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  • Balut, Chippy, Kalderetang Kambing: Where To Buy Pinoy Favorites in Australia

    The taste of home is within reach if you know where to find them
    by Tess B. Angala .
Balut, Chippy, Kalderetang Kambing: Where To Buy Pinoy Favorites in Australia
PHOTO BY Tess B. Angala
  • I have been living in Melbourne, Australia with my husband and two kids for 12 years now, and although I’ve gotten quite used to the life here, every so often I would still crave Pinoy favorites. Fortunately, Filipinos here are spoilt for choice. My area is brimming with grocery stores that carry Filipino-made products, so they’re quite accessible when you need them. 

    If you’re a fellow Pinoy planning to visit (or stay for a longer period of time) Australia, particularly the Melbourne area, here’s a list of stores that you can go to when you’re missing the taste of home.

    Pinoy grocery stores in Melbourne, Australia

    The Springs Fruits & Vegetables

     

    PHOTO BY Tess B. Angala
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    I normally get my Pinoy fix from the local Asian green grocer, The Springs, which carries international food items and fresh produce. They have 4 dedicated aisles and 2 freezers for Pinoy brands alone — an indication that the Filipino contingent is big in this part of town. 

    For your buko pie craving, look for the Lety’s brand in the freezer. There's lots of choices for longganisa too (Vigan is a family favorite, from $9-$10). Popular staples are Suka Pinakurat, Del Monte Sweet Spaghetti Sauce, and a variety of chicharon (pork rind cracklings) from $5.50 - $6.50. Snacks and chips such as Chippy ($2.90), Clover, Boy Bawang, and V-cut are also available — you name it, they have it. 

     

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    There’s plenty of ice cream flavors to choose from courtesy of Pinoy Sorbetes. Masarap Bakery holds a wall of pandesal ($3.30), Spanish bread and ensaymada. 

    I also recently discovered Jersey Chocolate-flavoured Condensed Creamer and Marca Pina Soyaghetti. I have a pasta monster at home but soy sauce in spaghetti is a unique blend. Today, I am particularly looking for White King Champorado mix ($1.99), a pantry staple for my son’s Sunday breakfast, but they ran out.

     

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    If you’re planning to cook and need ingredients for your recipe, you'll be glad to know that you can also find dried taro leaves (Dahon ng Gabi) in this store.

    The Springs Fruits & Vegetables is located at CS Square, 29-35 Lake Street, Caroline Springs, Victoria 3023.

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    Ria Filipino Groceries

    This was the first store I discovered when we first arrived in Melbourne. What I particularly love about this store is that they have the balut ($1.90) (but Aussie-made, of course). 

     

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    There’s Beulah pork tocino ($8.50) sweet-chili chorizo ($12.50) and an entire section for frozen bangus and smoked galunggong.

     

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    There are several options for atchara – RJ Atchara and Benita’s Homemade atchara, both of which have carrots in them -- but Island Leaf’s Pawpaw Relish ($7)  uses purely green papaya,  just the way we want it in our tapsilog. In the frozen section, they have malunggay and langka fruit.

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    Ria Filipino Groceries is like a time machine — there are rows of Skyflakes, Sunflower and graham crackers ($9), Aling Dely’s Shingaling ($6), Flat Tops ($9), White Rabbit ($6), and chicharon. If you crave bibingka, you can get from them the White King instant bibingka mix.

    Tip: This convenience store also has an Express Money Transfer facility for those who wish to send money to their family members in the Philippines.

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    Ria Filipino Groceries is located at Shop 6 Victoria Street, St Albans, Victoria 3021.

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    Super Pinoy Filipino-Asian Grocery and Money Transfer

    This store just opened in December 2019, and they also boast of unique Pinoy finds. Upon entry, you will see an entire shelf of Mama Sita instant recipe mix packets. Their freezer is full of suprises with meat products like Argentina Beef Tapa ($12), longganisa, pork tocino, hotdog, fish ball, and kikiam.

     

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    If you are too tired to cook dinner after a day’s work, check out their frozen cooked meals like beef pochero, chicken pochero, dinuguan, kare-kare, pork sisig and kalderetang kambing ($9), the most popular of them all. As these go well with rice, they also sell sacks of Jasmine and Milagrosa grains ($38).

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    Turon, saging na saba, grated ube, and cassava fill their freezers too. Yes, they have Magnolia Ube ice cream and Pinoy Sorbetes (from $13). Super Pinoy has a money transfer service too and sells LBC boxes for your padala. 

    Super Pinoy Filipino-Asian Grocery and Money Transfer is located at Shop 7 Victoria Street, St. Albans, Victoria 3021.

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    Happy Hut - The Filipino Store

    As a food store and catering service establishment, you can order food from Happy Hut for your banquet needs. There are a few tables set up for diners too. I tried the pancit orders for a pot luck party once, because you can’t go wrong with pancit, anyway. They serve all-time Pinoy favorites like dinuguan, bopis, and sisig, just to name a few. Masarap Bakery’s pandesal and bread selection seems to be in all Filipino stores, including this one.

     

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    Their freezer has special Vigan longganisa and RJ Foods de recado/garlic longganisa. Delimondo Corned Beef is new on the shelves.

    PHOTO BY Tess B. Angala

    They also have kakanin like pichi pichi, kutsinta, espasol, suman sa lihiya, and tikoy, but what I go there for is the carioca ($2.50), which is good, just like back home.

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    Happy Hut - The Filipino Store is located at 85-87 Oakwood Road, Albanvale, Victoria 3021

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    Woolworths Caroline Springs

     

    PHOTO BY Tess B. Angala
    This Australian supermarket opened last year with a huge section for Asian produce, although most of them are Chinese, Japanese and Korean brands. Now they’ve also allotted a big space for Filipino products.

     

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    If you are after the classic ones, there’s Mang Tomas All-Purpose Sauce, Mama Sita’s, good old Chippy, Lily’s peanut butter, and Star Margarine (known back home as “pampatangkad,” thus it’s tempting to say that the reason my 16-year old son is taller now than his father is because of this – but no). I am curious to try the Salu Salo Bagoong Monamon (Salted Anchovy).

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    Woolworths Caroline Springs is located at 8 Commercial Rd, Caroline Springs VIC 3023.

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