Friday, March 29, 2019

Korea 2018 | Lotte Mart, Seoul Station {롯데마트-서울역점} - Supermarket Shopping Heaven!

I love supermarket-shopping, especially at mega supermarkets like Lotte Mart in Korea where it's filled with unique and yummy Korean goodies hehe.

Coles/ Woolworths in Australia, Big C in Thailand, Tesco in Malaysia, Aeon in Japan... I love them all ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

It came as no surprise then that Lotte Mart, Seoul Station was the first place we visited on our mother-daughter winter holiday to Korea last year after we checked-in at our hotel!

Lotte Mart sells more than just groceries and food. It also sells household items, clothes, fashion accessories, electronics, sport equipment, shoes, toys cosmetics, pet food etc. at very competitive prices.

The branch at Seoul Station is perhaps the largest in Seoul, and is definitely larger than the one at Jamil Station {where Lotte World Theme Park is located}. It is a supermarket shopping paradise where the first level has the food, cosmetics, kitchen, daily essentials sections, a corner Daiso shop, and counter restaurants / food court. The second floor has the sportswear, stationery, clothes, pets sections, as well as Muji and Uniqlo shops.

FYI, next to Lotte Mart here is Lotte Outlets that offers more than 140 famous brands at reasonable, and sometimes discounted, prices!

We were pretty hungry by the time we arrived at Lotte Mart so we stopped by one of the counter restaurants first.

Lil Pumpkin and I were craving for good ol' Korean ramen so even though the owner tried to entice us with his promo set of 1 x fried rice, 1 x  kimchi ramen and a packet drink for just 7,000won {S$8.35}, we were pretty adamant to get 2 bowls of ramen!! hehehe

Even then, our bill came out to just 11,000won {S$13.10} for 2 bowls of ramen and an extra side dish of seafood tempura.

What a steal! I mean, a good bowl of Korean ramen in Singapore probably costs S$11 by itself.. and this was really delicious. I should have ordered 2 portions of the seafood tempura.. will definitely patronise this restaurant again whenever we're back at Lotte Mart, Seoul Station.

After we were all warmed up and full, we were raring to go shop around!!

Lotte Mart at Seoul Station is a must-visit for most tourists to Seoul {I mean, everyone has to eat or snack, right??!}, so don't worry if you don't speak or read a word of Korean. There are English translations to most of the food sold, and you can probably find a staff who would be able to speak to you in English.

My word, the variety of instant noodles here is really extensive!!

And I screamed with delight just looking at the cereals and granolas!!! It's probably the packaging, but they all just look so delicious, cute and enticing... Makes me want to buy them all!!

Kellogg's a huge cereal brand there and although Singapore has many of the usual flavours, they do have some special flavours e.g. Oreo O's and Hershey's.

If you want to buy the usual Korean specialty products like ginseng, seaweed, kimchi, toppoki etc. to bring back as souvenirs, you can find them all here in one location too. So convenient! O(≧∇≦)O

Not sure if you can see, but that pink can of Pringles is Butter Caramel flavoured potato chips! It's the first time I've seen sweet flavours for Pringles and have kinda mixed feelings towards it haha.. should have bought a can to try though.

Was pleasantly surprised to see a range of Korean protein powder.. maybe will get a bottle the next time the boy and I come together.

I love eating hotteok {Korean sweet pancakes}, especially during winter, and was happy to try the ready-made ones in the supermarkets. Bad idea. They taste totally different and were too doughly/ dense, unlike the soft chewy hotteok you can get from the street carts.

Oh, LINE FRIENDS is extremely popular here in Korea and there are many food, accessories and products marketed with the characters. 

Just a few examples of the non-food items that are available... Mental note to buy back the lightweight aluminum instant noodle pot next time. The small one costs 4,500won {S$5.35}.

You can probably find a wider and cheaper range of obento and cutlery ware from Changsin-Dong Wholesale Market {동대문 문구완구거리}. And FYI, if you're traveling around in Seoul with kids, you should probably go to Changsin-dong toys & stationary market at least once!

I actually bought her that LINE FRIENDS Brown bear headband {9,900won or S$11.80} because she wanted it and looked so kawaii with it!!

You've to rent a trolley cart with a refundable deposit of 100won {S$0.10} but if you've to go toilet or want to take a break from shopping halfway, you can also park it with your shopping items in a locker.

