Food shopping as a foreigner in Dublin
Are you a foreign national residing in Dublin because of your studies or work? Are there any ingredients that you miss from the country you were raised in? No worries. If you live close to the heart of the city aka the city centre, Moore Street is the perfect place for food shopping as a foreigner in Dublin. Keep reading!
Travelling always implies gaining life experience and that’s probably why it is so addicting. Nothing compares to the feeling of starting afresh in life. New house, new friends, new job… However, moving to a different country also comes with the baggage of having to adjust to its social rules which at times, might lead to ‘cultural shocks’.
Have a read at these articles if you would like to know more on the cultural shock.
- Living in a multicultural house: 5 cultural shocks
- Moving to Ireland (Expectations vs Reality)
- Eight Traditional Irish Winter Recipes
In terms of food, even if you get immersed in the culture, you will always want to eat something that reminds you of your home country, wouldn’t you? In this article, you will hear the testimonies of four students belonging to different nationalities: A Chinese, a Polish-Vietnamese, a Nigerian and an Indian. They all agree that they can cook with ease owing to the ingredients they can find in these supermarkets.
Chinese market: Rongs
This market is probably the best-known market for our Chinese friends. You needn’t fret as all the products that you miss are already here. In fact, not only do they sell ordinary Chinese products (daikon, octopus…) but also vegetables, fruit and some fresh meat and fish!
Our respondent Killian Young is from Qujing. He moved to Dublin a month ago and he could not be happier. “My roommates and this city encourage me to be myself”, he says. Apart from that, he loves cooking. This way, he found the perfect place to buy his favourite food ‘even though it is much more expensive here than in China’, he remarks. Those are some good price-quality edibles you can buy at Rong’s, though.
“I think the majority of the Chinese like this,” Killian tells me. Actually, he’s not lying. These instant bubble teas are very popular among the youth and they taste so good, smell even better! You can either have it cold or warm. Also, it is ‘reasonably priced and affordable’, he says. It costs €1,30 (50c in China).
Flavours: Dasheen, Original and Mango.
Perfect for any time during the day!
Chinese Instant noodles
Winter is coming, and here you have the best flavoured Chinese noodles to get rid of winter coldness. Good news is that there are various tasty flavours you can choose: Braised pork ribs, fish and shrimp, chicken and mushroom soup, spicy beef, pickled vegetables with beef.
Reasonable price and tasty flavour. First picture: 90c (50c in China). Second picture: €1,50 (€1 in China).
Chinese spicy bar
‘Including the spicy bars, these 3 products are most popular among the Chinese youths’, Killian says.
Continuing on these lines, everyone in China, be it the old or the young, women or men, know and enjoy this local snack! They are quite good delights especially when you are watching movies or Netflix series. If you want more fun, grab this spicy bar and beer. Enjoy!
Price: €4,20 (in China, €1).
Besides, if you are a Spanish person living in Ireland you probably miss ‘pipas’ (sunflower seeds). Guess what, Rong’s sells them! They are big enough and also special…they have caramel flavour! Honestly, you need a try. Price: €2,50
You’re in luck as you can also find Japanese food in this place.
Yaki Nori for sushi
Killian is a big fan of sushi. “Here in Dublin, I know there must be some exquisite Japanese restaurant to eat sushi. But imagine that you can make sushi yourself at home and it is cheap as well”, he says. We both bet it’s worth a try!
“When you have sushi, it is better to prepare some pickled radish as well”, he says. Sounds scrumptious? An equivalent to the quintessential and much common pickled cucumbers, pickled radish on its own can be a good appetizer. Bon appetit!
Soy sauce and vinegar
Who doesn’t like soy sauce as a part of some lip-smacking Chinese delicacy? Soy and vinegar are the daily kitchen necessities in most parts of Asia. Price per bottle varies from €2,20 to €3,70. What’s more, you can use these exotic Asian flavours to fry, to stew and braise the meat. “It is definitely a must”, the Chinese student says.
Well, Bye-bye Killian, enjoy your course in Dublin!
Visit Rongs to get the best of the Chinese cuisine!
Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00h to 22:00h
Address: 157 Parnell Street, Dublin 1
Phone number: 087 385 8822
Vietnamese food: Oriental Pantry
Rose is our next guide. She is Vietnamese but was raised in Poland. She speaks 5 languages in total, including Spanish, French and English! This young girl literally gave me a tour of flavours and to my astonishment, Oriental Pantry was just the first stop! Keep reading to know more about Vietnamese rice noodles and bamboo shoots!
