close button

Metro Recommends: iMart's banchan (Korean side dish)

Only buy them in odd-numbers!!!

Metro Recommends: iMart's banchan (Korean side dish)

Nov 1, 2019 Cheap Eats

Metro Recommends is a regular recommendation of food we love, whether it’s an unsung hero we want to share with the world, or a crowd favourite we can’t help but sing the praises of.

Last week: ?Schweppes soda water with a twist of lemon

The best part of a Korean restaurant meal is the banchan (side dishes) which get brought out slightly before the main dishes arrive. I can’t get enough. This is bad because every time, without fail, I fill up on them and struggle to even make a dent in whatever it is that I’ve actually ordered. 

At iMart, a Korean Supermarket on Wakefield Street in the CBD, you can buy banchan, all by themselves, and to-go. No strings attached. You’ll find them in the little stall called Nuna Chance at the back of the supermarket. It’s hard to miss – just walk straight in and, well, keep walking. 

What they’ve got on offer changes seasonally and often daily. The gyeran-mari (egg roll)  is always there though. It’s $3.50, simple and has little flecks of carrot and spring onion in it which makes me feel (kind of) virtuous. 

This time I also opted for the deliciously sticky fried lotus root ($4.50), pickled radish ($3) and ‘splurged’ on the pickled perilla leaf ($6). I like to eat these balanced on top of the slices of gyeran-mari. To be honest, I slipped up a little by ordering four banchan. Traditionally, they’re always served in odd-numbers as even-numbers are considered bad luck. Just what I need. 

What’s really nice is there’s seating out the front of iMart so you can perch there and enjoy the odd-number of choices that you’ve made. And it’s right next to Freaky, so you can also have these with a very well-made coffee on the side – for the next two weeks at least! Freaky is closing for good soon, off to start a new venture, so this is a bit short-sighted of me to even mention. Enjoy the combo while you can I guess? iMart sells a whole lot of yum Korean drinks anyway so it’s not all bad. 

Rope a friend into coming to lunch with you for this. It won’t be hard. You’ll get more variety this way and they’ll be impressed by your thriftiness for sure. 

iMart | 9-15 Wakefield St


Latest issue shadow

Issue 435 is out now!

The bumper Schools Issue is here, with end of year results from every Auckland High School, Top 50 Wines, The Best Bread in Auckland, the Character Protection racket, Norman Kirk, Efeso Collins and more more more!

Buy the latest issue