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 Tacoma’s newest Asian supermarket — Hong Kong Supermarket.
The store opened in April in Tacoma’s 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 Supermarket’s 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 bowling alley. The grocery store with a sparkling appearance is well-appointed for shopping and dining.
Yes, drivers, there’s 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.
Here’s a look at the store and what you’ll find:
Where: 3828 Yakima Ave., Tacoma; 253-471-0744
Opened: April 13 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland.
You’ll 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 deli’s 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.
I’m 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).
READ MORE: I reviewed 10 restaurants last March in the Lincoln neighborhood in this story.