Lemongrass, ginger and durian to the left.
A deli serving slow-roasted pork and duck to the right.
In the back, tanks filled with live lobster and tilapia.
Welcome to Tacomas newest Asian supermarket Hong Kong Supermarket.
The store opened in April in Tacomas Lincoln neighborhood, one of my favorite dining districts with a concentration of Southeastern Asian restaurants like no other in the region.
The opening actually is a relocation from Hong Kong Supermarkets former aging, cramped space just off 38th and Yakima. Its move around the corner is to a newly constructed building sitting on the site of the former Lincoln Lanes. The grocery store with a sparkling appearance is well-appointed for shopping and dining.
Yes, drivers, theres even parking in an adjacent roomy lot an improvement over bustling Yakima, which could be a bit of a hope-for-the-best parking situation before the grocery store moved.
Heres a look at the store and what youll find:
Where: 3828 S. Yakima Ave., Tacoma; 253-471-0744
Opened: April 13 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland.
Youll find: Ingredients to make just about any dish from Asia you can imagine, but with a specialty in Southeast Asian ingredients. The aisles are stocked with everything from kimchi to banh mi; from mochi to pennywort tea.
Produce: Find hard-to-find frozen durian, the fruit known for its penetrating stink; and a wide range of fresh Southeast Asian produce, such as fresh lemongrass and ginger.
Meat and seafood: Shoppers will find fish tanks filled with live seafood (tilapia, lobster and catfish) and a sizeable butcher case.
Deli: Find roasted and barbecued pork by the pound ($7.99) in the delis stand-up, vertical rotisserie; as well as half and whole roasted ducks and chickens ($4.99-$17.99). Counter workers will chop the meat, if requested. Find already prepared banh mi sandwiches for $2.75-$3 and a steam table of grilled and steamed Vietnamese entrees ready for takeout. Combination meals with rice were priced $4.95-$5.95.
In the same neighborhood: East Asia Supermarket is a large grocery store, with a parking lot, just a few blocks from Hong Kong Supermarket. Find that store at 602 S. 38th St., 253-473-3799.
Nearby restaurants to try: The Lincoln neighborhood is bustling with Vietnamese eateries. Here are some favorites. Vien Dong, the pho emporium opened in 1989 by the parents of Thuy-Linh Nguyen, who now operates the restaurant with husband Kevin Le.
Im partial to the banh mi sandwiches at Huong Que Deli, 3813 S. Yakima Ave., 253-476-7805 (cash only). Buy pork and duck by the pound, or fantastic rice plates at lunch, at Tho Tuong BBQ, 715 S. 38th St., 253-474-2279 (cash only).
Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270