5 grocery shops in Hong Kong to grab exotic food ingredients

Homechefs might be running out of dishes to cook as Hong Kong enters its ninth week of evening dining ban. Maybe you want to recreate your favorite restaurant dish at home or experiment with a new cuisine. Whatever the reason might be, you will find these local grocery stores a pleasure to visit and bring much inspiration to your next dinner menu. Here is a round-up of places to get the most authentic ingredients to power your next exotic dish.

Japanese mart: Guu San

If you have grown tired of the claustrophobic and intense shopping experiences in Don Don Donki, Guu San in Tsim Sha Tsui should be next on the list to source your Japanese groceries. Guu San is the concept store of its Japanese supermarket chain sister brand, UNY, which advocates the four ideals of Japanese living, “comfort”(安), “grow”(養),  “rest”(歇) and “union”(聚). The supermarket is divided into three zones namely the Sawaya, which offers Japanese snacks and seasonings; Kome Korner, an outlet for Japanese takeaways such as omusubi (rice balls) and soup; and the Salfee Bar, a coffee shop that offers light eats such as salad and baked delicacies. Overall, the shop is a great meet-up spot to source Japanese grocery goods with your friends which also offers an ambient coffee spot to rest up after your shopping trip.

Korean mart: New World Mart

The New World Mart owns a selection of sub-brands along Kimberly Street in Tsim Sha Tsui. Each store specializes in a specific sub-category of Korean groceries. The main shop, New World Mart, was first opened in 1995. It is a one-stop shop for everyday Korean groceries ranging from seasonings, soup stocks and even metal cooking pots for your ramen. Walk a few blocks ahead and you will find Kimchi Factory, which is the branch that specializes in kimchi and frozen foods. Up next is the New World Mart Chef & Taste which offers fresh produce and takeaways. Here, you can buy Korean imported beef sirloin and pork belly for a take-home Korean barbecue experience. There is also a snack counter inside the shop that offers freshly made kimbap and doboeki. If you are craving authentic Korean street food from Myeongdong, walk up to O’taste at number 7 of the same street to grab their Korean sandwich, bento boxes and fried corn dogs. New Mart is definitely a location to look out for whether you are an intrepid cook or simply a foodie who craves authentic Korean food.

Italian mart: Il Bel Paese

Il Bel Paese is the largest Italian deli chain in Hong Kong and even offers in-house dining in some of their local branches. The Italian food stock selection is a more budget alternative to its dine-in option which usually costs around 200-400 HKD per person. The selection of food stocks is very diverse, running from exquisite gourmet ham and cheese to onions, garlic and tomatoes that come in a vine. The arrangement of the shop gives you the feel of a petite neighborhood corner shop where you will get everything you need to complete your dinner menu. If you are not an avid cook, you can also opt to stop by one of their stores to grab a pre-made dinner to reheat.

British mart: Feather and Bone

Feather and Bone is a cute boutique British mart that gathers high-end fresh produce especially curated for meat lovers. It is one of the very few meat retail shops in the neighborhoods of Hong Kong island that offers a large selection of top-quality meat including dry-aged beef. Trained butchers are always at the counter to make recommendations on steak that would complement your cooking. Customers can enjoy it in-store in their restaurant extension or purchase it as bring-home steak. The shop also offers cabinets of sauce and side dish ingredients to go with your steak. The shop arranges its stock in a way that it almost feels like an antique museum – no wonder it is a big hit among expats, locals and has expanded branches across Hong Kong in the span of 7 years. It is definitely a must go for meat-lovers.

Indian mart: Star Mart

Indian cuisines vary significantly from south to north but share the commonality of incorporating lots of different spices to add complexity and depths to flavors. This is exactly why mastering Indian cooking is a hassle especially if you cannot get your hands on the full list of seasonings. But worry no more as you can now rely on the Indian food importer Star Mart for ingredients that can bring your Indian cooking to a new level. The shop stocks everything from grocery items, personal care, spices, and even a special variety of festive decorations and delicacies with convenient locations across Hong Kong in Hung Hom, Aberdeen, Discovery Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. The shop, like most other Indian marts, offers home delivery with a turnaround time of around 1-2 days after the time of order.

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