Longdan Chinese supermarket, Kingston-upon-Thames
This opened a while ago but I'm not often in Kingston. Lots of very unusual (for Surrey) ingredients. Vast freezers with all sorts of frozen seafood and fish: prawns, scallops, cuttlefish, octopus, tilapia, pangasius, snakehead. Also frozen dumplings from all different cuisines, and things you'd never think to freeze like peanuts. Every kind of rice and noodle, be it precooked, frozen, instant. Many kinds of curry pastes, pickles, vinegars, soy sauces, and bottles and jars of things I'd have no idea how to use. Also a million kinds of dried mushrooms. Lots of imported fresh herbs and vegetables, and loads of Asian beers.
An emporium, you might say. Useful for the things you probably won't find in Waitrose :)
Next door, a Vietnamese cafe has opened, selling bubble tea, vietnamese coffee, and banh mi, as well as summer rolls and steamed buns. I went in on Sunday and there was no food, because of Chinese New Year, or so the server told me. Not entirely sure why that makes a difference, but anyway. I ordered an iced coffee, and the server looked at me askance and warned me it was very strong. I said that was fine, and repeated that I wanted it iced, and with sweetened condensed milk. She asked if I knew it would be very sweet, I did, and eventually she consented to make it. She held it out to me, then took at back at the last second to ask again if I realised it would be very strong. Good grief, just give me my damn coffee! Anyway, it was fine, not brilliant, and not super strong. BF's coconut tea with black sugar bubbles was pronounced fine. The shop smelled odd. I'm not sure it's going to take off!