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Asian Supermarket in SoNo

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luvarugula Jun 13, 2008 10:40 AM

Does anybody know anything about this market going into South Norwalk (in the old US Marine store space)? I'm curious, since I live in the general vicinity. I have often done my Asian specialty food shopping at the market in Broad River. I wish that they had more fresh produce, but I almost always find what I need in bags, jars and cans.

I might swing by there this weekend. If I find anything out, I will post it.

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  1. jfood RE: luvarugula Jun 13, 2008 11:40 AM

    the other good asian store in the area is on main street in the strip mall across from liz su bagels and A&S italian deli

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood
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      luvarugula RE: jfood Jun 13, 2008 04:52 PM

      jfood...that's the one I was talking about. It's decent, but small. I go there quite often, especially in the summer. I am just wondering about what's going in that HUGE space that use to be the boat store.

      A&S...another favorite!

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      UWStoSONO RE: luvarugula Jun 14, 2008 02:53 PM

      I noticed that a couple weeks ago as I live on Washington Street. This is such great news now that I don't have to get in the car and drive to Stop and Shop for produce/most groceries anymore. SoNo has needed this badly to make it a legitimate "urban" place to live. Especially if you can't stand driving in Norwalk. When I walked by the other day, I saw they have all the aisles and refrigerators constructed. Just waiting for the groceries/produce. That's all I know so far. Anyone else?

      6 Replies
      1. re: UWStoSONO
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        plumerella RE: UWStoSONO Jun 23, 2008 12:04 PM

        I don't know much, but I do know that this will be much easier than driving to White Plains for their Chinese grocery store! I can't wait...please post any updates on this store!

        1. re: plumerella
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          lovesublime RE: plumerella Jun 23, 2008 12:13 PM

          What? Where? SoNo you say? US Marine...US Marine...was that on Water St? I know WEST Marine. Im trying to place it. Please give me more nearby landmarks.
          I live in South Norwalk I would LOVE to have an asian market closeby. I always go to the one on new Canaan ave but one day my sister called me grossed out and said the man who owns the place was clipping his toenails inside the store. When in Rome..

          1. re: lovesublime
            jfood RE: lovesublime Jun 23, 2008 01:11 PM

            in the strip mall behind the parking lot behind the SONO theatre.

            1. re: lovesublime
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              UWStoSONO RE: lovesublime Jun 24, 2008 04:10 AM

              It's on Washington Street across from the Post Office. I walked by the other day and the owner said they're opening July 4th weekend.

              1. re: UWStoSONO
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                luvarugula RE: UWStoSONO Jun 24, 2008 10:00 AM

                UWStoSONO...thanks for finding that out. I went by a few weeks ago, and couldn't tell, nor did I see anyone about.

                Man! that is really disgusting about the "clipping of toenails" on New Canaan Ave. I wish it weren't true, since I go there alot. I'd be sticking to the canned and packaged goods until the one in SoNo opens...which is just a week or two away. YAY!

                1. re: luvarugula
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                  fareast_lady RE: luvarugula Aug 15, 2008 02:47 PM

                  right now we are not fully stocked yet,
                  thanks for being patient everyone
                  ALMOST OPENED!

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          greguar RE: luvarugula Jun 26, 2008 07:12 PM

          I work in the area, store isn't open yet. I'll give a report when it opens.

          20 Replies
          1. re: greguar
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            sherijo RE: greguar Jul 11, 2008 07:39 AM

            any new news?

            1. re: sherijo
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              UWStoSONO RE: sherijo Jul 11, 2008 11:58 AM

              Still not open, although they have started to put some packaged food o the shelves. Hopefully soon.

              1. re: UWStoSONO
                Tabasco77 RE: UWStoSONO Jul 23, 2008 08:59 AM

                There was an article in teh Hour sometime last week that said they didn't have a set opening date, but it would be within the next 2 weeks. Can only hope it's soon, I'm really excited to see what they've got to offer.

