Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Haru Ichiban (3646 Satellite Boulevard Duluth, GA 30096)

Mmm, thats a hot bowl of ramen noodles topped with slices of roast pork, pickles, seaweed, green onion, and...

That's right.  Ramen + butter.  Take another look.

On Saturday we drove to Duluth Georgia to get some groceries at H Mart, an amazing Korean grocery chain that we frequented in Chicago.  We were surprised and excited to find Georgia has FIVE H-Marts to Illinois two, a testament I suppose to the large Korean population in the area.  But before we went shopping we stopped into Haru Ichiban (warning: site plays music AND looks like the crappy html websites I used to make for free in high school/internet stone age).  Haru Ichiban was recommended to us for its ramen and inexpensive sushi.  It was a cold Saturday and we were starving so we skipped the sushi and started with tempura

We each got a bowl of soup to share.  Besides the buttered ramen, we ordered udon with duck.

It was hard to get a good picture of this dish because the oil globules on the surface kept reflecting light.  It was definitely the greasier of the dishes and, while still delicious, was inferior to the ramen.

So back to the ramen & butter.  Butter is pretty anathema to Asian cooking and can often seem misused (see our butter buns post) but here it actually worked.  The butter complemented the rich miso broth and added another dimension to the heavenly scent wafting off the soup.  A+ ramen, better than anything we had in Chicago.  Haru Ichiban, we'll be back!

After lunch it was on to H Mart.  Whereas the Niles, IL H-Mart was an isolated Korean entity, Duluth's H-Mart was situated in a very Korean area.
Duluth's H-Mart was flanked on both sides by a double-tiered strip mall featuring Korean store names.  Also, each side of the strip mall had a "Do Re Mi Karaoke".  Obviously, they know how to party in Duluth.

H-Mart is kind of old news to us, but here are some highlights for those who haven't been yet.  With so many around Atlanta, its really a must for any foodies in the area.

Here's Alex sampling some of the pickle offerings.

A woman making kimchi.  Napa cabbage on the left becomes kimchi on the right.

Not pictured: the plethora of sample stations on Saturdays and the fresh whole tuna being carved into sashimi to order.

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