Review: Far East Oriental Food Store, Preston

This was an unscheduled morning stop off (I had to wait for them to open at 10:30AM) so no photos, the one above was grabbed from Google Street View but you can find an interior shot on this blog.

Cumbria is not particularly blessed with options for buying authentic Asian goods (especially since the Chinese shop in Kendal near the Brewery shut down), there’s a shop in Carlisle but on my last visit it wasn’t particularly well stocked and I felt the prices were higher than my usual haunt Mung Mee Foods in Lancaster. On the last visit to Mung Mee the shelves were very bare and I was really struggling to spend money which was disappointing as they have been dependable over the past few years. Maybe I caught them on a bad day between stock deliveries, I certainly hope so.

Far East Oriental Food Store is located right in the heart of the student area of Preston, which makes perfect sense since like most universities in the UK it has a decent amount of Asian students over for a few semesters or even an entire degree and they will want a taste of home. Being a student area though it does mean that free parking is almost nowhere to be found, there’s a few spots directly outside the shop if you’re lucky but I ended up parking elsewhere and paying for the privilege. It’s worth the hassle though as despite it being a small shop it is packed with just about everything you need to create authentic Asian dishes (with the usual emphasis on Chinese but there are also Malaysian, Thai and Japanese ingredients available).

It’s essentially three rooms; dry goods and sauces on the left with a huge amount of noodles in every style including a few cup noodle style products I hadn’t seen before, drinks and snacks in the middle with a few more sauces, and fresh veg and frozen goods on the right. I was looking to fill up the freezer with dim sum and found they had everything I was looking for (mainly cha siu bao, siu mai, ha gow and gyoza, safe staples my whole family aren’t scared of), as well as a lot of things that are just a little bit past my limit at the moment, such as chicken’s feet. There’s no point going in depth as to what they have and don’t have, if you’re Chinese you’ll probably be happy enough but disappointed something very niche that you love isn’t there, and if you’re like me you’ll just be happy to grab the things you like whilst picking up a few new things to test out at home.

Prices were reasonable, around the same as I’ve paid in other Asian shops across the country. Card payments are accepted, I think the minimum was £10 but as I had a couple of well-stuffed carrier bags I didn’t really take much notice of it. If you happen to be in Preston it’s certainly worth a visit to stock up on cupboard staples at higher quality and lower prices than you’ll find in the mainstream supermarkets.

Far East Oriental Food Store is located on 33-35 Moor Lane, Preston, set your sat nav to PR1 7AT
Opening hours are generally 10:30am to 7:30pm

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