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Shopping at T&T supermarket


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Looking for ideas!

I love going into the Chinatown T&T supermarket to look at all the unfamiliar (to me) foods on display, but I never quite know what to buy.

So, please educate me, lest I leave the place with a basket full of instant ramen noodles :raz:

What do you usually get there? Any favourites I should not miss?

My knowledge of Chinese cooking techniques is rather limited, so I should probably stick to fairly basic things for now. It does not have to be ready-to-eat, though, as I have a decent quality wok and a bamboo steamer.

I usually prefer savoury foods, but some of the baked goods look tempting, so if you think there are some good pastries (preferably not overly sweet) that I should try, please let me know!

I do like organ meats; like many French people, I grew up eating liver, kidneys, brain, tongue and sweetbreads (hey! Why is everyone turning green!?! :laugh: )

The only thing that I can be a little picky about is texture: I am not a big fan of overly chewy or gelatinous foods. No chicken feet pour moi, I guess...

Edited by Little Frog (log)
Emmanuelle
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Helen and I shop there every week as it is the closest supermarket to our home. Fridays and Saturdays they have a good deals on fresh scallops and crab. For a quick dinner we usually pick up a 1/2 bbq duck and some cold noodles. My biggest pet peeve of the place is the pre-packaging of veggies and fruit.

Cheers,

Stephen

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

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Yum, BBQ duck! That sounds like an excellent idea for when I do not feel like cooking.

Today I picked up a BBQ pork bun and a green tea milk tart from one of the hot food stations. I ate lunch at my desk and my colleagues could not help but stare at the bright green pastry :laugh:

I very much enjoyed my lunch and will go back soon to try something else from their selection. Will report back later! :smile:

Edited by Little Frog (log)
Emmanuelle
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Looking for ideas!

I love going into the Chinatown T&T supermarket to look at all the unfamiliar (to me) foods on display, but I never quite know what to buy.

So, please educate me, lest I leave the place with a basket full of instant ramen noodles :raz:

What do you usually get there? Any favourites I should not miss?

My knowledge of Chinese cooking techniques is rather limited, so I should probably stick to fairly basic things for now. It does not have to be ready-to-eat, though, as I have a decent quality wok and a bamboo steamer.

I usually prefer savoury foods, but some of the baked goods look tempting, so if you think there are some good pastries (preferably not overly sweet) that I should try, please let me know!

I do like organ meats; like many French people, I grew up eating liver, kidneys, brain, tongue and sweetbreads (hey! Why is everyone turning green!?! :laugh: )

The only thing that I can be a little picky about is texture: I am not a big fan of overly chewy or gelatinous foods. No chicken feet pour moi, I guess...

For chilly winter nights, Chinese hotpot is great! T&T does "hotpot" platters that have ready-sliced seafood, meats, etc. Pick up a package or jar of hotpot soup base and you're ready to go.

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Steamed Buns are great in the morning. In the same general area are the fresh noodles, and fried tofu. Exotic fruits are their. In the deli section look for the woman rolling what seems to be a Chinese burrito, sticky rice and 4 savory things you choose to roll up in a wrap.

Get a Dikon, and some chicken bones and cook up some serious dikon soup.

The pig bung gets my wife and the kids excited, but I'll reserve judgement. Chicken wings, prawns, lobster and crabs are all good quality.

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For chilly winter nights, Chinese hotpot is great! T&T does "hotpot" platters that have ready-sliced seafood, meats, etc. Pick up a package or jar of hotpot soup base and you're ready to go.

you don't even need hot pot soup base, my family uses plain water...it's great cuz by the end of the meal, the water's got the flavour of all the meats you've dipped in it and you can add a bunch of noodles and stuff yourself silly.

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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The duck is good, as is most of the BBQ. They have a great selection of Chinese sausage and different types of noodles. It's also the most reasonable place for things like mussels and crabs. Finally, don't forget the veggies. The quality is good and price is right.

For a quick bite, my kids like the little bowls of sticky rice they sell from the bakery counter. I like the tea eggs and curry beef buns.

