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ACE Market & KMART


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ACE Mart & KMART | Japanese/Korean markets in Paris

Published by Oat Sitalasai — 4 years ago

For this particular post, I will discuss about the two main Asian grocery stores around the Opéra area in Paris. There are two main stores, pretty much at different ends. I will first talk about the one I did buy some ingredients from in which is the one I would recommend you going to.

ACE Asian Market is located 62 of the famous Rue Sainte-Anne, not too far from metro stations Quatre-Septembre, Pyramide and Opéra. I took a walk from Quatre-Septembre and found that to be the closest out of the three, however any of these will do depending on what’s more convenient for you. ACE is a much smaller market than the other I will discuss about a bit later, however it has almost everything you would look for. As I used to live in Japan, I find that ACE is a lot more Japanese focused than the other market.

It has a great variety of Japanese snacks, in which were tempting me to add to my basket. They also have loads and loads of bottled and canned teas of various brands. Korean snacks and drinks are also available and also at a huge a range.

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Other than the snacks and drinks, ACE also has more than enough varieties of instant miso soup, something I did not find in the other market. They also have at least ten different types of Japanese curries. If you’re a fan of Japanese curry like I am, I would highly recommend you to purchase one of the instant curry cubes or sauce and try to cook it out at home. It’s very simple and English instructions are usually on the side of the package. This way, you could enjoy what is, taste wise, as close to Japan as it would get. Although it’s not as fresh, you could have fun with it and add the vegetables you’d like. Most commonly used in a Japanese curry would be carrots, onions and at times, some potatoes as well. This will result in a curry that is delicious and also very very cheap for the budget.

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The same goes for miso soup. If the miso soup is not included in your meals at the restaurant, chances are you will have to throw in at least another euro and fifty cents to get a tiny bowl of it. You might as well by instant packages and do it at home. You will be given written instructions on the side of the package, just like that of the curry. This time, all you need to do, literally, is bowl some water and pure it on top of the either the powder or the thick paste. Stir the soup around and voila! I bought a packet which consists of eight sachets of miso paste. I must’ve paid around two euros and ten cents for it, so that divides to having the eight bowls of the delicious soup. It was one of the best deals I got from this shop.

In addition, I also got some panko breadcrumbs. This is type of breadcrumbs is very specific to Japan and you could use it for deep frying different dishes. For me, I will try it out and make a tonkatsu of my one. The price I paid for a bag of panko breadcrumbs (200g)? Only one euro fifty. This is in comparison to three euros plus at the other store.

Another item I added to the basket was fish sauce. This is another reason as to why I would come back to this store. It has a small section for “Southeast Asian” ingredients. There aren't much, just the very basics like fish sauce (a very reputable Thai brand too), oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, sweet plus sauce and of course, spicy chili sauce (could have been Sriracha). A very small selection with just enough to get by, but a massive differences considering that the other store has zero.

You could then wander around the choose from different types of Japanese noodles (soba, udon, ramen, etc), Japanese and Korean instant noodles, as well as a small selection of beers, sakes, and frozen foods.

I would definitely come back to this place when my nostalgia for Japanese snacks kicks in. Here are some more pictures of the snacks they have. Not a bad selection at all I would say.

Moving on to what I have been referring to as the other market, towards the end of Rue Sainte-Anne, is KMART. To be precise, you could access KMART at 6-8 Rue Sainte-Anne, with the metro station Pyramide just a few minutes away. KMART is not a bad market either. It’s much bigger with a lot more products. It has a wider selection for instant noodles, alcohol (beer, sake, etc) but what really surprised me was all the different brands they have for sauces. I didn't manage to get any pictures since the staffs were everywhere and it would've been awkward, but there was a section towards the right side that has three full shelves, from top to bottom, stocked with sauces. Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, sauce for this and sauce for that. Low in salt, sweet, mild, I was truly amazed. So if you do head over to ACE and you do not find what you’re after in terms of Korean of Japanese products, head over to KMART.

Furthermore, they also have sections selling a bit of seafood (basically salmon and a few others) and meat. The only aspect that caught my eyes from the the seafood section was the onigiris. They’re basically triangular shaped Japanese rice balls, that is covered in Nori Seaweed. It sounds boring, until you know that inside the rice ball sits a stuffing. My favourite from my time in Japan was the tuna with mayonnaise. I’m not too sure as to what stuffings they offer, but if you’re interested, you could definitely find some here. The meat section has different cuts suited for Korean and Japanese cuisines. I remember thinly sliced beef, which would suit well for a BBQ or hot pot. They also had minced pork (both lean and with delicious fat) packaged and ready for you. They also have a huge variety of frozen foods.

While I’m aware that this won’t apply for every single product, I did find that the products I had bought from ACE were cheaper or simply inexistent at KMART. Either way, for keen on taking up Korean and Japanese cuisine at home, or simply some unique and delicious snacks and drinks, be sure to check out these two stores! Although I did make a recommendations, it’s far more important that you find the store that works best for you, in terms of selection, value and location.

Oh and one last thing to add. Make sure you get some cash out before you head over to Rue Sainte-Anne. Chances are you might want to spend more than you expect. I know for sure than ACE Market only takes cash unless the purchase is over ten euros then they’d be happy to accept payment by card. I’m not too sure about the cashier policy over at KMART but I would assume something similar.

Happy food shopping!

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