There’s no shortage of Asian supermarkets in Nassau County (Suffolk, sadly, lags behind). But while H-Mart and H & Y have most Korean and Chinese culinary needs covered, Japanese grocery items are harder to find.
Enter S2-Mart, which opened about a week ago in Great Neck. Jammed (neatly) into this little storefront are hundreds of foods straight from Japan: Pocky and other Japanese candies and snack foods, Ramune sodas (the ones with the glass marbles lodged in the bottle necks), miso paste, sacks of rice (including short-grain rice grown in Hokkaido and milled at the Rice Factory in Scarsdale, in Westchester County), dozens of types, brands and sizes of soy sauce and other condiments such as yuzu extract and that spicy paste of the moment, yuzu kosho. There are noodles, fresh (dried and instant), gummy candies and mochi cakes.
The kitchen at S2-Mart makes grab-and-go dishes such as grilled salmon beef-rice bowls. In the coming weeks, there will also be bento boxes and onigiri (seaweed-wrapped rice balls). But, the emphasis here is on packaged foods, not fresh produce, meat or fish.
Nassau already has a few Japanese groceries (Shin Nippon Do in Roslyn Heights, Tominaga Shouten and the new Hanamaru in Syosset) but S2 Mart distinguishes itself with its nonfood merchandise. Are you in the market for Japanese diapers? Shampoo? Nail clippers with an attached magnifying loupe? Pencil erasers in the shapes of desserts? Beat a path to S2 Mart, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
S2-Mart, 42A Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, 631-481-3214.