It has been months since we were allowed to step out of the hours. For context, Malaysia was in a full lockdown around March 2021 until September 2021. It was horrible because prior to that, we were already stuck at home most of the time for 2 years. Given the opportunity, my boyfie and I decided to venture a little more into the Hartamas area. We like that area but it was a little bit more on the expensive side but since we now have adult money, we are willing to be a little more adventurous than before.
There are plenty of Korean marts in Malaysia. Two of the main areas where you can find most of them are the Korean Village in Ampang and the Hartamas area where most of the ( *cough cough* rich) expats live. When I say Korean marts, I’m not talking about the convenience store ones, I’m talking about actual supermarkets so we are excluding stores like CU Mart and eMart24.
This time, we went to 5 Korean Marts within Sri Hartamas that we can find on Google and we sort them by our most favorite to our least favorite. It is very hard to list down the items and their prices so please do check out the photos that we have taken for references. Here’s a general idea of where you can find them:
Solaris: K-Market and Kim’s Mart
Mont Kiara: KoMart and Freshan
Desa Sri Hartamas: Seoul Mart Supermarkets
Note: The operation hours may differ as the ones listed in this blog post are following the current Phase 2 MCO schedule and curfew.
Additionally, please zoom into the photos to see the price tags of certain items. There are too many things to take note of.
Seoul Mart Supermarkets
This is a small Korean Mart that is run by a sweet Korean family who sells genuine Korean food and goods which is very true to the needs of authentic Korean Families. They sell a bunch of things here, even items that may not be found in other Korean marts. Here I found my favourite seaweed snacks and chikin-mu (pickled radish specifically for Korean fried chicken).
The prices are surprisingly very friendly and affordable, seeing that it is located in one of the busiest retail areas of Hartamas. The Korean owners are very warm and welcoming. They do prefer cash but card payments are accepted. The store is relatively small but you can count on them for your daily and K-food necessities.
Phone: 03-6201 3060 | Daily: 9am – 8pm
Address: Ground Floor, Plaza Crystal Ville Centre, 27, Jalan 23/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Surrounding: Near DaoRae Sri Hartamas.
This is a spacious and open supermarket which has a very comforting environment. I’m not entirely sure who owns this but it felt like a corporate market instead. The prices here are also surpringly cheaper than most of the Korean marts within this list. For example, there’s a bottle of coffee that my boyfie was eyeing, he noticed that the price everywhere was arounr RM7.50 or above but right here, it was about RM5.90. Of course some of the items would still be more expensive than other stores. I guess it just depends on what you want but generally, we both noticed that majority of the things we want are cheaper here. The overall feeling was great. I can’t wait to go back again and shop for my monthly groceries.
This is a relatively decent store. It has almost everything you need as well. I think price-wise it was either in between of all stores or slightly above average. Lots of Koreans shop here though which is justified by the amount of items available here. This place is pretty huge. However, the store was not constructed with windows so the overall feeling was a little bit stuffy and they need to rely on lights. Staffs are the type to mind their business unless you call for them or want to check out your cart. Other than that, there weren’t any significant things to talk about.
We parked at 163 Kiara (RM1/hr) and walked over to 1 Mont Kiara to find this store. The elevator needs to check in and out using MySejahtera and the elevators are spaced quite far away. The shops upstairs are all closed too, so it was a little eerie. I guess it might change once things are ‘normal’ again.
Similarly to Ko Mart, the price point is either between all the stores mentioned here or slightly above average. One of the interesting things is that this is the only Korean mart with a built-in cafe stand. They do sell all sorts of things as well and they have a ‘Bargain’ section that contains boxes and boxes of soju and other Korean beverages, selling in bulk for a cheaper price. They have many staffs who consistently stock up the racks. This Korean mart is definitely a corporate-style one. The downside of this is the parking in this area. Solaris is not a friendly place for drivers and ironically, there isn’t a lot of public transport options in Hartamas as well.
There are many reasons as to why I put this last but let me talk about what I like about this store first. I like that there are plentiful options to choose from. It can be considered a big store and sells a lot of things. There are many staffs who are attentive as well. The cashier girl was very friendly and I enjoyed browsing around.
The downside of this place is that: the parking availability is horrible and it is difficult to find a spot to park. In most cases, many cars had already double-parked there. Aside from that, the prices are actually quite expensive. Although there are certain things that they are selling cheap but the majority of the things I want are on the expensive side.
Also, speaking of attentive staff, this is the only store whose employee walked up to me and asked me why I am taking photos within the store. I don’t remember seeing a sign that forbids photography in the store and they did not let me know why they approached me for taking pictures in stores. The other Korean Marts are okay with it. After asking me about my “motives”, the staff walked away but continuously monitored us from the end of the aisle wherever we go. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any good reasons and my experiences tell me that usually, the stores that stop people from taking pictures are rather shady. I also thought it was fine to take photos since Google Reviews has so many photos of this place uploaded. I suppose you can take this information and do whatever you want with it.
In any case, I would not be going back there since I found better places to shop at.
I hope enjoyed this short post! Let me know if you have more Korean mart recommendations around the Hartamas area (or any other places) that aren’t listed on Google. I would love to visit someday.
The next places that I planned to visit are Ampang, Mutiara Damansara, and Sunway/Subang Jaya. I’m not entirely sure when but I’ll definitely update with another blog post when I do.
Have a great day!