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Asian Food Grocer Review and Giveaway

I had a pretty smashing birthday this year, with Mr. Pikko surprising me with a plethora of gifts such as a 3rd gen Kindle, Rome: The Complete Series on Blu-Ray, a box of See’s Awesome Walnut Square Bars, an activated subscription to HBO and Showtime (just in time for Game of Thrones), and a card glued together. He seemed huffy that I wasn’t more amused by the card, but I told him I’ve had 32 years of April Fool’s birthdays. I’ve pretty much seen it all. 🙂

My dad got me a seed sprouting kit and two pounds of sprouting seed (alfalfa and mung), so I’ll be able to use sprouts in my bentos very soon! I’m pretty excited about it, but I still have to clean off counter space for it. Right now I have tons of washed meat trays holding my Jiffy pellets of plants. Jenn got me this freaking hilarious solar Hello Kitty figurine of her reading a book on the toilet. Her head bobs up and down in the sun!

My brother gave me a freaking amazing gift: two nights stay at the Sheraton Waikiki, where he works, plus a coupon for breakfast buffet for four. When we were kids, my parents used to work us to the bone during the holidays, but soon after would make it up to us by taking us on a little vacation to Waikoloa to reward us for working so hard. We have a lot of great memories of Mauna Lani and the Royal Waikoloan, including swimming in the pool and watching movies in the room.

There are funny memories, like the time my mom drank too much and passed out at the table, which caused the waiter to inquire whether we needed a wheelchair to get her back to her room. LOL! There are also not-so-good memories, like the time I ate over fifty strawberries and an omelet at brunch and then spent the morning puking it all up with Grandma Mu at my side. The kids flat-out loved it and it really makes me happy that my brother is making it possible for my kids to have their own vacation memories like the ones we had together.

Asian Food Grocer

Today I am hosting a giveaway by Asian Food Grocer, who was kind enough to give me a coupon code to purchase some items to try. My review of the items will follow in the coming month as I try them out. For today, I am simply reviewing the service of Asian Food Grocer. Read on for details on how you can enter for a $20 coupon code! I will have two to give away!

I did my shopping on March 22nd and accidentally placed my order twice, like a total ditz. Two days later, they had worked out the error and shipped my box of goods and when I checked mail on the 29th (5 days later), the box was there. It should be noted that shipping to Hawaii is rather expensive since they have to use USPS and don’t use flat shipping (they should!). With the accessibility of Asian foods at local markets, it actually doesn’t make much sense for us locals to buy from their store. People who live on the mainland, however, can take advantage of their $6.95 ground shipping offer for orders over $25.

The nice ladies over at the Pepperjam Network offered me a $35 code so that I could order a good amount of items even with the higher shipping costs to Hawaii, so I was actually able to order a lot of items.

My shopping list:

I ate the Myojo ramen already and it was pretty good taste wise, but the noodles were a bit too chewy for my liking, which means you should probably cook it thoroughly instead of al dente. I took the macadamias to work to eat them slowly over the course of a week. HAHAHA! They were gone in two days. They’re out of stock right now because when I bought them, they were on clearance for only $0.75, a steal! All of this came out to $19.40, so you could actually order more to reach the ground shipping requirement.

I’ve already cooked some of the Kagayaki rice and it in indeed delicious, but at 2.2 lb for $6.50, it’s a pretty expensive rice. It’s not that AFG prices it high, it’s expensive everywhere. I consider this to be a “special occasion” rice. I’ll be including it in the next part of my Umami rice cooker review series.

I like that their website accepts product reviews, as I heavily consider reviews when shopping online. When I shop at Baker Creek, I read through all the reviews to find the best tasting seeds. Their search doesn’t always work right as searches for “shirataki” only brought up 1 item and a search for “kagayaki rice” only gave me the brown rice, since their other products have words in between katayaki and rice.

I had been hoping that they would have red yuzu kosho, since I need this to make a recipe in a cookbook I’m reviewing, but unfortunately they don’t carry it. I bought the green at the local Nijiya Market, but they didn’t have red and neither did Marukai. The only place I’ve found it is on Amazon through a third party seller and this would come out to almost $20 for a tiny little bottle. The heck with that!

As I mentioned earlier, I have two coupon codes to give away. All you need to do is head on over to Asian Food Grocer’s website and look around, then come back here and post your own shopping list of at least two yummy Asian foods you’d buy if you won. Limit one entry per person. Entries will be accepted until Monday, April 12, 2011. Feel free to Like them on Facebook!