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Published November 22nd 2020
Follow a foodie to this unusual supermarket
Homes Supermarket When you think about a supermarket, you will think of those traditional chained supermarkets where you can stock all necessities from food to shampoo with your familiar brands. May I challenge you to visit the Homes Supermarket in Chinatown and see it yourself? I will take you on a discovery journey like a 5-course degustation meal in a fancy restaurant.
From soft drinks to alcohol, you are spoilt with choices. There is a whole aisle dedicated to drinks from flavoured green tea to flavoured soya milk imported from Asia. I am drawn by the cutest cans that store characters like Pikachu, Snorlax, Bulbasaur, etc. A bit of a Google lookup has landed myself in Japan for this uniquely flavoured sparkling water.
Alcoholic drinks range from Japanese umeshu (plum wine) to Korean fruit-flavoured soju (distilled alcoholic beverage) and more. The wine list is certainly impressive as well as extensive. Before you taste the world, let's drink the world. Cheers!
A whole aisle dedicated to drinks imported from Asia
Entrée For an entree, there are steamed soft buns with vegetarians, pork or plain options. Nothing beats the hot buns straight from the steamers. You can also buy the pre-packed takeaway version for rainy days. Other than the freshly made buns, you can venture out to the snack section. There you will find snacks like unshelled sunflower seeds, lotus root chips, spicy Sichuan pepper and chilli vegetarian beef, roast chicken drumsticks, etc.
The Chinese characters on the packaging can be quite a challenge but also part of the fun like reading a menu in a foreign country when you travel. Since these are all imported food, you will find a label that lists the ingredients. This should give you some idea of whether it's savoury or sweet and vegetarian or meat.
Noodles Do you recall the instant noodles 15 minutes challenge in Masterchef Australia 2020? There were so many different types of instant noodles on display. In the Homes Supermarket, there is an entire wall of shelves dedicated to instant noodles. If you try one packet a day, how many days will it take you to try out all different flavours?
Main Main will be a feast of duck 4 ways and a great variety of spicy food. The duck 4 ways will take you on a journey of spicy duck hearts, duck tongues, duck feet & duck wings Spicy pork ear salad, beef tripe with chilli oil and spicy pork tripe salad are for the adventurers. The safer options will be pork belly with garlic sauce, cucumber beef salad and the spicy beef combination salad which is also my favourite. I like to add plain rice noodles with this spicy beef salad. A meal without cooking. How good is that? You can order it by weight or by how much just like how you buy ham from the deli. Apart from the typical fresh vegetables, frozen meat and seafood, you will also find fresh meat for sale. I like the labels in both Chinese and English. Time for a language lesson from daily life. It looks like certain cuts of meat are more popular in this Chinese run supermarket.
After all the heat from the spicy food, it is time for desserts. On the traditional side, boiling the frozen Tangyuan which is glutinous rice balls made with sweet fillings like black sesame or azuki beans will be heart-warming for winter Or the novelty buns shaped like bunny and piggy that you see on Instagram?
What about some unusual flavours like lychee cake or taro cake? In the summer, you may fancy the ice blocks or ice-cream in the freezer. Have you tried these flavours mung bean or even the notoriously stinky durian?
Chinese tang yuan (glutinous rice balls with fillings) in the freezer