uwajimaya market in Beaverton.

I first wrote about H Mart the first weekend it was open, and though I liked the market, it had plenty of grand-opening problems. I thought it was time to update those impressions, as much as changed.

HMart Soy Sauce

Got Soy?

As you wander through the store, the thing that will strike you is the vast quantity of different items. Want kimchee? There is a 30 foot wall of it. Soy sauce? The selection is so vast I felt completely overwhelmed. The entire store is this way, but it makes for a fun hour, just poking around and looking at things.

The bakery department in the front of the store is interesting. From what I understand, everything is made in-house. They have a wide choice of sweet breads including many I haven’t seen before. I love red bean, so my basket quickly begins to fill. I’ve always found all the bakery items a step above the norm. In addition they have a display case full of finished fancy cakes and pastries.

H Mart Produce

Produce Section

The produce section is cavernous, with a great choice of items not generally found in Portland area Asian markets. If you want a five-pound bag of dried fungus, you’ll find it here, as well as dried bamboo, lots of different types of mushrooms in bulk, aloe vera leaves, curry leaves, sesame leaves, lots and lots of different mushrooms, fresh taro root, malanga root, jack fruit; the list goes on an on. Everything is clean, well-lit, quality is good, and prices of many items are the lowest I’ve seen in some time.

There is a small wine section and a decent beer selection. They have an area for Saké, but the choices are not as large as I expected.

Large seafood section

Along more of the back wall is a very large seafood department. It reminds me of fish markets from when I was a kid. Again, the selection is quite wide, with tanks of  live lobster, shrimp, abalone, talapia, crab, and more bubbling away. Also have catfish, croaker, mullet, talapia, codfish, carp, narway, mackerel, belt fish, Spanish mackerel, golden pommfret, striped bass, red snapper, white bass, king fish, fluke, shrimp, konchi, smelt, shark steak, kingfish, halibut, salmon, basa fillet… you get the idea. I won’t even try to list the frozen section. Overall, everything smells and looks fresh, and service is good. I like that every tank has a sign that says where everything is from, and whether it is wild or farm raised.

Kimchee

Kimchee Wall

The fresh meat section is fine, but not huge, focusing on lots of Korean choices. There must have been at least five different types of short rib cuts alone. In addition, a large freezer case hold more meats; just about every part of a cow is in there, along with things like black goat, black chicken, and some other very strange-looking things. The quality of the fresh meats looked very good.

Two different cafe’s serve hot food to go, and there is a dining area if you want to eat there. One is a Thai fusion, the other more traditional. I didn’t try either one on my most recent visits, so if anyone gives them a try, let us know what you think!

Service is spotty. While the people at the register are friendly and will warn you if they think you are buying something you may not find appealing, the rest of the store doesn’t have a lot of staff, and those that are in the isles don’t seem particularly friendly. Still, this shouldn’t stop you from going.

  • Phone: 503-620-6120
  • Address: 13600 Sw Pacific Hwy. Tigard, OR. Map
  • Website: HMart.com

 

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. johnny says

    Ive gone to Hmart alot since it opened and there meat department has been down sized significantly!! And there staff seems to be cut in half and aren’t very helpful. They’ve cut corners in alot of other areas as well. Its still worth a trip but its not the same Hmart it was the first year it was open

    • Food Dude says

      I thought the meat department had shrunk, or at least the fresh meats. I agree about the staff and added a comment at the end of the piece. Most just look right through me, and none seem particularly happy to be there.

      I was at H Mart yesterday, and there were very few shoppers. It made me wonder how such a large store is staying in business. I guess others in the branch are supporting it.

      • johnny says

        On the weekend its pretty busy I go there alot I was there yesterday too
        They have some pretty cool items there I saw some canned hard boiled quail eggs for $3 that looked interesting. I hope I didn’t sound negative its just disappointing because it started out with a bang and just sort fizzled downward but I still like going there.

  2. Sellwood Mafia says

    If you go the their website, and go to the store locator – they don’t even list an Oregon location…, huh?

