Best Asian Grocery - 2007
PK Oriental Mart
Considering how few truly good authentic Chinese restaurants there are in Miami-Dade County, it is astonishing how many excellent Asian markets there are. And while a few, like Japanese Market on the 79th Street Causeway, specialize in the ingredients of a single country, most carry packaged products from a full range of eastern nations: China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. At least a couple of these pan-Asian markets (notably Lucky, in Westchester, and Chung Hing, on NE 163rd Street) also carry an assortment of oriental veggies and fruits that matches PK's impressive produce department for variety, freshness, and display. What makes PK special is the small but scrumptious-looking glass counter on the far left side of the store, displaying the market's housemade Chinatown-style barbecue. Among the items hanging are glistening whole roast ducks and soy-marinated chickens, their skins dark and crispy, the meat within bursting with succulent juices. There are regulation reddish strips of regular roast pork, but also crispy pork wonderfully moist meat capped with light, crunchy panko breading. And on Saturdays and Sundays only, you'll find barbecue spareribs, plus pei pa duck. (The latter bird is flattened, deep-fried crisp, and hung, a laborious process that renders out nearly all subcutaneous fat, while crisping the skin and concentrating the meat's flavor.) The 'cue runs $14 per large piece, which includes hoisin or soy dipping sauces, plus custom butchery by a tiny woman with a terrifying cleaver.