Saturday, 5 May 2007

Wing Yip is "Evil"

I phoned DH when I got back to the car. Tongue firmly in cheek, I informed him, Wing Yip is evil. They mesmerised me and before I knew it, my shopping trolley held 12kg of baking soda and 20 litres of vinegar. I just don’t know how it happened…..” :o)

Friday afternoon, I rounded off a quick shopping trip to Brent Cross with a side visit to Wing Yip. Wing Yip is probably Britain’s largest Chinese supermarket and cash-and-carry with several branches, including two in London. I was after the spice mix for the green-coloured curry they serve in virtually every Chinese takeaway in England. In the end, I didn’t find it. I purchased two tubs of “cook’s curry concentrate” and hope that is what I was after (mixes up 1 part concentrate to 3 parts water to make a sauce).

I was there for about an hour and had a quick look at their warehouse as well as wandering the supermarket. This is what I purchased:-

Baking Soda 4 x 3kg £6.98
White vinegar 4 x 5 litre bottles £6.95
Rubber gloves – box of 6 pairs £6.50
500ml vegetarian oyster sauce £1.00
500g palm sugar £0.80
600ml Soy Sauce £0.88
Rice wine vinegar £2.68
1 jar white peppercorns £1.35
1 jar tamarind puree £0.98
1 bag dried shitake mushrooms £2.28
Noodles, 2 x 500g £1.30
400g Chinese 5 spice powder £0.98
Coconut cream 2 x 200g blocks £0.60
100 plastic forks £0.98
100 plastic knives £0.98
300 bamboo skewers £1.44
Cooks curry concentrate 2 tubs £1.30

For a grand total of £42.86 including VAT. [I think that's everything]

A little translation for the non-metric amongst you: 12kg baking soda = 24lb; 20 litres vinegar = 5.2 US gallons or 4.4 Imperial ones.

The first two items are my main cleaning products. At the supermarket, I’d normally pay £0.50 for 200g of baking soda and £0.68 for a pint of vinegar. In the quantities above, that translates to £30 for the same amount of baking soda and £24.50 for vinegar. Most of the other things were about half the price I’d pay at the supermarket, if I could find them there.

Two weeks ago, at a friend’s house, we were discussing the merits of Costco membership (£25 per annum last time I looked). DH and I drove home debating whether we’d recover our costs when our main purchases would be very basic staples: cans of tomatoes, rice, vinegar, baking soda, flour. The jury is still out but, given my quick look around Wing Yip’s warehouse (no membership required), I don’t think we’ll bother joining Costco.

- Pam

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