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Albany Asian Arrival

September 14, 2009

I am so late to the party.  It seems that everyone and their brother has written about Albany’s newest Asian market.  Of the bloggers, Mari seems to have gotten the jump on Steve Barnes.  But Albany Jane did both a live lunch blog and a follow up post on their hot bar.

I say she wins.

Yes, there are other things of interest at the market.  There are the extensive meat and seafood counters.  There is the open and spacious produce section.  But the thing that got me the most excited on my first visit was seeing the hanging ducks.

Hanging ducks, with their mahogany skin glistening with fat and their heads still attached and wrapped awkwardly around stainless steel hooks, are a proof text.  This is a bona fide Chinese food counter.  These ducks are everywhere in Chinatowns all over the world.  But in Albany, until now, there were none to be found.

When I visited I had regrettably just eaten lunch, but I was able to squeeze in room for a pastry.  I chose a pineapple bun (which for those of you who don’t know, has nothing to do with pineapple).  And you know, it wasn’t brilliant, but it was so significantly better than what I had at the Hong Kong Bakery down the street that I am still happy several days later.

They even had on display some of my favorite fried dim sum treats.  They are crispy mashed taro footballs, with almost a lacey/feathery fried coating and a mixture of savory ground pork buried deep inside.

There is just so much here to try.  And as far as I could tell, none of it was watered down for Albany palates.  I cannot tell you how glad I am that there is not a sushi bar on premise.  You can get dried goods and frozen delicacies from all over Asia in the rest of the store, but the food counter is decidedly and unapologetically Chinese.

These are very exciting times in Albany.  An honest to goodness dim sum parlor can’t be far behind.  And then I’ll have a good way to get back up to winter weight.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. llcwine permalink
    September 14, 2009 8:28 am

    had a wonderful shopping experience there recently. The store is sooo bright and clean, from the meat counter, the produce, the fish counter. The hot bar is wonderful, loved the fried squid and will be going back to get a duck…head and all. One question, other than the legs, what other parts of frog are edible, and how would they be prepared?

  2. Tonia permalink
    September 14, 2009 8:38 am

    My winter weight is already creeping up and its not even autumn yet. I have to go check this place out.

  3. September 14, 2009 9:05 am

    fingers crossed on the dim sum parlor!!

  4. grace permalink
    September 14, 2009 7:24 pm

    you’re not as late as me–i still haven’t been by. i have a friend who’s gone twice a week since it opened, and she lives in canajoharie!

  5. Ellen Whitby permalink
    September 14, 2009 9:39 pm

    For winter weight, you should have a go at the Chocolate Gecko. Or Crisan’s. Or how about both?

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