BUY & TRY: Convenience Store F&B

Common convenience store chains you will find in Korea include GS25, CU, 7-11, Mini Stop and FamilyMart. They’re found at almost every corner, and in every place that you think you might starve to death because there isn’t a proper restaurant in sight.

Settling a meal in any of the convenience stores in Korea is such a breeze that I wouldn’t mind eating most of my meals there. While I’ve tried some of their microwaveable meals, onigiri and cup ramyeon, my most frequent purchases from the convenience stores are drinks and snacks.

I’ve recorded most of my purchases there and taken a note of which ones I’ll definitely recommend and repurchase again. This list will be updated as often as I can ~

RECOMMENDED


Soju

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I know it sounds awfully strange that the first thing I’m recommending is soju, but if you’re from a country that has heavy taxes on alcohol (read: Singapore), you’ll truly appreciate how cheap soju is in Korea. One bottle can cost about SGD 12 to 16 in Singapore, while it costs less than SGD 2 in Korea – it’s really your loss if you don’t try this out here where it’s so cheap.


Denmark in Pocket Cheese

If there’s something I miss the most from Korea’s convenience stores, it’s got to be the pocket cheese. I love cheese, and so do the Koreans. This cheese is stringy, chewy, and as delicious as it needs to be. I would buy one almost every week, especially when I get stressed/bored from studying. They have many flavours to choose from, but my personal favourite is the light version.

I usually just eat them straight without heating. It might sound gross, but it actually tastes really great when you chew it. I did try to heat up my cheese once, but it turned out to be a horrible mess because I didn’t set the temperature right. Nonetheless, hot, messy cheese also turned out to be very delicious.

If there’s one item I must recommend from this whole list, it will definitely be Denmark in Pocket Cheese, hands down.

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Water Jelly Plus

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I bought 3 of these at one shot because there was a 2+1 offer, so I thought I might as well take the chance. How bad could these be, right?

Thankfully, this turned out to be pretty good. The drinks weren’t too sweet, and were quite thirst-quenching in the summer heat. My personal favourites are grape and peach; the grapefruit one tasted a little too sour for my liking. There are other flavours like mango, but they weren’t included in the 2+1 offer so I didn’t get them. Maybe next time ~


Cafe Ice Cube (Chewing gum)

This had me duped. I initially thought that they were coffee-flavoured gummies or something when I saw this at the cashier, and since I was in a rush + they were rather cheap, I decided to just try it out… and when I ate one, I finally realized that these cubes were chewing gum. It was not a bad thing – the more I chewed on them, the better they tasted! This was probably the first time I ate coffee-flavoured chewing gum, and I’m not sure if it’s just my subconsciousness but I think there was this nice icy feeling in my mouth when I chewed on them.


Microwaveable Bentos

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I’ve forgotten what the exact brand was, but I got this from GS25 and this was really very good and filling. The meat was okay, but what I loved most about this was the rice HAHA.  I remember the rice tasting like garlic butter, and it was so satisfying that I finished everything.

I think I got this for about 4800 won, which is a little on the expensive side (probably because of the meat), but I recommend eating this when you’re too lazy to go and eat a proper meal or if you just want to try eating a microwaved meal from GS25 in Korea.


Double Dip Pepero Sweet Yogurt

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I love Pepero – I’ve tried all the conventional flavours that they sell in supermarkets, and this one really caught my eye. The packaging looks and feels more luxurious, and the yoghurt dip did not disappoint at all. If you enjoy drinking yoghurt drinks and eating Pepero, this is the snack for you.


NOT RECOMMENDED


Mini Sausages

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“Maxbon Cheese contains specially selected white meat fish and more than 15% of high-melt cheese and cheddar cheese, upgrading the mini sausage market.”

As you can probably tell by now, my specialty is eating processed food. I saw a lot of Korean people buying this from the convenience stores and eating them on the streets, and decided on trying it for myself once and for all. As with Koreans’ love for cheese, I decided to go for cheese.

I thought I might have to microwave this, but it turns out that you can just eat this directly. A tad dubious, but I went ahead and ate it straight after unwrapping. I was expecting the cheese to be oozing out of the sausage, but I was sorely disappointed when all I ate was some chewy meat, and it was white fish meat when I was expecting chicken or pork. The cheese was also in some chewy solid form (?) and nothing like what I expected. It didn’t taste that bad, but honestly nothing really noteworthy either.

I really wouldn’t recommend this if you’re really craving for sausages or hotdogs because this won’t satisfy your cravings at all.


Microwaveable Gratin

The photos say it all.

In all honesty, it didn’t taste as bad as I expected it to be. However, the cheese (although served in decent portions) was extremely unsatisfying, and the meat was quite dry. I didn’t think it was worth my 2900 won, and I won’t be trying this ever again.

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Author: Vivian

“I dream. Sometimes I think that's the only right thing to do.” ― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

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