Paul B

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In the deli section look for the woman rolling what seems to be a Chinese burrito, sticky rice and 4 savory things you choose to roll up in a wrap.

OH MAN, I have to vouch for these!! I tried one for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was SO GOOD! Mind you, I had mine at Osaka (in Richmond), but it's owned by the same people. Anyways, there's always a line-up to get these sticky rice things. For the unintiated, the procedure is as follows:

1) While waiting in line, figure out which 4 ingredients you want in your sticky rice roll. There are many items to choose from:

-marinated Chinese mushrooms

-egg crepe strips

-soy sauce hard-boiled eggs ("lo sui dan")

-marinated pig's ear

-pork fluff ("yook soong")

-minced preserved Chinese vegetables (I think it was "za choy" but it could have been "choy po")

-marinated spinach (I think)

-some kind of beans (likely soybeans) mixed with greens

-firm pressed marinated (soy or five-spice, probably) tofu

-tofu pockets strips (the kind used to make inari)

(for the record, I chose the mushrooms, hard-boiled egg, pork fluff & tofu pocket)

2) Also, you need to decide whether you want red sticky rice, or normal sticky rice, or half & half. I chose the regular sticky rice as I only like red sticky rice in my dessert - I don't like having to chew my rice.

3) Once you chose your rice & filling, the lady puts the filling into the rice and rolls it all up in a chubby little roll and you're ready to go! It reminds me of rolling maki sushi.

4) The best thing is, it's under $5!

The great thing about T&T and Osaka is that the deli really packs those take-out containers well. After filling the containers, they continue to pack in the food, stuffing those containers until they can barely get the lids on.

*edited for clarity

Edited by chocomoo (log)
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Yum, BBQ duck! That sounds like an excellent idea for when I do not feel like cooking.

Today I picked up a BBQ pork bun and a green tea milk tart from one of the hot food stations. I ate lunch at my desk and my colleagues could not help but stare at the bright green pastry  :laugh:

I very much enjoyed my lunch and will go back soon to try something else from their selection. Will report back later!  :smile:

What was the green tea milk tart like? Did it taste like green tea ice cream?

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Thank you very much for the recommendations everyone! I will put some of these ideas to good use this week :smile:

On Saturday I tried the Jumbo steamed bun (pork, vegetables, yolk), very tasty and filling!

I was also quite excited to find fried sesame balls, which I had not had in years. The ones I used to get had a coconut filling, but T&T does not seem to carry these. I tried a red bean sesame ball instead... and after just one bite I had a big smile on my face and a head full of memories of the 13th Arrondissement in Paris, where I used to get the sesame-covered balls of greasy goodness. It was delicious, even though I could not tell what was the sweetest, the filling or the memories :wink:

What was the green tea milk tart like?  Did it taste like green tea ice cream?

I found the taste very similar to that of an an egg tart. The green tea flavour was there, but not very strong at all. Compared to most green tea ice creams I have had (the benchmark for me being the one at Musashi), the flavour was less "grassy" and definitely much, much fainter.

The pastry was very good though, with a buttery crust and a filling that was not overly sweet.

Emmanuelle
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.....I found the taste very similar to that of an an egg tart......The pastry was very good though, with a buttery crust and a filling that was not overly sweet.

Sadly T&T has just jacked the prices of a single Egg Tart to $1.00-something of an outrage IMO. :angry:

The Boss Bakery on Main-which has a far superior product-charges far less-$0.69. :wub:

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This is just my second post, so bear with me!

I luuuuurv T&T! The bakery is awesome, I always beeline to the delicious baked goods first. If you make it there at the right time (usually around 7pm), they have a lot of these items (made same day!) at a juicy discount. Try:

-sandwich breads, especially taro, coconut, and my fave -- red rice bread, with chewy little bits of cooked red rice dispersed throughout

-pork fluff bun

-curry bun

-this bun that has a sushi-looking roll inside, not sure what it's called....

-weiner buns (yeah, ok, it's a little ghetto but oh-so-fun to eat!)

