A glitzy press conference for the media, followed by a whirlwind guided tour of the newly-finished CityLife Supermarket, was just the thing we needed to make us feel like actual members of the press, or to at least pretend to be respected journalists, for about an hour. The MORE crew was glad to have a chance to see what Hangzhou's latest – and perhaps coolest – upscale shopping experience had to offer. Don't get us wrong, we dearly love the locals-only corner stores that are family-run, and that always seem to have the best selection of Chinese snack foods like foil-wrapped duck tongues in sweet sauce, or pickled chicken feet, for those nights when we don't want to go more than 200 meters out our dank, claustrophobic abodes. However, for a taste of what the good life is all about for those who don't live their lives as reclusive shut-ins, we recommend checking out CityLife's supermarket, and judge for yourself if this place is the “best of the bunch in regards to obscure foreign foods that usually have to be smuggled into the country at the risk of deportation.” Yes, we're talking about the family-sized bags of Doritos in Cool Ranch, Nacho Cheesier, and Spicy Nacho Cheese for 32RMB each. Not impressed? Okay smart-ass, how about bragging to your buddies when you're the first one in your office to be blithely sipping on a 9.5oz bottle of Starbucks Frappucino in vanilla or mocha for 19.90RMB each? Okay, we’re not huge fans either, but that's not the point. Still not enough? You'll also find things like 250g ILLY espresso for 130RMB, jars of Barilla pasta sauces in Napoletana, Olive, Bolognese, and Arrabbiata for 35.90RMB. There's even a section with bottles that look mysteriously similar to the beloved Heinz A-1 Steak Sauce for 26RMB, too. Now you're starting to feel like a loser for not believing us, aren't you? No worries, there's plenty for everyone at the new CityLife Supermarket, and if you are in the mood for something other than canned, bagged, and bottled foods, you'll be amazed at the selection of sushi-grade fish that is kept in high-tech coolers with shiny, clean displays on the sales floor. Everything from shimmering whole blue mackerel to quivering sections of tuna and salmon can be had for a reasonable price of 40RMB per 400g portion, and it all looked like the freshest, best-presented fish we've seen in Hangzhou’s retail world to date. There's even a central island with a Chef preparing various goodies for all to see and learn from, and the cheese section had us foaming at the mouth with smoked salmon and herb wheels of spreadable goodness for 35RMB. Parking is underground, and prices are subject to change, so hurry up and get yourself over there to see what the new CityLife Supermarket has to offer you. Here's one last hook: there's a small stand with awesome cream-filled puffs for 8RMB near the exit, towards the elevators.
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