Now that there are at least three members of the Just Bento forums who do their shopping in Dunedin (and how amazing is that?!) I figure I should share my food shopping discoveries.
Number one is UniMart at the Gardens, just over the road from the Gardens New World. It has a good selection of packaged and frozen food, and a few fresh Asian veges. It also has some useful food prep implements, including onigiri and sushi moulds, rice paddles etc. Food is arranged in aisles by country, I think the owners might be Korean, because the biggest selection is of Korean foods.
Number two is Happy Coins Mega, which is in George St between Frederick and Hanover Sts on the university side of the road. It looks like a tiny shop from the front, but is really big at the back. About 2/3 of the back part is standard $2 shop goods, but the other 1/3 is grocery items. They have a really good selection of convenience foods, e.g. frozen dumplings of all sorts, frozen prepared prawns, frozen stuff on skewers etc. Lots and lots of different packets of noodles. Mostly I think they cater to students, and I suspect they may be owned by the same people as own UniMart.
Both of these shops stock frozen packs of the very thinly sliced beef and pork belly that Maki says is so hard to find in Europe. They are also both within walking distance of the university where I work, so they are my main Asian food shops. I haven't been able to find the powdered nori for using on okonomiyaki in either of them, I get my sister-in-law to buy it for me in Auckland. I do love okonomiyaki.
In South Dunedin there is an Asian market in King Edward Road right down near the beach end. It's Chinese, been there for years, is a typical jam packed old style Asian food shop where you have to walk sideways to avoid knocking stuff off the shelves, and you have to be a bit careful about checking use-by dates. You can have a lot of fun poking around in it though, and I rarely leave without buying something I didn't go in there for.
In Stafford St there is a shop that caters mainly to restaurants, but is open to the public. Chinese, and has an eclectic selection of stuff. Lots of bulk packs.
There is also an excellent Indian food shop in St Andrew St between George St and Great King St. Just walking past it makes my mouth water, the smell of spices is so delicious. They also sell the best and cheapest dates.
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