We are used to seeing Korean convenience stores in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), since they have long existed in BGC. Regular supermarkets already cater to foreigners from USA, and we long have SÄNTIS Delicatessen BGC to provide European residents with their groceries. There is unfortunately no Japanese grocery store in BGC, but there are many not far away in Makati. In the last 6 months, a slew of Chinese grocery stores have emerged, albeit quietly, in the Fort.

Photo above: SÄNTIS Delicatessen at Bonifacio High Street stocks a variety of European cheeses and cured meat as well as canned produces including escargots.

Map of convenience stores offering foreign food items in BGC

C- Chinese convenience store; K – Korean convenience store; E -European grocery store

Korean convenience stores

K1. Boni Global Mart 

G/F, Kensington Place, 1st Avenue, BGC, The Fort

9AM – 11PM

K2. Sun-Han-Mart

G/F, Fort Palm Spring Condominium, 30th Street corner 1st Avenue, BGC, The Fort

Opens 24-hour

K3. ASSI Fresh

G/F, Commercenter building, 31st Street corner 4th Avenue, BGC, The Fort

Opens 24-hour

K4. Gang Nam

G/F, THe Fort Strip, 28th Street, BGC, The Fort

Opens 24-hour

These stores sell Korean instant noodles, softdrinks, frozen meat and fresh vegetables that are unique to Korean or Japanese cuisines. We particularly like their fresh vegetables which are in very good condition, as well as the wide selection of unique ice-cream.

Chinese convenience stores

C1. Qing Tian (closed)

2/F, Crescent Park Residences, 30th Street corner 2nd Avenue, BGC, The Fort

8AM – 2AM

C2. Sunny

2/F, Grand Hamptons Tower II, 31st Street corner 1st Avenue, BGC, The Fort

C3. Yoyo

2/F, Forum Mall, 7th Avenue corner Federacion Drive, BGC, The Fort

C4. Yohoo

G/F, Fort Palm Spring Condominium, 30th Street corner 1st Avenue, BGC, The Fort

C5. Bai Fen Bai Mart

G/F, The Infinity Tower, 25th Street, BGC, The Fort (Tel. 09155105558)

There is apparently also a Chinese grocery store at Market! Market! Fiesta, near the flower stores and faces Serendra (Wei Wei Cold Store), but it primarily sells processed frozen food and some frozen shrimps.

We, non-Koreans, are used to exploring the shelves of Koreans to try to find unusual food for tasting. However, we bet not many have ventured into a Chinese grocery store to find out if there is anything that is worth risking our taste buds.

Chinese convenience stores are new in the Fort, and many of them are located in obscure places with small to no signs. 

Instead of showing date of expiration, apparently Chinese food items show the date of manufacturing, and you have to look for the shelf life specified on the item to figure out whether it has passed its shelf life or not.

We decided to do some taste testing ourselves, and chose some instant noodles that looked quite different from the usual instant noodles. Disclaimer: we do not advocate the frequent consumption of instant noodle, as this food type is known to contain a lot of artificial flavorings and preservatives that may be harmful to health. Once a month is our own allowable frequency for consuming instant noodle.

One is for cleaver-sliced noodles with roasted beef flavor. 

Photo above: cleaver-sliced noodle. Pouches for sauce, pickled seaweed, seasoning powder, and dried egg and vegetables

The fresh cleaver sliced noodle, according to a person who has tried it, has a chewy but not tough texture. The instant ones we tried had the broad noodle shape, and was also a little chewy, but the texture was very uniform, unlike that of fresh sliced noodle. Nonetheless, the instant one as shown on the photo was liked by 3 out of 4 of our noodle tasters.

Left: yogurt drink with goji berry and red date: center: walnut drink; right: drinkable guilinggao jelly

All our tasters like the yogurt drink and the walnut drink. The later was described as tasting like rice and did not taste too sweet, which is healthy. 

Guilinggao was traditionally made from the powdered plastron (bottom shell) from the turtle Cuora trifasciata (commonly known as “three-lined box turtle”, or “golden coin turtle”, ÚçæÚîóÚ¥£) and a variety of herbal products including chrysanthemum flower.┬áMore often, commercially available gu─½l├¡ngg─üo sold as a dessert does not contain turtle shell powder. They share the same herbal additives as the medicine and are similarly marketed as being good for skin complexion when ingested. Since herbal medicine is usually bitter, the one we tried had a lot of sugar added to it, and was mostly sweet and a little bitter. The taste needs to be acquired. We are waiting to see if our skin gets smoother :).

If you are a lover of Chinese or Korean convenience food, then BGC is your must-visit hunting ground. 

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