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T&T coming to downtown!!!! (Toronto)

Olivia Jan 11, 2007 11:02 PM

I was thrilled to hear on the news this morning that T&T supermarket is coming to downtown! It will occupy the space where Knob Hill Farms used to be on Cherry St.

Question before I get too excited.... do all T&T stores have those AMAZING sushi and dim sum counters? I currently go to the one at Warden and Steeles and spend way too much money there (hee!).

ETA: I guess I'm REALLY excited, since I neglected to scroll down far enough to see the other thread on this that was created today.

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  1. y
    Yongeman Apr 24, 2007 08:02 AM

    Anyone know if this location on Cherry St. is open yet? There isn't anything on the website about it. Thanks.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Yongeman
      m
      Mila Apr 24, 2007 08:17 AM

      Drove past the other day and there was no sign of any action. I'm waiting impatiently too.

      1. re: Mila
        y
        Yongeman Apr 24, 2007 02:11 PM

        Thanks, Mila. I drove up to the one at Warden and Steeles. My little grandson was fascinated with the huge crabs, lobster and fish. I wonder when the downtown store will open?

        1. re: Yongeman
          m
          Mila Jun 1, 2007 06:53 AM

          I pass by on the bus to downtown about once a week and have not seen much progress. Lotus Seedling mentioned on another thread that it will be 2008.

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35943...

      2. re: Yongeman
        l
        Lotus Seedling Apr 24, 2007 07:19 PM

        T&T downtown is slated for a 2008 opening, I believe. It won't be ready anytime soon...

        1. re: Yongeman
          j
          jilly bean Aug 29, 2007 10:04 AM

          It opened on Sunday.

        2. c
          Chocolatemama Apr 25, 2007 05:01 PM

          I know that the T&T at Promenade mall does not have a dim sum counter. It's the seafood counter that amazes me!!

          10 Replies
          1. re: Chocolatemama
            p
            pickymama Apr 25, 2007 06:45 PM

            The sushi at T&T is, at most, mediocre, if not unacceptable. The ratio of rice vs fish should never be like that. Their dim sum isn't impressive either. But yes, their seafood counter is impressive but usually a bit more pricey than other smaller Asian supermarkets.

            1. re: pickymama
              y
              Yongeman Apr 26, 2007 03:52 AM

              We got a selection of takeout things: some dim sum, some chow mein, some bao. Mediocre describes most of the flavours, but it's convenient to get everything at one stop. Kind of like picking up dinner from Sobey's prepared food counter.

              1. re: Yongeman
                red dragon Apr 27, 2007 11:47 AM

                I agree, in my opinion.....we used to be regulars at the Warden location but the last several times, our take-out was swimming in grease, literally. Last night, we bought two lunch boxes of mixed food and it was very greasy. We discussed not getting the counter items anymore, it's just way too much oil, no matter what dish we order. Everything seems to taste the same as well.

                1. re: red dragon
                  a
                  artificialard Apr 27, 2007 03:10 PM

                  Double agree. We liked the dim sum once and went back a few times after to find it soggy, greasy, and tired. It's certainly convenient but I really wouldn't choose it.

                  It's a great supermarket though for getting those Asian market items one typically has to hunt all over Chinatown for.

                  1. re: artificialard
                    chocabot Aug 10, 2007 06:51 AM

                    the prepared food is not good and the sushi is pretty bad. t& t either went downhill or is different in Ontario from the Vancouver ones I grew up with. I find their fresh fruit cakes also not as good. I think their bread is pretty consistent. On the plus side, t&t has steamed pork and vegetable buns (like the ones no one can find anywhere else) and if you're lucky steamed seafood buns, all of which are fat clumps and gristle free!

                    1. re: chocabot
                      aser Aug 12, 2007 12:40 PM

                      like most supermarkets, the prepared food is so so. There are highlights though, like the deep fried bean curd, excellent flavours in that one. The dim sum is very greasy, pass on that. Soya sauce/tea eggs are great.

                      There are also the hardcore chinaman items like ah jaap (intestines) which are quite good. The bakery is consistent, although I do find Lucullus to be a better option.

                      Even if the seafood counter is a little bit more expensive than other chinese markets, the difference is marginal. Plus it's still much cheaper when compared to white fish mongers. The turnover ratio is extremely high at T&T so you are reassured of freshness.

                    2. re: artificialard
                      p
                      pgfuzz Oct 18, 2007 03:25 PM

                      Tripple agree. Dim sum isn't great. Too greasy and not very fresh.

                2. re: pickymama
                  n
                  Nyleve Jun 1, 2007 07:03 AM

                  You're right about the sushi. In the combo trays, the rice appears to have been shaped in a mold rather than by hand. Which I guess is what one might expect under the circumstances. However, it's pretty handy to be able to pick everything up at the same time. And even if it's not good sushi, it's definitely better than the sushi you get in those little boxes at Loblaws.

