GRAND ASIA MARKET

Grand Asia Market

You may have seen this place right off of 40 in Raleigh, NC located on Buck Jones Rd in the shopping center where Thai Villa and Tuesday Morning are.  It’s called Grand Asia Market and it is NO JOKE!

http://www.grandasiamarket.com

Walking up, it looks like any other store with a jam packed parking lot on a Saturday mid-afternoon.

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The first thing you see as you walk in the door is a sign that states that because they are a multi-cultural environment, there are ENGLISH speaking interpreters available if needed.  I loved that.  We offer that at a whole…none of our American grocery stores.

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After that, it’s mild sensory overload.  There are decorations hanging from the ceiling, plants, toys, lights…all kinds of items packed in to the entry way.  And the place is packed to the gills with people!  But somehow, even though this combination of things would usually make me a little uncomfortable, it didn’t here.  I felt at ease amongst the other shoppers.

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Moving past the entry way, you are immediately surrounded by an amazing selection of foods.

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The freezer section was full of little dim sum offerings stuffed with meats and veggies, steamed buns of all varieties, meat products and so many other things I’d never seen before.

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The noodle section in the refrigerator isle had some incredible looking options.  From egg noodles to rice noodles of all different thicknesses.  I can’t wait to make curry noodles!!!

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The drink isle was packed of interesting flavors of soda, juices, teas and flavored waters.

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And then there was the sauce isle.  I’d been looking for Maggi sauce for my Banh Mi sandwiches and NOW I have it.  There were all different kinds of sriracha sauce, some curry pastes and many many others. And they sell the dumpling wrappers that I was instructed to purchase by the lovely ladies of the Dump Pho-King Truck.  Can’t wait to use them to make some dumplings.  Hopefully tomorrow will be that day.

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After you check out, you will see the bakery and restaurant section.  They have fresh baked pastries, breads, rolls and cakes lining the shelves.  They all looked and smelled amazing.  I was there particularly for the Milk bread.  Theirs was amazing! So soft and sweet.  It was perfect for the grilled cheese sandwiches we made.

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Look at the beautiful cakes! There were so many options of flavors.

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AND my favorite, bubble tea!!! They had a few choices including mango, strawberry, papaya, avocado, green milk tea, milk tea, red bean and taro.

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I ordered the green milk tea with bubbles.  It was delicious! Perfectly sweet, with tapioca bubbles layered nicely at the bottom.

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They had some of the most delicious looking food, including whole cooked ducks hanging up, steamed buns of many varieties, pork with garlic sauce, eggplant and something that looked like octopus.  I asked the man in front of me if it was octopus or squid (after seeing him order it).   He laughed a little, said no, paused and laid his hand on his stomach.  He turned to me and with a smile said “It’s like…what’s in here.”  Glad I asked because as adventurous as I can be about food, I’m not sure I’m ready to try intestines.

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I went with the roast duck with rice.  OH MY GOSH.  The duck was so tender and the skin was sticky with sauce and cooked to a lightly crispy texture.  It was served with Chinese broccoli.  Loved it.

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I also went with the pork and quail egg steamed bun.  It was huge, about the size of a softball.  The bun itself was soft and slightly sweet.  The inside was seasoned perfectly.  I had never tasted quail egg – it was great! Soft and delicate.  My lunch buddy ordered the pork with garlic sauce.  It was made with green peppers and was covered in a delicious sauce.  She enjoyed it!

I am so glad I finally took the time to eat and shop at Grand Asia Market.  The entire experience was so much fun.  Please go! You won’t regret it.

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