Don't be scared people!
This market is a proper southeast Asian market. And I mean PROPER. Probably the most proper one I've been to in this part of town. The bonus? They have a lot of vegan meats. I suppose though, it can be a little off-putting, since it's in a section of the store that smells like a combo of moth balls and pickled meats. I don't really eat the fake meats that often, but I now know where I can get it when/if I want it. They even have vegan prawns! Plus the tofu here is super cheap! I'd been looking for a place like this nearby for a while, so I'm glad I finally went in after passing by it on the bus so many times.
Also great is that they sell a lot of random street foods you'd find all over Southeast Asia, like fried sesame rice balls with bean paste inside! Go here for all your (Southeast) Asian needs. Tesco is so much more expensive. Plus all the fresh produce and spices you need to make your curries, both Thai and Chinese, can be found here... even a few things you may have never heard of.
Quirky supermarket complete with the loud blaring TV showing Vietnamese films where the staff seem to relax at the counter. However the lack of English removed me from the familiarity of London to Saigon....
I spotted fresh meat and fish being sold but I prefer my meat to be packed and chilled from a supermarket aisle... But I did notice various Vietnamese groceries and some Chinese/Thai lines as well along with an assortment of fresh but unidentifiable vegetables. Probably I was not looking hard enough I could not find my favourite iced coffee. It's like a strong sweetened espresso ideal for warm days but when you need a caffeine fix!
If you need a Thai or Vietnamese cooking ingredient it is a fair bet that Starnight has it! It may be quirky, it may be chaotic, it may be scruffy but it has everything!
It is very easy to find, they are helpful and friendly and apparently they supply the local Vietnamese restaurants.
They don't just sell food though - everything from fake Thai currency to rice cookers. You have to go there - it is a great experience!
A quite mad Vietnamese place at the lower end of Mare Street. Obviously this definition doesn't apply if you yourself are Vietnamese but, for anyone else, kerrazy. As well as just about every type of fresh, dried and frozen Vietnamese and Asian foodstuff, Star Night stocks real Thai Red Bull, rice cookers, lacquer bowls, giant drums of vegetable oil, fireworks, TVs, fairly convincing wads of fake Thai baht and hundred dollar bills and, bizarrely of all, a fridge full of sandwiches. Who in their right minds goes to a Thai supermarket to buy a cheese sandwich? If you get lost among the rice paper and pestle & mortar sets, don't expect to be helped by the staff. There's a universal lack of Engl(r)ish speakers. Overall, you can't argue with what's offered at Star Night, but I usually head for the smaller and friendlier Le Mi up the street.
It's nice to know you don't have to go all the way to China Town to get Chinese and Asian groceries In fact there are a few places on Mare St and Kingsland Road. The décor in this shop is a little dingy overall, but I found the range fascinating. It's a large shop, packed with stuff. Noodles, sweets, dried stuff, fresh vegetables. Even fake money (I think that's used in some festivals?) and a whole stack of rice cookers. The sort of place I always find something I've not seen before!
Today was my first day at Broadway Market (not bad) and London Video Supermarket Starnight (fantastic). This large, but not quite huge, Asian supermarket specializes in a wide range of Asian supplies (mostly slated towards the Vietnamese/Thai/Chinese markets - more limited Japanese options). This is a place to get all your Asian vegetables and greens (lots and lots of varieties), assorted seafood and meats, spices (including fresh tumeric), assorted rices, sauces, etc etc etc. This is an Asian market for Asians (individuals and I suspect local restaurants) not necessarily Westerners, and it certainly isn't "quirky" or "kerrazy" as the other two reviews on Yelp state (unless this description applies essentially to the whole of South East Asia). It's just a good, cheap, comprehensive Asian market. Well worth visiting for those in the vicinity who need a fix of Asian ingredients for the culinary needs. Prices are very reasonable - we bought a huge amount of stuff (stocking up an empty apartment from a recent move to London) and everything came out to little over 30 Pounds. A real bargain.
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