  3. Alexander Craghead says

    Just a minor correx, it’s in Tigard, not Tualatin.

    As for the store, I went in early on and didn’t go back. I felt that it lacked the attention to cleanliness and freshness that Uwajimaya had. I also understand that the store is not doing as well as hoped. It is certainly one of the few Korean establishments in SW, as most of them are closer to Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, near where Uwajimaya is.

    • Food Dude says

      When I first wrote about H Mart I mentioned that it didn’t seem clean. That seems to have been corrected – it’s always spotless now.

  4. aroyo says

    How does it compare to Fubonn on SE 82nd? I’ve found that to be a full-on Asian shopping experience, especially given the mall surrounding it. I’ve never even hear of Hmart before. Would like to check it out though.

  5. Twinkles says

    I love H-Mart and desperately hope it is successful. Whenever I stop in there (admittedly usually on the weekend) it is fairly busy with several checkout lines open.
    Their quality of produce and meat is exceptional, especially for the price. They’re so much cheaper and have such a better selection of items than Uwajimaya that even though I live in Beaverton I make the longer trip to H-Mart.
    There is such a variety of meats and cuts and offal and hooves and brains and blood and all that lovely stuff you can’t normally find. Whenever I have an idea for something “weird” to make, like my own chicharrones I think “H-Mart will hook me up with what I need.”
    I love Korean food and have been making it myself instead of visiting Hae Rim (which is sad because they’re awesome) every week because of H-Mart and their tubs of spicy paste (gojuchang) and dried mushrooms and everything else that could possibly inspire you.

    I could go on for hours. If you love food (and you do because why else are you on this site?) then go to H-Mart. Use your smart phone to look up ingredients you don’t understand as it is better than bothering a store employee who may or may not be there. And take home something you’ve never tried before… you’ll probably love it.

    • johnny says

      There meat department is about half the size originally they had suckling pig Bull testicles ( I’ve always wanted to make my own rocky mountain oysters ) They had goat primals now just chopped goat for stewing. I buy tripe there and they get some unique meat items but are inconsistent when they have them duck wings, pheasant Blocks of frozen duck liver that make really goood mouse. They also have acorn flour and chestnut honey but stay away from the acorn pudding!!! Its in the deli area. Ton of great little finds!!

  6. says

    My guess as to why more folks haven’t been as curious about H-Mart as you’d expect is that Uwajimaya is more established, and they’ve got their branding a bit more dialed in. That said, I’ll have to check the place out at some point in the next few days…

  7. PDX2CDG says

    Thanks for the info. Guess going on a week-day may be better than week-ends after reading the notes. Will be an interesting ‘field trip’.

  8. says

    I stop by H-Mart whenever I’m in the neighborhood (which isn’t very often!) and I always order the Stone Bowl Bibimbap from the cafe. Delicious every time, love every bite!

  9. Guignol says

    Love the store, agreed on the produce, great quality and value, if you buy Tobiko though, make sure you open and smell it first before getting it home and realizing that is is well, not so fresh. I too, have wondered with a store of that size, how they stay afloat, never seems to be to busy. The ramen for 5 bucks when you enter on the right is pretty tasty I must say

  10. MK says

    Last time I went, there was a woman doing a demo of some blue beverage in a plastic bottle. She had on a battery operated microphone and speaker on her belt. As I walked by, she offered me the blue substance. I said “No, thank you” and she proceeded to follow me down the aisle yelling at me. “Why don’t you taste? It’s free! Taste it!” Not the kind of customer service I’m used to, but that’s okay.

  11. DIO says

    I’m glad to hear that H-Mart is still open. For unknown reasons, they used to list the Oregon location on their website, but not anymore. With that change, I assumed the Oregon location closed up for good. Now that I know they’re still open, I’ll have to make a trek all the way across the metro area to the store, so I can stock up on some Korean stuff, and cook cook cook.

  12. TD says

    I just wanted to say thank you Food Dude for this site and your reviews and information. I’m moving to Portland in a few weeks from NY and have already found your reviews to be spot on (while visiting). Good to know about stores like this too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *