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Jan 5, 2011 07:42 AM

Li Ming's Global Market in Durham

Owned by Li Ming Zhang, who also owns the A&C Supermarket in Raleigh. He hopes to have the store open by Chinese New Year (scroll past the first item in the link below to see details on this new market):

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  1. I stopped by yesterdy after work. The grocery portion of the store will be open on Thursday - Feb 17. The restaurant will have a later opening.

    The store looks great. There are already lots of items on the shelves and live fish (tilapia?) in one of the tanks in the back. I will be back there on Thursday.

    1 Reply
    1. re: boaviagem

      Will look for a report both on this thread adn the other much longer one. Will go there on Friday as I can't make it today.

    2. I'm really excited about this place. Thanks for the info.

      1. This store in Durham is actually an expansion of the excellent A&C SuperMarket in Raleigh. The A&C is the best and most affordable specialty Asian market in the Triangle area. Grand Asian in Cary is quite good as well, but somewhat overpriced and lacking in selection compared to A&C and Li Ming.

        The hot food at both locations (A&C in Raleigh and Li Ming in Durham) is traditional Cantonese / Fujianese and very good and very affordable. What is curious about the Durham store is why they would have so much traditional American and Chicano options especially when Durham excels in Mexican offerings already and that Harris-Teeter, Target and Sam's Club are so close.

        The Asian focus in A&C is a bit better than in Durham with more variety, but Li Ming has just opened, and on our third visit appears to show that they are resolving some of the differences between the two (especially the vegetables - which are excellent at both locations). Still, I am still missing some of the more hard to find Vietnamese options present in Raleigh.

        I can't wait until they open the bakery! I think everyone should give this a go and experiment. For my wife (who came here from China a short while ago), she tells me that when she misses living in China, we go to A&C, now we're just happy we don't have to drive to Raleigh now!

        Michael Crispin

        (edited for spelling/grammar)

        7 Replies
        1. re: citadel08

          Please report back after the bakery is open! My brother has long had access to a Chinese bakery in a suburb of Detroit, and we are very excited to have access to one here!

          1. re: tamalesfordinner

            It is interesting to note that everyone is gung ho about "Asian Bakeries" considering baking and ovens in China is a comparatively new concept.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              That's funny about Asian bakeries. i love Asian sweets -- mostly fried or steamed -- sesame balls or glutinous rice sweets, of which there are many, many kinds. one of the few kinds of desserts that I really can only have one serving because they taste so rich and heavy. I've always gone to Grand Asia market in Cary for the bakery inside, but I'm excited to check out the baked goods at Li Ming's. Last time I went it wasn't opened yet.

          2. re: citadel08

            I had the red cooked pork, lion's head meatballs, and spicy tofu with peas at Li Ming's cafe. It was indeed afforable but I found the food to be very greasy.

            1. re: citadel08

              Don't know much about the history of baked goods in China but the quality of stuff I've had in local Asian grocery stores is on par with Wonder Bread.

              1. re: ellibobelli

                Ovens in China are a relatively new thing compared to our history with them. I am not sure if the comment is a plus or not since for bread enthusiasts Wonder is not that great.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  Yes, that's my point. Wonder bread is pretty awful.

            2. Li Ming's is awesome! The prepared foods section has numerous steamed dumplings, bao, etc. The seafood section has numerous live choices. In the rest of the store you can get all your Asian (except Indian) food items. Well worth a visit.

              1. I've been a few times since they've opened to purchase various Asian ingredients. This morning I was in the store around 9:30 hoping to pick up some pork belly. I stood at the meat counter for a little while and one of the employees came out to place a tray of pork feet in the display case. As soon as he was done setting the tray in he turned around and walked back into the prep room without acknowledging my existence at all. Given that I was standing directly in front of him pointing out what he was putting in the display to my son, it's unlikely he didn't realize I was there.

                On my previous visits, which are usually fairly early in the morning, I've noticed that the meat display is never stocked. Why they wouldn't have this done prior to the store opening I don't know, but given the relative low level of customer service I experienced today I'm unlikely to ever return, which is a shame considering that Li Ming's is much closer to my house Grand Asia in Cary.