These are some of my favourite items I purchased that day.

1) Lotte Yogurt Jelly is a very popular snack, but what I love is actually their Yogurt-covered Almonds or Cashews {5,900won or S$7 for 210g}!! Bought them for the boy actually since he is nuts about nuts, but I ended up eating most of them myself haha..

2) Kellogg's Hershey's chocolate puffs {8,280won or S$9.85 for 500g} with chocolate filling is kinda like the new Nestlé Koko Maxx I guess, except that it's made with Hershey's milk or dark chocolate. Really delicious and the boy could easily finish one 500g packet in 1-2 seatings!

3) Beef Jerky {4,000won or S$4.80} from their house brand is different from the American versions as it's not that salty or oily. Really nice, dry and chewy texture. I loved having these packets as quick protein snacks whenever we were out and about.

4) Honey Chocolate Milk {3,480won or S$4.15 for 750ml} was a last-minute buy as we just wanted a quick drink before we left the supermarket. It turned out to be an excellent buy since it was thick, creamy with just a tinge of sweet honey. Very good value-for-money.

One thing I love about shopping at Lotte Mart is that you can get instant VAT tax refund at the cashiers upon payment if you spend about 30,000won {S$35.75} and show your passport. Easy!! No need to go through the hassle of going to different counters to collect your tax back, and it definitely saves a heck lot of time. 

Of course, some items are not eligible for tax refund and the tax refund for cosmetic items sold in Lotte Mart are done by the individual brands since you pay for them separately at their own counters. So for example, if you buy cosmetics from Innisfree, you have to buy 30,000won and above of Innisfree products to get the immediate tax refund from them, and can't combine purchases with other items in the supermarket.

I came prepared to Lotte Mart and brought my own large "auntie" zipped canvas bag and IKEA blue canvas bag to carry our shopping items back. Both of which I carried myself on the train back to the hotel #thankGodforgymtraining ( ᐛ )و

Don't worry if you forget your own bags, as they do sell reusuable eco bags, as well as provide free carton boxes and tape for packing your stuff.

As I read somewhere, when you come to shop at  Lotte Mart, it's really not a matter of what you can buy, but what you can bring back home. If you do over-buy {oops!!}, Lotte Mart also has a counter for EMS overseas shipping for you to send your purchases back to your home country directly.

All in all, Lil Pumpkin and I spent about 4 hours at Lotte Mart. And my bill came up to about S$250+?? hehe.. the boy was pretty surprised but then to my defense, I did buy a considerable amount of souvenirs and snacks to last Lil Pumpkin and me for our time in Korea.

Thank you Lil Pumpkin for being so patient to shop with Mummy in the supermarket. She was bored at times, of course, but thank goodness there were interesting items for her too, and we had WiFi so was happy to sit down to chat/ play games with her friends for a while (*^▽^*)

You can see some of the other items found in Lotte Mart, Seoul Station in this video.  If you aren't able to view it properly, please see on my YouTube channel here. And subscribe while you're at it!! hehe #shamelessplug

Pop by {and follow hehe!} my Instagram and FB page for more of our trip updates and pictures. I documented it on-the-go on my IG Story Highlights - look for Korea #1 and Korea #2 folders.

Lotte Mart, Seoul Station {롯데마트-서울역점}
426, Cheongpa-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul {서울특별시 중구 청파로 426}
Nearest MTR station: Seoul, Exit 1 {Lines 1 and 4}
Open daily, 10am - 12 midnight {Closed every 2nd & 4th Sunday}

Other Korea travel posts:


Small Kucing said...

so many choices there. You had me drooling here

An Apel a Day said...

I'd like a few of their bags, and would totally load up on soups and snacks! Yummy!

Theresa Mahoney said...

One of my favorite things to do when we go to a new country is scope out their supermarkets. It's always fun to see the different flavors of foods that we don't get here. I bough ketchup flavored chips in Canada, and Prawn Cocktail flavor Pringles in England. It's always fun to see the different packaging too. I think I'd love to scope out Lotte Mart!

Stacy said...

I'd go nuts there too! Then have the headache of how to get everything home.

mail4rosey said...

Sometimes it's okay to splurge. ;) Looks like a great place to shop.