Munchies Paradise - Aji Ichiban
That's what written on the window of this new candy/snack place in chinatown square. And it is. they have rows and rows of candies, preserved plums, candied lemon slices, wasabi tuna dice, hot shredded ginger etc. The best thing though is on top of every bin is a little bowl full of the item for you to taste. If i had a little more time and a little less shame I might have tried every single item
I was told by the folks ther that in the US there are three other stores in NY, and others worldwide
2217-A S. China PL.
Sun - Thu 10a - 8p
Fri - Sat 10a - 9p
I was very happy to see that Aji Ichiban had opened up a store in Chicago. They don't actually offer samples of all the items--at least they didn't when I was there--but they did offer samples of a lot of them. The best of the items I bought was the isoyaki scallop: delicious, individually wrapped, dried smoked scallops. Unfortunately, they're very expensive ($50/lb!) and one of the items which can't be sampled (I asked), but you can buy just one or two, at about a buck apiece. Also good were the tuna dice (the plain ones; I didn't try the wasabi ones), the XO shrimp (also expensive), the sweet peaches, and the "preserved fruit" (I don't remember what kind of fruit this was (I notice that the first character in the Chinese name is the character for "mountain"), but the item number is 2054).
re: Adam Stephanides
I just was at the one here in NYC on Mott Street in Chinatown. Some of the items you've mentioned, I don't remember seeing. Do you think they sell different stuff in different parts of the country? I got, among other things, some sweet-and-salty tiny crabs -- carapace about 1-inch across, whole crab, very crunchy. We love this store; nice to know that when we visit Chicago we can get that stuff.
re: Suzanne Fass (in NYC)
I've been to the Mott St. store too, and I don't remember seeing the isoyaki scallop or XO shrimp there (but then, I don't remember seeing the crabs there either; I wish I had). I also didn't notice the Chicago store having the extensive selection of olives that the Mott St. store did, though it's possible they had them and I just overlooked it.
re: Adam Stephanides
I buy the small whole crab snacks w/sesame seeds at Mitsuwa.
Freeks out non-chowhounds when I much these w/a beer instead of nachos!
Have not spent enough time to see if Mitsuwa has the extensive snacks listed above, my guess is not, so I will have to make trip to Chinatown, darn ;)