Noodles are quite popular in Vietnam, so much that they can be considered as a daily meal. In this market, they sell the two main types of rice noodles: Pho and Bun. You just need to soak them in cold water for 30mins – 1 hour and then they will be soft enough to cook. Boil the noodles in water for 5-10 more minutes and add some vegetables if you fancy! “Also, you can stir-fry or make a tasty soup”, Rose suggests.
Prices: €2,50-€3 for Pho and €3,90 for Bun
This root is mostly prepared for a special meal. “For Lunar New Year, we make duck and bamboo sour soup”, Rose tells me happily. The fun part is that it is ready to cook because it’s under vacuum. You only need to slice it, stir-fry and…eat! *Delicious*
Note: You can find much more types of food items in the store that belong to different cultures such as Nigerian, Bosnian Herzegovina, Mauritanian, Indian, among others.
Given the current situation, takeaway and delivery to your house is also possible, all you need to do is download Kalabasa and get ready to drool. Visit their facebook page and begin your culinary journey with some of the best recipes ever!
Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00h to 20:00h
Address: 22-23 Moore St, Dublin 1
Phone number: 015686089
Polish market: Polonez
Polonez is perhaps the biggest market known to the Polish people living in Ireland. Its prices are very similar to the ones in Poland and even though you might not be Polish, the goods offered here will captivate you and keep you coming back for more (I bought some juice and sunflower seeds, by the way). Rose brought me here and I could not be more grateful!
“This is everyone’s childhood drink”, Rose says. This natural and zero-sugar juice fits perfectly in the breakfast menu, or perhaps as a snack. Its thickness texture and sweet taste is heartwarming.
Flavours: Carrots or fruits (banana, strawberry, apple…) are available.
Price: 2 x €2 (€1,49 each or 4 zloty in Poland).
Another everyday item to the list, Kasza is an alternative to rice and it is very popular in Poland. You usually cook it in water, milk or fat and eat it with meat as in the Gulasz dish (Eastern Europe beef stew).
Types: Hulled buckwheat, corn, rice, wheat, oats, barley or millet.
Price: €1,89 → 3,99 zloty in Poland.
Polish pickles are globally famous. “Probably, it is because it’s sweeter and less sour,” Rose tells me. Ogorki kiszone is daily use and the price is €2,29 (in Poland, it costs around 6 zloty)
Another everyday item, this Polish curd cheese is served in savoury dishes with bread or cold cuts. Yum! “Personally, I love eating it as a sweet with some sugar or jam”, Rose asserts. Price: €1,49 (2,38 zloty in Poland).
I have to agree with Rose here when she tells me that this is THE perfect snack. It is DE-LI-CIOUS. Of all types and sizes, these pork smoked thin sausages with garlic and pepper have the potential to brighten your blues!
Price €2,79 (6,49 zloty in Poland).
If you are as hungry as I usually am, don’t hesitate to visit!
Open: Monday to Saturday 9:00h to 20:00h/Sunday 11:00h to 20:00h
Address: Moore Street, North City, D1
Phone number: +353 1 457 6888
Indian market: Star Asia Foods
Kala is my Indian roommate. Truly Indian, Star Asian Foods is where she brings me, without fail, for buying fresh chicken at the best price and some other edibles of Indian cuisine such as rice, spices or legumes. She is 22 and one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met!
Asian Market Foods is known as ‘spices paradise’. A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other material of a plant used primarily for food flavouring or colouring. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the plants’ leaves, flowers, or stems used for flavouring or as a garnish.
As we all probably know, spices are super important for Indian cuisine (even though they’re too spicy for me- I have to open the windows when she cooks). From clove powder to whole coriander to sage, over 50 kinds of spices in total are waiting for you in this market.
Indian Legumes (all types of lentils)
Legumes form a quintessential part of the Indian cuisine and can be classified as the staple food. These can be consumed at all times of the day due to their richness in proteins, fibres and minerals.depending on the preparation. You cook it for all kinds of soups, curry, salads, sprouts, with rice, chapati, naan etc. For a different way to eat it, “soak it overnight and have it raw for the next morning”, Kala suggests. Black channa (chicke-pea), Green gram or White channa dal are perfect for this.
Prices are affordable which range around €2.99-€5 (twice the original prices found in Indian markets).
Rice is perhaps the most important grain consumed in India which is at times included in all three meals of the day. This Asian market boasts of the various known varieties of rice, cultivated from the different regions in India, for instance, the Ponni rice which is mostly used in Kerala (South India), Sona Masoori is used in all the southern part, Basmati, a type used to make the much acclaimed Biryani and so on.
