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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Groceries, Pan-Asian, Seafood

Daily 9:00am–8:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC


82nd Avenue Area
2850 SE 82nd Ave.
Portland, OR
(503) 517-8899
Fubonn Supermarket
An Asian megamart that has its pros and cons—but at what prices!

This galaxy-sized supermarket in the heart of Chinatown is a bit of a pain. It’s in an out-of-the-way neighborhood to which you usually only go for a good bowl of pho. The service is legendary for being rude (bring cash if you plan to only pick up a few things; there’s a draconian minimum policy). And there’s that distinctive seafood-and-organ-meat smell to contend with. But once you’re used to it (it’s nothing compared to the smell of China’s fish markets in summer—consider it a breath of authenticity), there are aisles upon aisles of Chinese and Southeast Asian ingredients to tempt and inspire you.

Japanese goods aren’t well represented here—for that, go to Beaverton’s lovely, but also very expensive Uwajimaya—but almost every other major Asian cuisine is represented here: Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian, and Indonesian. And if it seems like everything is laid out in an utterly random, chaotic way, it’s not exactly true; aisles are grouped by region, so you may find duplicates of certain products.

Produce is decent, but be prepared for dirt and bugs—there aren’t the fancy timed sprayers that American stores employ to keep things looking glossy and creepy-crawly free. Some prepared foods, like banh mi, are pretty good, but not worth a stop if you aren’t shopping here. Have lunch at Malay Satay Hut, inside the same mall, or next door’s Koji Osakaya instead.

Meat and seafood selections are perfunctory, and leave something to be desired—especially if you’re concerned with cruelty-free, sustainable fishing and ranching. And keep in mind that not much English is spoken here. Just point and try to work it out (imagine you’re vacationing in China).

And don’t forget to roam around the cheap housewares for some fun dishware and odd utensils, and to peruse the toiletries aisle for eccentric packaging.

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