Where to shop: Hoo Hing

If you’re lucky enough to live on the outskirts of London and have a penchant for discovering industrial estates, you might already be familiar with Hoo Hing. Mostly a Chinese food import business, it has a handful of stores around London and a now a couple further North, including Birmingham. Back in the day, my family used to trek from Essex over to Edgware to Yaohan, which then became Oriental City and swiftly lowered its standards – the discovery of Hoo Hing in Romford came as a lifeline – *sniff sniff, the world’s tiniest violin, playing the world’s saddest song…in a particularly accomplished way while maintaining a straight run of As*

If you’ve got one near you, wrap up warm and get involved in the warehouse of fun:

Welcome to the warehouse... (before I got told off for taking pictures)

Mostly Chinese products and a fair amount of these in retail and catering-size quantities, this still has aisles of Korean, Malaysian and Japanese products, including pickled mudfish paste. Yum. Produce can also come pretty fresh:

Hello lunch

Star purchase – pork floss! Brilliant on salads, in sandwiches or on top of stir fry – anywhere you might chuck some katsuobushi, basically:

Fluffy pig product

It’s an excellent place to stock up on rice and buy harder-to-find frozen fish (barramundi, anyone?), as well as frozen thin-sliced meats perfect for shabu shabu or sukiyaki, all for a decent enough price. And I got a free 2012 calendar of soy sauce products – that’s one for the office wall. http://www.hoohing.com

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