                Gonna keep my fingers crossed for raw peanuts! :)

                1. re: Tabasco77
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                  luvarugula RE: Tabasco77 Jul 23, 2008 09:06 AM

                  Just wondering...how are they going to handle parking? I'm about two blocks from there, so I can walk. There's that lot caddy-corner to the market lot, which is free, but do people know about that? Won't it hurt business, if free 5 minutes of parking is all they offer? Who can food shop in that amount of time?

                  1. re: luvarugula
                    Tabasco77 RE: luvarugula Jul 23, 2008 09:24 AM

                    You bring up a good point. I don't want to have to pay for parking just to go food shopping. Maybe they'll have some sort of parking validation thing worked out with the lot.

                    1. re: Tabasco77
                      Tabasco77 RE: Tabasco77 Jul 25, 2008 11:05 AM

                      Any update?

                      I'm thinking about going by tomorrow to see, but does anyone else know if it's open yet?

                      1. re: Tabasco77
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                        UWStoSONO RE: Tabasco77 Jul 27, 2008 03:34 PM

                        Still not open. Not only is it not open, but it looks like they haven't been stocking the shelves with any more items. Am I way too anxious for a store to open? Is this pathetic? I just hope they have the basics plus gourmet cheeses, hummus and fresh produce.

                        1. re: UWStoSONO
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                          lattelover RE: UWStoSONO Jul 27, 2008 04:01 PM

                          I am anxious too! Every time I go past I crane my neck to see if there has been any progress, dreaming of fresh kaffir lime leaves, hot chiles, exotic spices......

                          1. re: lattelover
                            Tabasco77 RE: lattelover Jul 28, 2008 09:15 AM

                            Glad to know I'm not the only food nerd on here waiting for the store to open! Hopefully by the end of this week!!! :)

                            1. re: Tabasco77
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                              luvarugula RE: Tabasco77 Jul 28, 2008 10:12 AM

                              Are you kidding? This site is all about "food nerds", or, should I say, food lovers. We're all anxious for it's opening. I know I'm not alone, anymore.

                              1. re: luvarugula
                                Tabasco77 RE: luvarugula Jul 28, 2008 11:26 AM

                                What is the name of this place anyway? From what i remember reading is that it's part of a small chain from CA. Do they have a website or anything?

                                1. re: Tabasco77
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                                  UWStoSONO RE: Tabasco77 Jul 29, 2008 07:49 PM

                                  It's like Far East Market or something Far East.

                                  1. re: UWStoSONO
                                    Tabasco77 RE: UWStoSONO Jul 30, 2008 07:15 AM

                                    Yep that's it! I went by last after after going to see "The Dark Knight", which I highly recommend. Sign on their front door says they open 8/1. Only a few days to go!!!

                                    1. re: Tabasco77
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                                      luvarugula RE: Tabasco77 Jul 30, 2008 12:51 PM

                                      Not to mention...it's also the Sono Arts Festival this weekend. Yikes!

                                      1. re: luvarugula
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                                        greguar RE: luvarugula Aug 1, 2008 05:00 PM

                                        They did open today. Very few items still in the store. Mostly dry goods. The city of Norwalk, delayed their CO. The owner came up to me and thanked me for coming in, another gal came over a few minutes later and explained the delay, and stated the store would be fully open on Monday.

                                        Here is what I was able to see:

                                        4 aisles of dry and packed goods, asian snacks, mostly chinese styles sauces.

                                        Two large tables that would most likely be for vegetables.

                                        Many water tanks already filled with a couple of very big crabs, mabye Dungeness, but not sure. As well, about 3 4x 5 foot tables that would be for fish etc.

                                        Adjacent to these more tables that might be for meat, poultry etc.

                                        In the far back corner they have a section with a large steam table, looks like they may have food to go as well.

                                        Sorry, I don't have more detail. Sounds like some of you will check it out this weekend. I'll give a another update on Monday during my lunch.

                                        1. re: greguar
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                                          luvarugula RE: greguar Aug 2, 2008 05:53 PM

                                          I had the chance to stop by this afternoon. It's slim pickins' at the moment. All they really have is a dozen or so frozen items...mostly steamed buns. Some of the shelves are stocked, but I didn't really look. I want to go back when they are all stocked up. I'd forgotten how huge that space was. I think it will be a couple of more weeks before they are fully functional, but, I think it's going to be great.

