We folks in Pudong are very excited about the long-overdue Japanese supermarket that recently opened in the basement of Yaohan, or more widely known as Babaiban (八佰伴).
Well, it’s not technically new. Previously, Babaiban had a smaller supermarket on the 7th floor where you could find a very modest variety of household goods and foodstuffs from Japan. Shopper traffic was, unfortunately, sparse due to its nose-bleed location which was only exacerbated by painfully slow lifts and escalators. In this new basement food hall, common sense prevailed and everything has been consolidated while at the same time, expanded.
Within the supermarket, you will find a decent variety of imported foodstuffs and fresh produce from all over the world. Prices are inevitably a bit north of what you get at the cavernous staples like Carrefour but are comparable to Citimart and Sogo Foodhall in Jingan. One will also find food counters selling fresh sashimi and sushi by the ever-popular Japanese restaurant Tian Jia 天家, cuts of Japanese hams and meats, Chinese food, an Italian deli counter and many options for a convenient takeaway meal. When you exit the cashier line, you are greeted by Japanese sweet and pastry counters, a Beard Papa, wine and tobacco stores.
What’s more, a floor manager tells us that Yamazaki, the Japanese bread shop, will be coming to the food hall next month. Carbohydrates, be damned! We speculate that Yamazaki will not be the last retail addition to the food hall. With the Japanese community growingly migrating to Pudong for a variety of lifestyle reasons (work, schools etc), we have begun to note more and improved Japanese dining options.
So there you go! Folks living nearby will no longer have to brave the hordes in Lotus at Superbrand Mall, or trek out to Carrefour in Jinqiao or Thumb Plaza to hunt down imported milk and Marmite (not taken together of course). The huge crowds we note over the weekend are but an indication of more thriving business to come.
No.1 Yaohan Department Store (Nextstage)
501 Zhangyang Lu, near Pudong Nan Lu
Nearest metro: Dongchang Lu (Exit 1) then head south