                  1. re: pickymama
                    t
                    tjunmin Aug 10, 2007 09:13 AM

                    I agree that both the sushi and the dim sum are mediocre, and that the dishes at the take out food counter are mostly greasy. On the bright side, on a good day, the soy sauce chicken and the BBQ pork can be quite good. On a number times, it was better than the soy sauce chicken and BBQ combos for take out at Congee Queen, which are more expensive and supposedly better.

                    1. re: tjunmin
                      e
                      erly Aug 10, 2007 09:22 AM

                      While the Japanese food is lacking, I don't mind the dim sum.
                      It is not the best in the city, but it is fast, clean and if not excellent, it is good..
                      I have also purchased from their B.B.Q., and was very satisfied.

                3. thenurse Aug 9, 2007 06:25 PM

                  Drove by today. Opening August 23rd.

                  1. Moimoi Aug 12, 2007 10:03 AM

                    You can email subscribe to their weekly online flyer - I did. You can also email them to get confirmation on when they're opening. I see someone said Aug 23. I'd want to know exactly so that I can catch the opening specials. I emailed them. Should be interesting to see if they reply. Makes it kind of charming in a frustrating way, wondering whether they'll get back to me. http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/contac...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Moimoi
                      c
                      czthemmnt Aug 16, 2007 05:21 AM

                      I just checked out the website for their specials...cauliflower at $0.98??? In my area I can't get cauliflower for less than $2.99 unless I make the time to hit smaller food markets!!!! That's awesome! I can't wait to head there when it opens to check out their other deals.

                    2. t
                      tjunmin Aug 13, 2007 09:51 AM

                      A word of warning for people who are planning to shop at the new T&T in downtown T.O.

                      The new store is right beside where the Cirque du Soleil tent is located on Cherry Street. I attended the Kooza show yesterday, and the traffic was quite heavy going in, and it was a nightmare at the end of the show, when all patrons were trying to leave at the same time.

                      So when you go to the new T&T, keep an eye on the Cirque du Soleil Kooza show times.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: tjunmin
                        s
                        suzspot Aug 15, 2007 04:28 PM

                        It is getting close!!! The new parking lot is in, and painted, a massive Canadian flag has been unfurled, and the last details on the sign is being done.

                        1. re: suzspot
                          p
                          professor plum Aug 15, 2007 06:19 PM

                          I jogged by today and it says that it is open at 11:00 am on the 23rd. After that it will be open from 9 am to 10 pm

                          1. re: professor plum
                            y
                            YummyYummy Aug 21, 2007 12:00 PM

                            Really great to hear that it will be opening on August 23rd. That's only 2 days away. HOORAY!!! :)

                      2. s
                        Suresh Aug 23, 2007 07:51 AM

                        Went to the store opening today. It was a huge production....japanese drums, the police pipe band...unveiling of the 120ft flag, speeches etc etc...This is a big deal.
                        The store officially opens today.

                        1. f
                          fineshmeckergirl Aug 23, 2007 01:16 PM

                          The grand opening is today. I was just there.

                          1. Recyclor Aug 23, 2007 01:18 PM

                            OK, never been to one of these...I'm gonna ride down on the weekend to check it out, anything not to be missed (snacks!!) or should I just cruise around...?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Recyclor
                              pescatarian Aug 23, 2007 01:21 PM

                              I just usually cruise around. Just the isle of hot sauces alone is enough to keep you busy for 30 min. Word of warning, when I it opened at the Promenade, it was insanely busy for months. It's so busy, that it might be a bit off-putting at first. But even when it was busy, they had a good system for moving people quickly through the checkouts. It is still busy, but on a more normal level and it becomes a more enjoyable shopping experience once the initial hysteria settles down.

                              1. re: pescatarian
                                Recyclor Aug 23, 2007 01:23 PM

                                thanks for the tips p...

                              2. re: Recyclor
                                j
                                jinxed Aug 23, 2007 01:44 PM

                                I quite like the sticky rice with BBQ eel and dried scallops. It's wrapped in lotus leaves (usually yellowish with some spots - may differ with location) into a pyramid shape, and tied up with string. It should be warm or hot and ready to eat, can be frozen and steamed at a later date but can be a little mushy then. It's pretty heavy and filling.
                                Looks like this (but paler): http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152...

                                If you like Pretz and Pocky sticks, they usually have at least ten different types in stock. I like Tomato - it's like salt on a stick, with a little bit of sweetness.

                                If you like Chinese soups, they put together "ready to cook" packages, which are awesome. Meat/bones are chopped into smallish pieces, veggies, and a package of little extras (nuts and what have you). Just add water and simmer for a couple hours. (I usually pre-boil the meat and then transfer to the rest, just to get rid of some of the fat.) Assembling all of the ingredients for Chinese soups from scratch is usually a lot of work, while these packages are only about $6.

