Pacific Food is a unique Asian market open almost three months in a small shopping center just as Blackrock Turnpike splits into Tunxis Hill. The small footprint of the grocer packs a punch – offering counter-style favorites such as Vietnamese sandwiches, Japanese-style smoothies in a rainbow of flavors and a decided-upon favorite, traditional Chinese Bubble Tea.
The menu also includes a variety of noodle soups and appetizers such as shrimp or pork spring rolls and a roast chicken wrap. Dessert comes in the form of Chinese-style deep fried sesame balls.
For a first taste, we ordered the Vietnam-style ham sandwich, which features a sweet ham, topped with a slaw of carrots, turnips, cucumbers and cilantro on French bread. Other variations include BBQ chicken or beef, roast beef, paté, and the staple fried fish. Smoothie flavors range from mango to avocado to honeydew, but we opted to wash down our sandwich with Jasmine Green Tea with “regular” bubbles (made out of dark colored tapioca pearls). The tea is served cold and with a straw large enough to let the bubbles through. For anyone who has never tried Bubble Tea – the bubbles pop in your mouth adding a juicy update to the chilled drink. Tea flavors can be mixed and matched with the various bubbles. Combinations might be watermelon with yogurt flavored bubbles or Lychee with a rainbow jelly. Topping off the meal with a sesame ball – the fresh-baked (and then fried) sweet is the perfect way to round out a delicious (and relatively inexpensive) lunch on a day you’re typical salad just won’t do.
The best part of Pacific Food? The encouragement to try your hand at some of the Asian delicacies served behind the counter. Everything they make to order can also be re-created at home with the help of several full shelves of traditional ingredients. All the meats for the Vietnamese-style sandwiches are available frozen alongside several cases of refreshments such as a collection of Japanese sodas (Lychee is a favorite flavor across the board). Makings for noodles and noodle soup include everything from the rice-based dry noodle to the various sauces used to spice up the dish. Pho ingredients and seasoning are also available. Coconut milk, Asian-style cookies and sweets such as I-mei crème wafers come in various flavors, rice paper for spring rolls, codfish silk jerky, milkfish and shrimp balls, hot and sour paste, the list goes on and on.
The grocer certainly fills a void in the area of packaged foods and Asian ingredients. And with a reasonably priced menu, you can experiment different flavors all you want before cooking up your own Asian feast.
Pacific Foods 1561 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield (203) 220-9450