Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
CaliPoutine

Best Asian store in TO?

Recommended Posts

I must make a trip to ChinaTown soon.  There is such a plethora of asian supermarkets.  Which one is your favorite?  Who has the best selection, the best prices?

Thanks

There are 2 large markets on the East side of Spadina (above Adelaide but below Dundas I think) - you should be able to find anything you're looking for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume you mean the China Town (very Vietnamese these days) along Spadina.

Actually, I prefer the non-chinatown stores for asian groceries these days. I usually frequest Big Land and T&T. They are both in the north end of the city though, where most of the Chinese Toronto population now dwell anyway. I just find their selection to be far superior, especially for fish and exotic seafood.

If you are looking for cooking utensils, there is a great shop on the north west corner of Spadina and Dundas. great place for woks, rice cookers, etc....

There is a grocery store on the East side of Spadina, about two block south of Dundas that isn't bad. Cheap produce. Their selection of Chinese sausages was not as great as T&T though.

What are you looking for? Sauces? Produce? Meat and Seafood? Pastries and breads?

Mark


Edited by Librarian_chef (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are actually 4 of those supermarkets in downtown Chinatown. Hua Sheng is the one I usually go to (north of Dundas & Spadina on the east side). Across from it is Tai Kong. South of Dundas & Spadina on the same side as Hua Sheng is Hua Long and Asian Farm.

Selection-wise, I personally think Hua Sheng & Hua Long have the greatest variety. However for seafood, I tend to go to Asian Farm (better organized) and Tai Kong (mussels at TK usually seem cleaner than the others). There's also a new poultry shop near the Chinatown LCBO called Sunny Meat Market that I frequent regularly. I like it cuz it's clean & has a lot of stuff (regular & free range chickens, duck, quail, pheasent, even overheard some pple ordering Christmas turkeys and raving about it..etc.).

The shop librarian chef mentioned is called Tap Phong I think. It's sorta semi-restaurant supply & houseware + hardware store. Also agree with librarian chef about the supermarkets further up north being better than the downtown ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kinds of Rice? If you are looking for Japanese goods, I would suggest trying Ozawa on East Beaver Creek in Richmond Hill. They even carry Kobe Wagyu beef. They have a small selection, but its Japanese specific.

The T&T at the Promenade mall in Vaughan has a large assortment of different rices. I still think they are the best place for Tofu (lots of variety, aside from the manufacturers of course) and rice (including: Japanese sushi rice, basmati, jasmine scented, purple rice, and quite a few others). I don't honestly know if they have the Kafir Lime leaves, but I would be shocked if they didn't. They have a huge assortment of sauces too, including some harder to find Japanese ones.

My personal favourite sauces: X.O. sauce, Oyster sauce, Tonkatsu sauce (which I make myself), Tamari, Mirin, and of course Sriracha.

I love Lap Cheong (Chinese pork/duck sausage) and some of the markets have quite the selection.

You can't beat the ambience of the downtown stores though. Its a completely different experience. Also, if you don't have a car, getting to the Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan stores can be difficult. There are quite a number of purveyors of dried goods, including dried shrimp, squid, and mushrooms along Dundas, east of Spadina.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on what you mean by "Asian."

For example, for Japanese (and only Japanese) no store in DOWNTOWN Toronto is as good as Little Tokyo on Augusta Ave, in Kensington Market. Mind you, the best place to go is either Markham and/or Vaughn north of TO. Sometimes that place feels like it IS Asia.


-- Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone seen dried chestnuts anywhere - I've been all over.

Think Little Italy Gordon.........should be there or an Italian grocery for 9-10#/lb.

Little Italy? Why didn't I think of that. My mom has sent me on a wild goose chase my last 3 trips. She swears she got them at Kensington Mkt (I even checked the guy who's got dried "EVERYTHING" and he had fresh only)

thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depends on what you mean by "Asian."

For example, for Japanese (and only Japanese) no store in DOWNTOWN Toronto is as good as Little Tokyo on Augusta Ave, in Kensington Market. 

How about Sanko's on Queen West? :biggrin: That place is good too. Actually I do a lot of my Japanese/Korean grocery shopping in Koreantown. The stuff there is cheaper than Little Tokyo and Sanko, although it might be easier to find certain specialty Japanese items at those shops instead of K-Town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dried Chestnuts are very common in Chinatown. Go into a store where they have bins of dried goods displayed out front---dried shrimps, mushrooms, fish, grains, etc. They usually have dried chestnuts...and anything else dried.

The other "Chinatowns" up north of the downtown has some very good stores, but the places on Spadina are by far the cheapest, imho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dried Chestnuts are very common in Chinatown. Go into a store where they have bins of dried goods displayed out front---dried shrimps, mushrooms, fish, grains, etc. They usually have dried chestnuts...and anything else dried.

The other "Chinatowns" up north of the downtown has some very good stores, but the places on Spadina are by far the cheapest, imho.

I've tried that "twice" - maybe it's off season?. There at least 2 store I can rememeber with bins of dried food. They both had nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like Sanko, given the downtown Toronto options. It has much more of a real supermarket feel and selection, compared to Little Tokyo, which is a very elegant shop and convenient for Kensington Market trips, but with a more diffuse selection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Sunday I went to the new Galleria Supermarket in Vaughn.  It is a large, upscale supermarket dedicated to Korean food.

Did they have any clay pots, unglazed on the outside?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know they had glazed ones... :unsure:

(Edited for a typo.)


Edited by itch22 (log)

-- Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know they had glazed ones...  :unsure:

(Edited for a typo.)

I was disappointed with the Galleria. I love Korean food, but I found their selection to be on par with a local little supermarket just a few blocks from my house, around Finch and Senlac. They had an excellent selection of dumplings and some kitchenwares, including Korean chopsticks, rice bowls, and spoons (which are very different than their Japanese and Chinese counterparts). I would go back there, but only if I was in the area. The prices were reasonable, IMO.

I love the way Korean grocery stores pack every vegetable in plastic.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it all depends on what you are looking for, your needs, and your location.

Where I live, I first half to stop into a local Vietnamese shop to pick up most Asian supplies. Then I have to hit up a local Loblaws chain outlet for most produce if it is winter, the farmer's market if it is summer. Then I have to stop into a butcher's for meat. The Galleria has all of it in one stop, including non-Asian items too.


-- Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...