Today, I’ve got a little mini haul to show you. These are some purchases that I made on a mini-tour of a few Asian grocers in Canberra. I was inspired to take a look at some Asian grocers because I wanted to see if I could find some kaya. It’s ok everyone, relax, I know you were deeply concerned, but I have now found places to buy kaya in Canberra. In fact, 3 of the Asian grocers that I went to had it…yay!
My first stop was Asian Provisions in Phillip. I’d actually never heard of this Asian grocer until a friend of mine recommended it to me on my facebook page. They had a lot of good stuff, including some fresh pandan leaves which I know can be hard to find in Canberra. They also had kaya! It’s my first time ever seeing kaya in Australia, so I got a bit excited.
Some other groceries at Asian Provisions that stood out for me were:
- Frozen mantou
- Youtiao (fresh)
- Thai basil
- Asian chives
- Fresh Cendol
- Fresh pandan leaves
- Matcha powder
- Freshly baked sesame and bean paste balls
- I also noticed a sign that they had near the register about being able to order in BBQ ducks. Yum!
Indonesian coconut sugar and Malaysian gula melaka (which melted in the car…oops) from Asian Provisions.
I picked up most of the stuff in my mini haul from this shop (mainly because I went there first and I wasn’t actually looking to get a lot that day)
Asian provisions had groceries from: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines and India.
Caramel sauce and superior dark soy sauce from Asian Provisions
My next stop was Daily Market at the ANU which was another new store for me. This place is massive and as I first walked in my eyes were simultaneously drawn to all of the chocolates and confectionary at the front of the store as well as a big selection of seeds for Asian greens and vegetables. I will definitely be heading back there soon for some seeds for the veggie patch.
Groceries that stood out for me at Daily Market were:
- Thai basil – I’m always on the lookout for this as it can be tricky to find and I LOVE it.
- A wide selection of frozen meats
- Pretz and Pocky variaties that I hadn’t even seen in Singapore
- Yuzu mix for tea
- Some delicious looking ice creams
- Lots of imported American confectionary and soft drinks like A&W root beer (a fave of mine that I indulged in a lot in Singapore)
They had groceries from: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, the Philippines, America and Korea.
Pandan colouring and wakame (dried sea vegetable) from Asian Provisions
Bestore in Mitchell opened up just before we moved to Singapore, so it’s one that I’ve been looking forward to checking out for a while. Bestore is a Korean grocer that has plenty of processed groceries but also a fresh meat counter that focuses on Asian and Korean cuts of meat. If you wanted to make shabu shabu or a steamboat, I’d definitely check this place out. They also had some home ware items and inexplicably, uggs and mobile phone cases.
I’m not as familiar with Korean groceries and a lot of the items didn’t have translations on them, but I did recognise some yuzu tea mix again and they had a big wall of rice which reminded me of the supermarkets in Singapore.
Bestore mainly had groceries from Korea.
Roasted rice snack from Bestore.
Vina Groceries in Gungahlin was my last stop for the day and by far my favourite store. Bonus, as this store is about a 5 minute drive from our house. This grocer definitely focuses more on Vietnamese groceries and they had the best selection of Vietnamese fresh herbs that I have ever seen.
I got pretty excited in this store and the main groceries that stood out for me were:
- Halo halo mix
- Lye water (used in some noodles but also a necessity for authentic pretzels)
- Black tapioca pearls (dried)
- A selection of fresh noodles
- Fresh herbs like perilla, Thai basil and sawtooth coriander a lot of others that I didn’t immediately recognise. I’d say this is the place in Canberra for Vietnamese herbs.
- Frozen ox tails
- Frozen pork spare ribs
- Frozen net spring rolls and net spring roll wrappers
- Frozen young coconut juice with flesh
Vina Groceries had groceries mainly from Vietnam, the Philippines and China
I can see myself visiting this grocer again and again for all my Asian groceries.
Rice paper rolls with black sesame from Vina Groceries. I assume you can use these like normal rice paper rolls but I’ve also seen them fried and turned into a kind of cracker. I plan to try this out with these rice papers.
I have a recipe coming up soon that makes use of the wakame and roasted rice snacks, so keep an eye out for that.
There are only so many Asian grocers that one Asian-food-lover can see in one day, so I plan to have a part 2 (and perhaps part 3) on Asian grocers in Canberra coming up for you soon.