Having lived in San Francisco for 17 years, I DEFINITELY agree with you on MY taste buds not being moved by the Chinese food I've eaten in CR (at least not yet though the best I've found so far have been Villa Rey in Escazu, ).
If you're buying a regular wok (I've always thought that most non-electric woks were aluminum but according to Carolina at Super Sony, she said not any longer - at least not what they have), make sure to get the separate "ring" so it's stable on the stove!!!
MAKE SURE TO INITIALLY "CURE" IT (Carolina said the "proper" way of doing it is to take a BIG piece of pork fat [like the size of a guys hand] & melt it down & keep spinning it around the inside of the wok till it hydrates in]). & every time you use it you may need to TREAT IT or it will get rusty FAST (not a tasty "spice"). Just wash it out, put a little oil around it & I first turn the oven on to 350 for like 15 min., turn it off & put the wok in & walk away (I'm amazed how few people that have used mine know to do that or at least don't bother doing it).
The place I LOVE LOVE LOVE for ANYTHING Asian/Indian - spices, packaged things, prepared things, woks, dishes, mosquito zappers++!:
2-221-1263 / http://SuperSony.com / Carolina@SuperSony.com / SuperMercado@SuperSony.com
I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS PLACE!!!
DRY / HOUSEHOLD THINGS
Woks, dishes & things for Asian cooking/serving, Mosquito Zappers/Rackets & LOTS MORE!!!
Super Sony is this FABULOUS store FILLED with pre-made Asian ingredients / products, Spices, Kimchi, frozen DIM SUM (that's where I'm going next time I get a craving for Dim Sum which can be VERY expensive!!)+++!!! They have things from Thailand, China, Japan (the most expensive products so look to see if they have what you're seeking in a non-Japanese brand/label to save some $$), Taiwan, Phillipine, India & Middle Eastern goodies/spices+++ and the BIGGEST choice of VEGETARIAN products I’ve EVER SEEN than Super Sony in San Jose!!! WOW!!!! (I hear they provide MANY of the oriental products used at AutoMercado & other stores [which to me translates to those same products probably being cheaper at Super Sony!!]).
VICKI’s FAV things at Super Sony - the CHINESE CAKE I MISS/LOVED from my days in San Francisco!! To me, sort of a cross between a sponge & pound cake!! VERY LIGHT but tasty!!, GINGER CANDY, & Ginseng Candy, Zergut’s PEPPETIZER Roasted Pepper Appetizer & a BUNCH of other things!!!
Fresh Ajofan & Cho Fun Noodles, Bamboo shoots in hot oil, Dried SHITAKE MUSHROOMS (150 grams-5 lb.). Lychees (canned), Rice Paper, RICES - JASMINE RICE, BASMATI RICE, Korean Rice, Japanese Rice (it’s considered the best) & Sushi Cal Rose Rice (many rices range from 1kilo to 50lbs!!), Tapioca Pearls & Starch, everything you need to make Sushi (dry & frozen - except for the fish)
Outside they have a BIG Deep Freezer FILLED with the BIGGEST selection of Frozen Vegetarian things - many are soy products - shrimp, lobster, fish balls, chicken & beef steak, chicken wings, ham!!! Ask inside to see & MrLee reminded us to bring a cooler so it doesn’t thaw!!). Super Sony is also a mecca for TOFU goodies - Baked tofu. You can special order things like: Korean style veggie tamales (with Shitake mushrooms. 30 tamale minimum [though if you can wait a bit, they can try to fill an order]. Ideally they’d like a weeks notice). No tofu burgers or hot dogs.
Asian Eggplant, Chives, Chinese Broccoli, Ton Cua (giant gourd), Bitter Melon++!!!
BIG BULK SIZE
They carry BIG Bulk / restaurant / food service sizes on many things like Soy Sauce, Teas, Spices, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea++!!!
Cardimon, Masalas (different kinds), Tumeric, Corriander, Mustards (oil & seeds), Asafoetida++!!!
If I’m craving Dim Sum - instead of going to a restaurant, in a heartbeat I’d go to Super Sony (to say nothing of how much cheaper it is). I think they have the LARGEST selection of DIM SUM items in COSTA RICA!!
SPECIALS: BUY 6 - GET 1 FREE
(on most items & only on items picked up at the store & when paid with cash).
Check to see if they have the special promotion when you use your red BAC card for 5% off (not on rice & a few things).
SHIPPING WITHIN COSTA RICA/Central America:
They can ship to you within Costa Rica with orders of at least 50,000-colones & with at least a 2 days notice after you've paid for it. You pay the transport fee.
Super Sony is run by a SOOOOO SWEET Taiwanese family (the Chang's - mom is Elena & just a doll but I don't think she speaks much English)!!! Their daughter CAROLINA speaks GREAT English & is REAL Customer Service oriented!! (give them a BIG HUG from Vicki!!!)!!!
Mon.-Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 9am-5pm (most of the time though sometimes if it’s stormy/dead they may close earlier so call ahead)
Downtown/Centro San Jose – Calle 3, between Avenida 8 and 10 (3 1/2 blocks Sud/South of Plaza de la Cultura/National Theatre)
Kawo Mercado Oriental (aka ASIA)
(http://crjin.com/html/esp/t/t008.html / 2-236-3103 / 2-236-0308 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 8:30am-8:30pm, Sun. 8:30am-8pm
DIRECTIONS: TIBAS-500m sur/south of the church. Map - http://crjin.com/html/esp/espmapa001.html