Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Middle East & Africa >
Dec 9, 2011 10:51 AM

Asian (non-Indian) grocery store in Nairobi?

Does anyone know of any Asian (non-Indian) grocery stores in Nairobi? For example, is there any place other than generic grocery stores to get Chinese/Thai/Japanese/Korean groceries? Sticky rice? Thai basil? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Unfortunately not really. You get good Asian vegetables at the main City market opposite Aga Khan on 6th Parklands. Fabulous Pak Choy, Chinese Cabbage and holy basil.
    For other items such as Nori and sticky rice you can try Helthy U in Sarit Centre.
    There is also a chinese centre on Ngong road where certain novelty items can be found, including a wonderful range of dried mushroom

    8 Replies
    1. re: waytob

      Thank you, I'll give those places a try.

      1. re: waytob

        Thanks waytob, I tried the Chinese centre on Ngong road recently, as I had to go to Ngong road anyway to run an errand. What a disappointment! Not worth a special trip. As you say, there are a few novelty items but on the whole, not a good selection and not worth fighting traffic if you live far away. There was one main grocery store (no fresh produce). There was another small, non-descript store nearby that was practically empty except for some tofu and some locally made salty duck eggs. These salty duck eggs (boil them like for hard-boiled eggs, and they are delicious, salty, good with plain rice or rice gruel or anything else not salty) were the highlight of the trip. Plus they were bigger and cheaper than in the chinese grocery store. There were also freezers for frozen dumplings of various kinds but on the day we were there (Thursday), they were almost all empty. Apparently Sunday is the big shopping day so freezers are probably full then. If I find myself in the neighborhood on a Sunday I might drop in again to get salty duck eggs and check out the frozen dumpling selection, but I wouldn't make a special trip across town. Guess I'll have to make my own dumplings most of the time...

        1. re: junchow

          Sorry Junchow, there are limitations unfortunately, and I haven't been there in a while either so I guess there has been a big drop in standards.

          Did you havce any luck at the City Market?

          1. re: waytob

            Hi Waytob, No problem, I appreciate the suggestions and I'm always happy to go and check things out for myself. I haven't been to City Market yet but some friends tell me the selection there is no better (possibly worse) than going to Zucchini's. Of course it's cheaper, but it's also out of my way. I've been to the Banana Hill Market and that was worth going to once simply to see what a local market is like, but I did not find any produce there that was any different or any fresher than what I can get at Zucchini's or delivered superfresh to my door from Coomete Farm. Where do you usually get produce, do you have a favourite place?

            1. re: junchow

              Hi Junchow

              To be honest, I am very similar to you as Zucchini works out more convenient albeit pricey. I shop at City Market when I have a big dinner to prepare for, simply due to the price compared to colume. However on Tuesday's the market is bursting with fresh produce.

              I am looking to try out due to my current work schedule. Will keep you posted on how that works out.

              1. re: waytob

                Ok, great, I'd love to hear how it works out. Very nice that they offer some harder to find vegetables, like pumpkin leaves, kunde, mabaki, and different gourds.

                1. re: junchow

                  Hi junchow and waytob. I have myself also been desperately searching for an authentic Asian store here in Nairobi but with no success. I wonder where all the other non-indian Asians get there stuff from?! I have, however, had one successful experience. I've been told by various sources that there are not one, but TWO houses where the residents sell authentic Asian food stuffs! One is the elusive house "behind Village Market" I believe on the UN Avenue road? But I am yet to find that one... Apparently it has a sign outside it in Korean? The other house is off Lower Kabete Road, just as you near the little roundabout as if you were coming FROM SSDS temple, there's a house to the left with- if i remember correctly- a black or gray gate. From THIS house, i managed to get some Ddeokbokki noodles and chilli paste! The lady also had some other things that I wasn't really interested in, but RESULT nonetheless!!! If either of you manage to find the "Village Market" one, do share! I hope this helps :)

                  1. re: TSparxx

                    Thanks TSparxx...the hunt continues, I'll keep an eye out for the Village Market house.

                    I lucked out recently with my neighbours though, 2 Malaysian ladies who came back with a goody bag from back home, and they were kind enough to share.

                    At the moment it seems that's the best way to pick up some of the more exotic spices and dry goods - I got an amazing garlic chilli paste and they made a very sweet dessert that had a tapioca consistency, couldn't make out what else was in it, but it tasted like condensed milk that had been pressure cooked to a caramel consistemcy, mixed with a red bean paste

      2. As this thread is quite old you have probably found the 2 grocers in Kilimani.
        1 - in the new shopping centre on argwings kodhek, a little futher past chaka road from Yaya. You'll see a turkish kebab place, walk in the entry and down the back on the right is a Chinese grocery. Doesn't carry vegetables, but has most sauces/chilis and fresh tofu, dumplings etc.

        2 - directly across ring road from Yaya centre is a new Japanese restaurant called Sushi Soo (delicious!!), next to this there is a quite small Japanese/Korean grocer. Well priced miso soup, kim chi, noodles, japanese sauces.


        1 Reply
        1. re: aerogirl

          Thanks aerogirl. Been to Sushi Soo but didn't notice the store...will check it out