-fried sesame crackers (they come in a clear box)

At the Richmond Osaka location, I used these little "fish waffles" filled with red bean that they freshly make for you in the window, but haven't seen them lately. Are they only available on certain days/times?

If you're feeling extra adventurous, try the marinated pork ears. Spicy, garlicky, and slightly crunchy with the cartilage. They're in the cold deli section.

Try the crazy junk food, especially the potato chips that are gyoza or pizza or seaweed or curry flavoured -- they are strangely compelling.......

brokentelephone, have you tried the Gold Kili or Owl brand of 3-1 teas? I find them more tea-like and less sweet. But there doesn't seem to be a steady & reliable source of these brands. Used to get them from T&T and Superstore regularly but seems it's now hit and miss.

Happy shopping!

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Now that I think of it haven't seen the spicy Bamboo shoots in the deli for a while-they are fabulous. :cool:

I am pretty sure they had the bamboo shoots last Saturday - adding them to my list of dishes to try!

Beebs, welcome and thank you for the many recommendations! :smile:

Edited by Little Frog (log)
Emmanuelle
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The first few places I head over to when I go to T&T is the bakery and the hot food section. Great steamed buns, chicken is a personal favourite. They have some dim sum items that aren't for taking home to snack on too. The last few times I tried to get egg tarts the person in front of me took the last few packs. If you're tired and don't feel like cooking there are lots of pre-made things you can buy too like ma-po tofu and various cooked meats. The snack aisles are definitely worth a look too.

They have a lot of deals after 6, but prepare to battle it out with other hungry customers.

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Although the Chinese are not big on desserts, there are these ice cream balls you can get that are yummy! I think my friend said before that they're called "Mochi Balls", but don't quote me on that.

They are about 2 inches in diameter, and come in red bean, blueberry (my favourite), and vanilla, and are covered with a thin doughy skin. It doesn't sound appetizing but it's great! I think it's about $3 for 8 of them, and they even come with mini skewers you can eat them with!

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Here is what I picked up today:

- spicy squid

- bamboo shoots (thanks for the tip Sam, I had some tonight to go with the squid and they are indeed very good!)

- two chicken rice wraps

- BBQ pork with lemongrass

- BBQ duck

- Japanese cucumbers

- brown mushrooms

- a young coconut

- crispy sesame balls

I think this should tide me over until the end of the week :smile:

Emmanuelle
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Although the Chinese are not big on desserts, there are these ice cream balls you can get that are yummy!  I think my friend said before that they're called "Mochi Balls", but don't quote me on that.

They are about 2 inches in diameter, and come in red bean, blueberry (my favourite), and vanilla, and are covered with a thin doughy skin.  It doesn't sound appetizing but it's great!  I think it's about $3 for 8 of them, and they even come with mini skewers you can eat them with!

Sounds like you're referring to Yukimi Daifuku, a product that was originally introduced in Japan but is quite popular in on other parts of Asia. There are imitation "mochi balls" as well, of course. And they are, indeed, good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukimi_Daifuku

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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  • 3 weeks later...

My favourite thing at the T & T here in Edmonton is the tank full of shrimp. I'm probably just twisted, but I find all those beady, worried little eyes irresistibly humorous. I imagine them whispering,

"Have you tried the chicken? The chicken is good..."

“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oooh! I went a little overboard at T&T yesterday, only meant to pick up a couple lunch/dinner items, but ended up with (among others):

-bag of sweet glutinous rice

-can coconut cream

-cake cane sugar (those ones that come in the bars)

-instant noodles, Nissin brand

-packet of sa ji ma

-smoked pork hocks (mmmm...fatty pork!)

-egg bread

-1/2 doz buns & things from the bakery (15% off!)

-Japanese seaweed salad

-marinated eggs

-cheun fun (rice roll)

-lap cheun (chinese sausage)

And one packet of these dried smelt fish marinated with chiles that I found in the snacks aisle. There's about 2 doz in a packet, and they come with the heads & tails intact. I used to eat a lot of "fish candies" when I was a kid so a bit of nostalgia for me there! :wub:

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