So I took the plunge and made my first visit to the Masala Bazaar located in Grangetown,Cardiff– that being the nearest store to where we live. Easily found and to my great satisfaction a car park – as with all Masala Bazaar stores – no having to wait for a space or park on double yellow lines! Car parked and hours to spare to have a good nose around. The first thing to hit me was the fabulous aroma of Asian cuisine just like I’d walked into an Indian restaurant, followed by the bright, well-lit store and squeaky clean floors. So many times I’m put off using a store by dirty aisles and labels you just can’t read due to dull lighting – but not here! The well stocked and displayed shelves had my attention straight away, spotting the amazing variety of spice mixes, chilli and curry powders, pickles and herbs. Just to the left of the entrance – proudly set out, were a gathering of fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only can you get your regular tomato, peppers, cauliflowers and the like, but there were a new array of fruits and vegetables that I’d never witnessed before such as kakrol and chichinga – amazing colours and textures. Worth going just to see them! Along the walls are a plethora of fridges containing ready meals, fish, snacks and other frozen delights. As Halal meat is becoming ever more popular you won’t have to look far before you come across such items – and all clearly marked on the front of the box. Wandering aisle to aisle – the most amazing sight I’ve ever seen in any food store – a whole two to three foot boal fish around 15kg – now that’s a lot of fish! Captain Pugwash would fall overboard at the size of these amazing creatures.
If you’re a fish lover, there are certain species I’d never have believed existed which come all the way from Bangladesh and some other of the world’s best fresh water areas. Inquisitively into the numerous product aisles we strayed, organised well and clearly labelled. Other wonderous delights at hand such as Tapioca banana roast, humza chicken sausages, saag paneer cooking sauce and crown farms very own mixed lime pickle. There’s just so much to choose from, it’s as though all the great food nations of the world have come together and landed in one spot! Towards the back of the store is a very hygenic and clean looking butchers counter that hosts fresh whole chicken, chicken fillets, beef and mutton – there’s really something for everyone. Of course if you just want a pint of milk and a packet of fags, you’re in safe hands there too! The staff are very friendly and their product knowledge is fantastic, pointing me in the right direction on more than one occasion. Perhaps a renaming to the Food Education Store should be sought, as I would find it hard to believe that anyone can’t learn or find something new each time they visit. With an ever-growing list of halal meat products and Asian ready meals, tell your friends that this is THE place to stock up. At amazing prices, compared to other supermarkets, it may be a little further out than your other local superstore but one thing is for certain – you will never get such a broad range of food in any other store. Special thanks to Humayum for his excellent guidance and product knowledge. Just one other thing to mention although August is half way through, you can find a free Ramadan timetable of prayers which is available on the special offers brochure found in store.
So here’s a selection of current offers in Masala Bazaar stores across the UK:
Halal Battered Chicken Steaks 850g at a super 3 for £9.99
Halal Battered Chicken Nuggets 800g flying in at 3 for £9.99
Crown Farms Whole Fish Mola 250g finding you at 3 for £6.99
Masala Breaded Scampi 400g at an amazing 3 for £4.99
Masala IQF King Prawns Stunning you at 3 for £7.99
Breaded Butterfly King Prawns 400g swimming in at 3 for £6.99
And not forgetting the newly launched Crown Farms Long Lasting UHT Single Cream 1 Ltr for only £1.49 – amazingly priced and very tasty.
Remember all these offers and plenty more last throughout Ramadan so take a trip and spoil yourself without paying a fortune!