Whenever I go home the number one question people ask when they’ve just met me and find out I live overseas is, “What are the supermarkets like? Or do you shop in open air markets?”
Here goes a photo editorial of one of my favorite supermarkets. I’m die hard loyal to my people at Hock Choon. They were one of the first supermarkets I visited in KL. The staff is a bunch of delightful Nepalese guys who run the stocking and cash registers and a crew of grumpy Chinese aunties who manage the mart. I like them because they consistently stock the same stuff (a frustrating reality of imported products in Asia). But my absolute favorite bit is that they allow you to pay your pork purchases at the front register and not in some cordoned off cubby hole that hails back to the leprous “Adult” video section of your creepy local video rental place.
The glorious…The wondrous…The Chooner (my friend Kyla nicknamed it that…It stuck!)
The entrance to the Chooner.
The teeny tiny Hock Choon shopping cart. I often end up using two. And my ever useful reusable shopping bags…”Ayam not a plastic bag!” Hilarious (Ayam is Bahasa Malay for chicken. Please tell me you get it?)
That will be another post in and of itself. No really. There ARE some interesting shops up there!
The widest of the aisles. This is certainly the only aisle that fits two carts side by side. From here on out the customers are forced to play Frogger.
They don’t need refrigeration because the outer protective layer is not stripped off in a chemical wash like is done in the U.S. America…Stop washing your eggs!
But if you want that refrigerated egg thing you’re welcome to rely on the Korean technology of the Safe Egg. I’m assuming they are “pasteurized” as they do in the U.S.
Some high tech shelving systems are employed here. I think it’s charming.
Queso, fromage, cheese!
I haven’t yet tried it but I hear it’s yummy!
Can I get you a drink? Or some ice cream?
Frozen veggies and frozen halal meats.
You have been warned. This is not for you if you don’t get down with swine!
The pork section…And you can special request from Mr. Wong the butcher pretty much any cut of meat you desire.
Japanese and Korean goods to be found here.
Have fun getting your cart down this aisle. And don’t you dare have a toddler in that thing. An avalanche awaits you otherwise.
My Nepalese dudes. They are so sweet! They unpack your cart, bag your groceries, and take them to your car. My boy on the right has been my favorite since we arrived 4.5 years ago. He has a nephew and was married to his 18 year old bride (he’s 23) during his last home leave. She is not here with him so Skype and Facebook will have to do for now.
Oh wait! I forgot to mention. I don’t buy my produce at Hock Choon. When we arrived in KL Hock Choon was a family owned business (now owned by Jaya Grocer) and they didn’t have a produce section. Instead you went to the other family business next door. See that! People once did work together to make a living. Well, even though Hock Choon is now well stocked with produce, I still take my business next door. They still have some of the freshest produce at J &Y so I will keep my business there!
It’s a compact fresh little place!
Either local or imported, strawberries are Enzo’s favorite fruit!
These little nuances are what I love about non-commercial establishments. When’s the last time you saw raisins on the vine. That’s right. Never!
Here starts the vegetable section.
Nice to have this option if you really want it.
Potatoes and onions and garlic galore.
And since you’re tired from all the shopping, don’t bother cooking what you bought. Take a little nasi lemak love packet to go! (Nasi lemak is the national rice dish)