                                          1. re: luvarugula
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                                            Meghan_509 RE: luvarugula Aug 5, 2008 08:32 AM

                                            Cool. Keep us posted. Thanks for this thread. I live close by as well and have been trying to crane my neck to see what this place is about. Will let you all know when I venture in there soon. :-)

                                          2. re: greguar
                                            Tabasco77 RE: greguar Aug 5, 2008 12:13 PM

                                            Worked from home today and was able to stop by there quick on my lunch hour. Everyone was very polite, perhaps because I was the only customer in the store, or maybe they are just nice people. :)

                                            There were many people unloading boxes and stocking shelves and freezers, but I was able to get a great look around. As greguar said, there are going to be a few different stations.

                                            I asked the girl who was ringing me up what else they were going to have, and did confirm that the "kitchen" area in the back would be for take-out or sit-down dining. They'd also have a sushi bar as well.

                                            I'd like to clarify what greguar said about the 2 large teables for veggies. Large is not the word I'd use. Immense might be a better representation. HUGE tables ready to be stocked with wholesome goodness, and as I confirmed, RAW PEANUTS!!!! :-D

                                            Another guy told me that their grand opening won't be until September, but they'll be getting more and more stuff in as the week goes on. By the weekend there should be a good amount more, as I got the impression another big shipment was coming in Thurs or Fri.

                                            Only spent $20, but walked away with a ton of stuff, including edamame, shumai, and noodles. Will I go back, yes.... probably this weekend! :)

                                            1. re: Tabasco77
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                                              UWStoSONO RE: Tabasco77 Aug 5, 2008 03:52 PM

                                              Yea I just stopped in as well and the place is pretty big. Like a city-sized supermarket. Right now it's only Asian goods and only a fraction of the shelves are stocked. The woman at the counter told me more is on the way.

                      2. re: luvarugula
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                        fareast_lady RE: luvarugula Aug 15, 2008 02:37 PM

                        we are validating parking for one hour free for our customers when you buy $25 or up.

                        for example:
                        if you had brought a total of $31 we would subtract one dollar off so you would pay $30 and you would use that dollar that we subtracted off to pay for the parking...
                        the town would not let us stamp the parking ticket so we have to do it this way...
                        and 15 minutes is free parking.

              2. g
                greguar RE: luvarugula Jul 27, 2008 11:55 AM

                Was not open when i left work on Friday.

                3 Replies
                1. re: greguar
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                  lattelover RE: greguar Aug 6, 2008 02:41 AM

                  What is the parking situation down there? Do you have to pay to get in the lot where the store is? I want to go there soon!

                  1. re: lattelover
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                    Willly RE: lattelover Aug 6, 2008 02:10 PM

                    Stopped there today. Same promise of fully stocked shelves next week. Looks like it is going to be a great place. Very friendly staff.

                    Regarding parking, they have not yet gotten approval from the parking authority to validate the tickets. However, if you spend 15 minutes or less in the lot, it is free. Validation should be coming however.

                    15 minutes was enough to get a variety of frozen items, fresh noodles, walk through the market and find the SELECTION of sweet rice...

                    1. re: Willly
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                      lattelover RE: Willly Aug 6, 2008 02:38 PM

                      THANK YOU. Can't wait to go. Maybe I'll make it tomorrow.

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                  luvarugula RE: luvarugula Aug 12, 2008 09:28 AM

                  I just didn't have time to get over there this weekend. Anyone have anything new to report? I am curious to know what kinds of produce and prepared foods they're going to have. Hopefully, fresh kaffir lime leaves will be readily available.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: luvarugula
                    Tabasco77 RE: luvarugula Aug 12, 2008 02:29 PM

                    Might head over after work today..... will update any new news...

                    In the meantime.... what are kaffir lime leaves and what are they used for?

