Kam Man Quincy shopping trip
It was time to restock my Chinese pantry, and too long since the last visit, so yesterday I went to Kam Man in Quincy. Lots of good stuff, as usual, but the big news was that it has expanded from its original size. Many of the small stalls that were in the adjacent area in the same building appear to have been absorbed into a larger floorplan. Folks might want to know that
- There is now a small wine and spirits area. There were several different brands of Shao Xing wine that were not adulterated with salt (e.g. not "cooking wine"). Yay!
- There is a good-sized Korean section.
- There is a very small Indian section. I was able to score some amchur powder without having to make that special trip to Moody Street in Waltham.
- The housewares/small appliances section is much much larger than before.
I also noticed a new supermarket, Lucky Supermarket, directly across the street. Time did not permit a visit. Anyone know if it has anything that is not already available at Kam Man?
I find the place across the street has less selection of dried/frozen goods and such but better quality and prices on the fresh stuff like veggies, seafood, and meat. If you want Indian go up the street like 5 minutes maybe to South Shore India Market. Giant array of spices. Very affordable. Goat butcher shop in the back on one side and indian food take out stall on the other.
This change happened perhaps a year ago, though the expansion into Korean foods has been the last few months.
Lucky has been open since last year, and offers nothing really new to the scene, though every once in a while my parents will find good deals for veggies. I find them strangely lacking on some items (hello, no European formula Ovaltine?!) Varies quite a bit though. I believe it's since changed owners in fact, because the original store wasn't doing good business but my parents have not noted any appreciable change in stock or items. The few times I ventured there was only when something was out of stock at Kam Man.
I've been there once, but mostly go to the newer one South Bay Center in Dorchester, so I can speak of that one as comparison.
The Shaoxing wine selection is the best of any market, and cheaper and better than plonk cooking grape sherry. The Thai/Vietnam rice noodle/paper product selection is very good too. I even found the heaven facing chili pepper there, as well as several brands and types of doubanjiang, anything you need for basic Sichuan cooking which tends to be a little harder to source at smaller markets. (I will say the Hong Kong Market that took over 88 in Allston acquits themselves very well however.)
The walls of freezers store so many goodies, vegan meats and so forth. Tofu products, superb. Produce is on par with the better markets, and certainly blows away H-Mart in quality, their produce is awful.
Thanks for the tip on Lucky in Quincy, will have to check them out someday, but rarely in the area.
I hope they didn't wipe out Ba Le.
Ba Le is still there. Got my Bahn Mi (#2, with everything) for the road on the way out.
Thanks for the tip about the South Bay location. I went there earlier in the year and came away disappointed. Heaven facing chili pepper alone is a reason to give it another look!
Apropos Szechuan ingredients, I did manage to score some "Pixian Thick Broadbean" (in almost microscopic print, also identified as "Broad Bean Paste with Chili Oil") as part of my ongoing quest to find a favorite.
Finally, about the produce, it was sad. Okay, it's January, and there have been a number of very hard freezes that may have affected produce in transit, so I wouldn't deprecate the store based on what was there yesterday. I did bring home some very nice mustard greens, and there were a few other "usual suspect" veggies that looked very good, but overall, feh.