Despite the diversity of items at big box grocery stores there are still some items that are not stocked, particularly a full array of ethnic foods.. While there are some small markets in Northwest Ohio, the purchase of some items, especially Asian foods, required travel to Michigan.
With the opening of the new Asian supermarket in Toledo, local cooks now have access to a culinary world they may have not experienced previously. A variety of drinks, noodles, vegetables and many speciality items, like dehydrated mushrooms and fresh, live seafood are just a few of those items that are found at Kirin Asian Mart on Secor Road.
Kirin Asian Market opened earlier this year, with many locals excited and eagerly awaiting a chance to peruse the selection. Kirin Asian Mart owner and floor manager Vicky Wang explained that Toledo was “the first city we selected. We found that Toledo has a large population that likes Asian food very much, but does not have a large Asian supermarket with a full range of categories.”
Full range is a great way to describe what’s available here. Roughly the size of a local grocery chain store, Kirin has an impressive variety of food and food-related items. Several aisles are stocked with many variations on the same products, including various soy sauces and dried fungi. The store also has a large section dedicated to cooking and serving implements, including woks, food preparation tools and other items.
Snack foods are available, much like any other grocery store, however here the items take on a different look with plastic soda cans, a variety of dumplings in the frozen food aisle, an impressive collection of not usually seen flavors of Lays potato chips (like leek, shrimp and hot pot, for instance), and black pepper taro root chips along with many candies, sweets and dried fruits . The front of the store boasts a hot table line with Asian inspired take-and-go meals and sushi available.
The chefs at Kirin will prepare items for order including roasting entire ducks and preparing fresh fish from the tanks visible in the back of the store. And Kirin, despite having a lot to offer, are already adding new services. Wang explains that “we will gradually increase different kinds of services in the store, such as product promotion, cooking demonstrations and serving milk tea.”
Kirin offers a lot to take in for people not familiar with Asian food, but Wang is looking forward to everyone finding something to like at Kirin.“We have various selections of Asian vegetables, noodles and ice cream that are very popular,” Wang said. “For customers who are not experienced with cooking, we sell a lot of pre-made sauces and frozen foods, which are easy and convenient to serve.” Kirin Asian Mart is a great place to shop, whether you’re an expert or novice, when it comes to Asian food.
Kirin Asian Mart, 3314 Secor Road, (419) 725-1352. Open daily, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Kirin Asian Mart on Facebook.