                    1. re: Tabasco77
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                      luvarugula RE: Tabasco77 Aug 13, 2008 09:49 AM

                      Hey...that sounds good Tabasco77. Kaffir lime leaves are a very aromatic flavoring, often used in Asian cooking. I've only tasted it in soups and curries, but I'm sure there are a bunch more uses. I think I've seen it used to flavor vodka and ice cream. It's usually just the leaves of the plant, and not the actual fruit, that is used. The flavor is citrusy and you would most likely recognize it if you knew what it was. Believe me, if you haven't tried it, and you like citrus and lime flavors, get hold of some fresh kaffir leaves and use them in your next curry. Then...let's talk.

                      1. re: luvarugula
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                        UWStoSONO RE: luvarugula Aug 13, 2008 01:47 PM

                        was just there. about 30% stocked, mostly with asian food products and some basic produce. I saw live crabs and some fish as well. unfortunatley I went to pick up paper towels real quick and those weren't there yet. soon.

                        1. re: luvarugula
                          Tabasco77 RE: luvarugula Aug 13, 2008 02:30 PM

                          Very interesting.... I may have to try that!

                          Yesterday I went, and as UWS says below, they're still not fully stocked, but they did have some baby bok choy, which I absolutely love. Spoke with one of the people there and they really seem very nice. Asked about a bunch of products that I'd hope to see them carry. They seemed more than happy to order things for me, so next time I've gotta bring in the brand names.

                          So they had a pretty good selection of veggies already. Rice and noodles are pretty well stocked, as well as cannned veggies. They have one or 2 types of sambal, tons of soy sauce, but not the semi-sweet kind i need. No kimchi or raw peanuts yet tho. Some spices, but it looks like there will be much much more. Their frozen stuff is probably the best stocked aisle. Edamame, potstickers, shumai, and a few different types of ice cream, just to name a few.

                          Forgot (again) to ask about the parking validation. Went in at 6:02pm yesterday, left at 6:14, figuring i made it under the 15 min mark. Nope. $2 since it was after 6pm. :( Not a huge problem, but it is a bit of a hassle. Would be nice if they validate in the future.

                    2. v
                      vegas RE: luvarugula Aug 15, 2008 05:34 AM

                      half-page ad in todays (8/15) Norwalk Hour

                      "Far East Super Market"

                      fresh seafood
                      meat
                      poultry
                      asian grocery
                      bakery & deli
                      Asian style sushi bar

                      5 Washington Street
                      203 853 7200

                      www.fareastgroupinc.com

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: vegas
                        Tabasco77 RE: vegas Aug 15, 2008 08:41 AM

                        WOO HOO!!!! Validated parking for spending over $25!!! :)

                        Still didn't list when their official grand opening is tho...

                        1. re: Tabasco77
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                          fareast_lady RE: Tabasco77 Aug 15, 2008 02:02 PM

                          we are aiming for the beginning of September like no later than 10th.
                          to OFFICIALLY open.

                          and we also give out free Chinese newspapers to those customers for spending more than $10.

                        2. re: vegas
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                          luvarugula RE: vegas Aug 15, 2008 10:16 AM

                          Check that out...a website! It's official, now. There should be a grand opening soon, I hope. Thanks for the link.

                        3. w
                          wangsilly RE: luvarugula Sep 11, 2008 01:42 PM

                          My friend (Korean) and I (Chinese) checked out the new Asian market in SoNo today and were quite disappointed. We purposely waited this long to make a visit based on the comments here and expected the store to be well stocked by now. Given that we both live in the area, we were excited over the prospect of a sizeable Asian market. However, the two of us together couldn't even find $25 worth of things to buy in order to have our parking validated! The market lacked basic Asian staples such as fresh tofu in the refrigerated case. We could only find the shelf-stable tofu. Their selection of Lee Kum Kee condiments was paltry compared to the selection I've seen at some conventional grocery stores. The vegetables did not appear fresh at all so we stayed away from them. Bakery case mentioned here was bare and can't remember seeing any fresh seafood. For now, I will continue to shop in White Plains and at the little market on 123 in Norwalk. And my friend will continue to trek to Jersey's Han Ah Reum. We didn't see speak with anyone at the store to see if more stock was coming or what their plans are for all the empty shelves. They did have a suggestion box prominently placed by the front door and it seemed stuffed with comments. So perhaps there will be more to come however I don't think it's smart to disappoint eager customers. The store should have been better prepared for their Grand Opening.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: wangsilly
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                            luvarugula RE: wangsilly Nov 2, 2008 03:36 AM

