We all groan when we come across yet another pun involving the Republic of Korea’s capital city. Maybe I should get out more, but yesterday was the first time I had come across the Mart » 마트 » Mate pun. So, welcome Seoul Mate: not a London Korean dating agency but the latest Korean food store in central London.
Less intimidating than Hanna Supermarket, less cramped than the Centre Point Food Store, Seoul Mate opened in August 2008. The provisions are well laid-out, and things are easy to find compared with the other two stores. There’s some ready-made kimchis, but probably less than in the other two places, and certainly less fresh veg than Centre Point. Unusually, tucked into the front right hand window are a few Korean gifts – some green celadon pottery and some small lacquered jewellery boxes.
Seoul Mate can be found near the British Museum at 29 Museum Street, London, WC1A 1LH, on the other side of the road from Bibimbap restaurant.