The Oriental Supermarket & Yamato, Kelowna\'s Asian Food HQ - reviewed by Jamie Maw

Oriental Supermarket + Yamato Japanese Restaurant

From everyday Asian condiments, such as a vast selection of soy sauces, mirins, rich Kewpie mayonnaises and noodles, to more exotic items like jackfruit, durian ice cream and esoteric juices, the expansive Oriental Supermarket is a well-stocked, pan-Asian larder. The aisles are divided into country-of-origin products, and map each cuisine, with the dominant choices being Japanese and Chinese. You’ll discover well-made frozen dumplings and gyoza in many variations, and a quick scoot around the store will reveal all of the ingredients – fresh baby bok choy, ginger, noodles, stock bases and wontons, to whip up a Tuesday night pot of restorative soup. You’ll also see teetering displays of Asian hardware, from dishes and spoons to woks and cleavers. But other regions are covered too, especially Mexico – find canned chipotles, dried chilies, mols and more for your next fiesta.

Next door is Yamato Restaurant, where decently made Japanese standards – sushi, yakitori, maki and nigiri dishes – are rolled out quickly, although service can be intermittent. Many families and groups order the combination sushi trays that offer reasonable value. The soups are well crafted, from a spicy Saigon version, to nicely balanced pho, and a standout laksa – the Malaysian signature bowl, which hits most of the food groups with curry, sprouts, tofu, chicken and boiled egg, brought velvety with coconut milk.

Insider: Order ahead for a styrofoam grab ‘n go sushi pack to take aboard your next flight from YLW, and make your pretzel-munching seatmates green with envy – or wasabi. (250) 762-2618

Accessible northbound (merge right) at 2575 Highway 97 N, two blocks north of Highway 33, Kelowna. Westside sister restaurant is located at 525 Highway 97 S, West Kelowna, 778-755-5866

By Jamie Maw

Jamie Maw is a National Magazine Award winning author, member of the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame, and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Culinary Arts.

 

Rows of esoteric and household items from dried shrimp or shiitake to instant ramen

The essential Chinese Red Egg, symbolizing a birth or a new start - Pick one up today!

 

Napa Cabbage (aka Chinese or Korean Cabbage) Make some homemade Kimchi

Dim Sum in all shapes and ways, and a huge selection of prepared frozen foods to take home

"the essence of Umami", the 5th taste available by the pound (MSG isn't the only Umami essence)

In case you overdosed on the "Umami" above, they have a tea for that

Exotic pepper, to spice things up. This is one of my (its me your editor, Tarynn) favourites for a Pok Pok Vietnamese Chicken Wing recipe

What's that in the middle of Asia? It's Mexico!

A great selection of chilies

A staple in the kitchen - if you haven't discovered it, Do. Sweet and tart flavour concentrated to liven up your dishes

Yamato Restaurant - for Japanese cuisine pre/post Oriental Market shopping

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