                            I admit I haven't frequented this store, since the last few times I've gone I've also been a little disappointed. It just feels weird in there, even though the people are really nice and try to be helpful. I went by a few days ago, and I'm wondering if they are having severe problems. Most of the shelves were even more naked than I remember. The freezers and refrigerators were nearly empty and they had the odor of when you unplug your refrigerator and get rid of all the food in it...kind of funky. Will they close? Will they survive? It's such a shame. I had higher hopes for this market. Maybe the space was too big to survive in this area. I just feel bad for them.

                            1. re: luvarugula
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                              UWStoSONO RE: luvarugula Nov 2, 2008 02:24 PM

                              Honestly, I think the size of the space is fine. The problem is that they after being open for 3 months, they still haven't stocked the shelves. I don't get it. What's the deal with this place? It's like they don't want business. Niche Asian products are only going to get you so far. They need to A. fully stock their shelves and B. sell more mainstream items that people need. I'm just really confused as to why this has not happened yet.

                          2. h
                            HKFanatic RE: luvarugula Sep 24, 2008 02:06 PM

                            I just went in today to buy some veggies because it is nice and convient, it beats driving all the way to Chinatown to buy groceries but this week there was much less selection than there was two weeks ago to my disappointment.

                            They use to have egg custard tarts, roasted pork buns and live fish but no more. I hope this isn't a sign that they'll go under.

                            They do however still have a good selection of fish. The mark up isn't bad neither, 10-15% more than what you'll find in NYC.

                            Nice selection of dried noodles, I buy their all vegan feed eggs from a farm from Brandford which taste good and a bargain to what you'd pay in a super market. If you ask the meat guy in the counter, you can order freshly slaughtered never frozen chickens from New York. Those chickens are to die for, but be warned, it'll still have the head and feet attached if your not use to Asian chickens.

                            Hopefully with more patronage they'll bring back all the good stuff they use to have and a huge bustling market soon.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: HKFanatic
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                              UWStoSONO RE: HKFanatic Sep 24, 2008 07:30 PM

                              At the risk of sounding like an amateur, does anyone know if they plan on having basic "American" food or necessities? It would be nice to not have to drive through the brutal Norwalk traffic to get to Stop and Shop and back.

                              1. re: UWStoSONO
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                                sibeats RE: UWStoSONO Nov 23, 2008 12:50 PM

                                We were just down in Sono and thought I'd see what was happening at the Asian Market. Unfortunately it was "closed temporarily". There was a sign in the window thanking everyone for their support and patience and sorry for the inconvenience. It did not say when they would reopen, but from the looks of it I think they might not be. The shelves were mostly empty. Too bad, could have been a nice addition to the neighborhood.

                                1. re: sibeats
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                                  UWStoSONO RE: sibeats Nov 23, 2008 02:14 PM

                                  This whole episode has just been so weird. There was so much interest and hype about this place...and then they don't even stock their shelves. I don't get it. Seems pretty shady if you ask me. If they do reopen, I doubt I will be patient or supportive.

                                  1. re: UWStoSONO
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                                    sibeats RE: UWStoSONO Nov 23, 2008 03:31 PM

                                    It is odd...being that I don't live in SoNo, I wouldn't make the trek down there without knowing it was open and well-stocked. Maybe they are trying to regroup and they'll get it together...or maybe not. Too bad...

                            2. Tabasco77 RE: luvarugula Dec 16, 2008 07:34 AM

                              My guess is they are done. Haven't been by the store recently, but I just happened to check their website to see if that had any additional info. Turns out the website has been taken down, so if that's gone, I'm sure it means the place has gone under.

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