First time poster here who also found Hungry Onion through the epic Bay Area Regional Chinese Food report, and am excited to see something like a CH revival.
In any case, I went to Battambang Market in Revere today in search of betel leaf. Just wanted to report that this market has a dizzying array of herbs and other ingredients one needs for mainland Southeast Asian (Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, Lao) cooking. Things I noticed: duck eggs, lalot leaves, fresh sugar cane pieces, the fruit that I know as balonglong, really meaty dried shrimp, bags of pre-shredded green papaya (or was it mango?). They also have some prepared foods like things steamed in banana leaves (banana and coconut sticky rice with black beans, for example), cut up fresh fruit with chili and salt, and some sandwiches. TONS of pickled things in jars.
Granted, I have never gone to stores in Dorchester looking for these things, but for Southeast Asian ingredients this place crushes Super 88 or Ming’s in Boston. The prices I noticed were significantly lower than what I saw at Market Basket (for things like lemongrass and fresh galangal) later in the day. The people were also super nice and helpful. Such a great experience that I wanted to give them a shout out somewhere! I look forward to returning.