The rice bags are divided into 5,10 and 20 kilograms which are priced at €12, €24, €33, respectively. “I suggest buying the biggest one which is affordable and lasts for three months, on a two people basis,” Kala says.
All curry Indian Spices
As stated, a lot of spices go into the making of an Indian dish. These ‘masalas’ aka spices are quite handy and easy to cook. In this store, you can find a variety of masalas for rice, curries, tandooris (chicken dish prepared by roasting chicken marinated in yogurt and spices in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven) and all kinds of other foodstuff.
The prices range from €2.5-€5.50.
If you’re hungry or are in a rush, this is the perfect solution. Termed as a necessity if you are an Indian travelling abroad, Indians absolutely Maggi! Quick reasons for the same- Fast, tasty and cherished!
One of the things every foreign national living in a different country misses is the regional snacks of their homeland. Here, you can find all types of snacks like fried chips, roasted chana, tapioca chips, murukku, hot mixtures, Panipuri box and a few sweets. Kurkure and Lays (crisps) are a favourite among the shoppers. “Besides these, the thing I look forward to the most is Rasmlalai (a sweet)”, Kala tells me.
Price: around €4
Indian Ready To Eat Dishes
If you´re lazy or perhaps aren’t exactly aware of the know-hows of a recipe, Indian Ready to Eat dishes is your best bet. “It takes me back home. I personally recommend Priya brand”, Kala says.
Dishes: All the rice mix (ex: Tomato rice, Sambar rice), Curry´s (Dal makhani, Mutter paneer, Aluu mutter, Choley) Fry´s (Bindi…)
Price varies from €1.5 – €4. Sometimes, if buy one, you get another for free.
They also sell fresh lamb, beef and chicken and let me tell you, they’re value for money!
Besides these, Star Asia Foods sells products from other countries. Have a look at their Facebook page for more details!
Mexican food such as Takis, salsas, Palparindo, Maseca, Tortillas…
And much more!
Open: Monday- Saturday 9:00-21:00h/ Sunday 10:00-21:00h
Address: 3, 35/41 Parnell Street, Dublin 1
Phone number: +353 1 874 8589
Nigerian market: Earth Angel Food
And this is Jeff. Probably the warmest heart person I have met in Dublin. He is pursuing a postgraduate course in Human Rights and it is the first time he moves abroad from Nigeria. “I’m still getting used to Dublin but t’s so easy when you live in a multicultural house”, Jeff tells me.
If you crave for the sweetness and softness of Nigerian bread, then the famous Agege Bread is what you should go for. A spread of any type might be its best accompaniment!
Beans are one of the most popular legumes in African cooking for their high protein. This particular type of Brown beans is otherwise called `honey beans´ or ewa oloyin in Nigeria. It is known to cook faster than the ´White beans´.
A popular crunchy Nigerian snack made with dough (flour, butter sugar), Chin chin is a go-to snack any time of the day. Delicious!
Egusi (Melon Seed)
Egusi is a seed rich in fat and protein which, after being dried and ground, can be used to prepare the tasty and delicious Egusi soup.
This is unsalted fish, mostly cod which has been dried by cold air. This preserves the fish for a very long time. Stockfish can be used to prepare soups and is commonly used in Eastern Nigeria.
Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans which are dried and/or smoked and can be used as an ingredient in preparing various delicacies. It gives a nice taste and aroma to any meal. Tasty!
Other Nigerian products can be found in Asian Spices Food Market.
Garri, also known as Cassava flakes, are made from Cassava. It is a household food in Nigerian homes and probably a favourite as it can be devoured either as a snack or used as a key ingredient in main meals. Pour some Garri in a bowl, add wáter, milk, sugar (if you like) and even groundnut/ peanut and you have the soaked garri meal. “Garri can also be used to make eba which can be had with any soup”, Jeff recommends.
Okra is used to make the popular Okro Soup in Nigeria. Okra is a healthy vegetable and can be prepared with either fish or meat. It is best used fresh and the Okro soup can be had with eba, fufu or pounded yam.
Yam is a tuber crop that can be easily grown in Nigeria. It contains mostly carbohydrates and can be used to prepare different meals. Yam can be boiled or fried and had with a sauce. It can also be used to make pounded yam which is had with any of the different kinds of soups.
Thank you to everyone in the article who provided me with an in depth look at the foreign food markets in Dublin.
Any markets that we should be visiting? Do let me know in the comments below. Have a lovely day!
To jest prawdziwa przyjazń – oslaniac innych nawet kosztem siebie. Prymas Stefan Wyszyński…