Though the city was never short of fine-dining restaurants doling out authentic international cuisines, a plethora of new dedicated grocery stores are now catering to the city’s 1,200 expat families.
From Palkit Japanese Store, Yamato-Ya to Le Marche, these shops are giving city-based Japanese, Chinese, American and Australian nationals plenty of food for thought.
The existing grocery marts have also started stocking up on more such food items.
The Palkit Japanese Store has an exclusive range of Japanese spices and food items like wasabi nuts, marine (cooking oil), sooking sake and noori sweets. “We felt that a sizeable expat population in the city is Japanese and Chinese as we have companies like Honda and Maruti Suzuki. So we decided to open an exclusive Japanese food store. On weekends, we hardly get time to breathe as the store is full of customers,” said Pratap Singh, in-charge of the store. Then there’s Yamato-Ya, located in Sector 56, catering to Chinese expats.
Le Marche specialises in cold cuts, imported cheese, caviar, pate, fajita base, imported breakfast cereals, Haagen Dazs ice cream and baby food. Spencer’s supermarket is another favourite destination for expats to buy their favourite grocery items.
This store has a separate section for cold cuts and bakery, especially targeted at expats.
“On weekdays, we eat whatever we get in the office canteen. But on weekends, we prefer eating our own food and fortunately the city has many options. There are Japanese restaurants and grocery stores that cater to our needs,” said Shao-bo, a Japanese resident working with a telecom company here. Many expats say they prefer going to such stores as the rates are fixed and they don’t have to bargain. Moreover, language is not a problem.
“Most of the store staff understand what you want, if you say it slowly,” added Holly Lacsher, an Australian.