When I first entered Hannah’s Kitchen, it had the façade of a convenience store, but tucked into the corner, I discovered a quaint little restaurant setup managed by a sweet lady more than willing to help me order some of their Korean cuisine.
Although Hannah’s Kitchen is a five-minute walk from my apartment, I didn’t even know it existed.
The restaurant is located near the corner of Montgomery street and Regent street, in the back of a convenience store called H Mart & Kitchen, which makes it a “hidden gem in Fredericton with the most amazing Korean food,” according to one review on TripAdvisor.
The comment sounded promising, so I popped in to try some of their most popular dishes.
Although the restaurant is in the back of a convenience store, it certainly didn’t have the atmosphere of one. Of course, there were the typical convenience store accoutrements: racks of chips, chocolate bars and some grocery items, but one side of the store boasted a small dining area adorned with three tables, a television that played 80s music videos and bamboo plants.
The area was clean – not what you’d expect of a convenience store. And the staff were more than willing to accommodate me and my ignorance of Korean food.
I asked the cashier, and the chef, what the most popular dishes were. She said the homemade dumplings were a family favourite, along with the spicy pork dish or jeyuk bokkeum, if you want to be traditional. The dumplings were $9.50 for eight and the spicy pork was $11.50. Both items were main dishes so a meal for two came to just over $24. Not bad for a student looking for more than just fast food for lunch.
I sat down with my two trays only 10 minutes later and each plate was filled with a sizeable portion of Korean cuisine.
I tried the dumplings first, because I love anything encased in fried dough. They were slightly greasy, but it wasn’t over-powering and they were served with a Thai chili sauce that complimented the pork and gave the dough a little extra flavour.
That first bite made me realized that this wouldn’t be my only visit to Hannah’s Kitchen.
The pork was pillow-y and delicious, with just the right amount of veggies to give it a subtle crunch. They were spicy, but only enough to make me want more.
And it was a good thing I got the spicy pork dish because. Things. Got. Spicy.
After a few bites, I could feel the heat in my face. Luckily, the pork was served with a side of sticky white rice and veggies that complemented the dish and kept the heat at bay.
And the pork wasn’t just spicy, it was tender, chewy and well-seasoned.
The flavour left me wanting more but after my two plates, I was full and satisfied. And honestly, I could barely move. It was like having a home-cooked meal after not going home for months.
Hannah’s Kitchen is what I call “a mom and pop shop.” There is no hustle and bustle of a normal full-sized restaurant. I placed my order and was served by the same woman who cooked my food, which felt oddly comforting and I was more than grateful for her hospitality and hard work.
A few minutes into my meal, she came over to my table to make sure I was enjoying everything and after forgetting to order a beverage, she brought me water, which helped with the heat building up in my mouth.
Overall, my first lunch at Hannah’s Kitchen certainly won’t be my last. The food, the hospitality and the location make it a perfect place to grab lunch or dinner, any day of the week.
I highly recommend stopping in if you’re looking for high-quality, Korean food for a fair price, or if you’re like me, stop in to try something new.
Price – Low price for high-quality food: 5/5 stars
Taste – Everything was full of flavour and cooked to perfection: 5/5
Convenience – Located near campus, it’s a great place for lunch: 5/5
Presentation – The food is served on cafeteria trays which takes away from the quality: 4/5