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Tuk Tuk Thai Market (long)

mty | Jun 20, 200507:35 PM

A visit to the new Tuk Tuk Thai Market in Berkeley yielded a few interesting results.

A spicy sausage that often appears as a grilled appetizer called sau oou (also sai oau and other variants) can be found in the freezer section. There was no commercial packaging so I believe that the sausage is house made.

In the fresh meat section, there's another house made sausage called nem that looks alot like the Vietnamese sausage.

Cut durian is available. It looks like about a quarter of a whole fruit. But strangely there was no smell.

The produce section as a whole has a fairly wide selection but the quantities can be low for some things like fuzzy melon. A packaged handful of Kaffir lime leaves went for $2. A more generous ziploc bag of leaves in the freezer goes for the same price. In general the prices were not very competitve to Berkeley Bowl or Ranch 99.

Prices and selection of sauces and seasonings are good. While I didn't find any prahok, the notorious Cambodian fish paste, there were a few Thai pastes that looked similar.

The deli isn't a steam table affair and it looked like more people go there to eat than shop. There's at least six tables. I tried an empanada like pastry stuffed with chicken and potatoes. It was overly sweet but the pastry was fried well.

It's a nice addition to Berkeley. The big parking makes it the place to go when I need a last minute bunch of holy basil. Most of the few shoppers appeared to be curiosity seekers but since the owner of the market runs an import business and a few restaurants, he'll probably be able to keep the shop going longer than the natural food markets that previously occupied this location.

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