                                At the bakery, they have a "party tray" of mousse cakes (green tea, chocolate, mango, taro) for about $15 (?I forget..), that are okay and good in a pinch for guests. Buy six tarts (egg custard, white custard, green tea, portugese style) and no tax (or some similar deal).

                                Fruits are way way cheaper than the big chain grocery stores downtown. Cherries at $4.49/lb, but sometimes there are specials like $1.99/lb. Lots of the more "exotic" fruits like dragonfruit, durian, longan ("dragon eyes"), those super-sweet watermelons (dark dark green, small), grapes which cost $10 @ Dominion would be $4-5. The difference from Chinatown grocery stores would be the cleanliness, greater variety in a single location, and quality (i.e. not trying to hawk mouldy strawberries, as I have found in Chinatown enough times).

                                It's hard to remember the state of things before T&T came out east...

                                1. re: jinxed
                                  p
                                  professor plum Aug 23, 2007 02:01 PM

                                  My husband and I went by a few hours ago. It is busy but not like how the T & T in Markham can get. We found a parking spot right by the entrance and we didn't even have to wait in line at the checkout. Because it wasn't incredibly busy we were able to take our time and see what was available.

                                  For those who love Japanese wagashi they have great sale prices right now on 4 different varieties.

                                  In addition to Asian style groceries they also carry many of the name brand things that might be on your grocery list. We managed to do all of our shopping there today and picked up some onion pancake to snack on while we shopped.

                                  I don't know how long the 'free gift' thing is on for but if you spend $28 and up you get free swag - this includes 10lbs bag of jasmine rice, chinese soup pot, chopsticks with a carrying case.

                                  1. re: professor plum
                                    j
                                    jinxed Aug 23, 2007 02:05 PM

                                    If you can get to the Markham T&T on weekdays, it's also very maneuverable. It's just busy on weeknights and super busy on weekends.

                                    They also carry very inexpensive orchids: I saw a fairly large one for $15, and it still had a few buds that hadn't opened yet.

                                    1. re: jinxed
                                      Recyclor Aug 23, 2007 05:08 PM

                                      Thanks jinxed & p plum, I'm going tomorrow after work I can't wait!!

                              3. n
                                nzach Aug 23, 2007 06:42 PM

                                hello all,

                                i'm new to chow and to toronto (and canada for that matter) as well (been here a few months)...
                                i'm wondering if there's a convenient way to get to T&T from the st. george university of toronto campus via the TTC? for a "downtown" store, on the map it seems very far away...

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: nzach
                                  Recyclor Aug 23, 2007 07:54 PM

                                  I've never heard of transit going to that area, I'd suggest taking a bus to Front & Parliament and grab a taxi the rest of the way, it'd be like a $5 ride...

                                  1. re: nzach
                                    j
                                    jinxed Aug 23, 2007 07:56 PM

                                    Check this out: http://crazedmonkey.com/toronto-trans...
                                    The new T&T is at Cherry and Polson, which is covered by the SEASONAL (?) 172A bus route. The 72A Pape bus would also do. You should call TTC info (416-393-INFO) to double-check where you can board and when the bus is in service! Their website is atrocious.
                                    They need to consider a shuttle bus to Union station! If you take a cab, expect it to be about $15, unless traffic is at a standstill.

                                    It might actually be easier to take the subway up to Finch and the 53A/B/E bus to the Warden/Steeles location, since there's a bus stop right outside. The Middlefield/Steeles one is about five major intersections further east. Traveling time one way: about 1 hour. (boo)

                                    1. re: jinxed
                                      Teep Aug 23, 2007 08:11 PM

                                      #72 runs during weekdays day time, from Union Station to Pape. You get off at Cherry and Commissioners St. #172 runs on evenings and weekend and goes right down Cherry St to the beach (that's why it's seasonal), it may be a little closer.

                                    2. re: nzach
                                      emz Aug 23, 2007 08:11 PM

                                      bus 172 from union station goes to cherry beach and passes right by T&T.
                                      bus 72 goes south from pape station, get off at commissioners & cherry and
                                      it's a short walk south.
                                      http://www.toronto.ca/ttc/schedules/i...

                                      1. re: emz
                                        e
                                        embee Aug 24, 2007 06:40 PM

                                        That's Pape 72A only. It runs from Pape station to Union Station via Commissioners St. The 72 goes only to Pape and Queen. I don't know whether the 72A runs on evenings or weekends--if it does, it isn't very often.

                                    3. Davwud Aug 24, 2007 04:18 AM

                                      What time do they open??

                                      DT

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        chocabot Aug 24, 2007 04:27 AM

                                        9-10 EVERYDAY

                                        cirque de soleil is right across from it so that's probably adding to the congestion.
                                        Last night they had staff to direct ppl to spots in the lot as it was quite busy, though I can't say it was any busier than the weekends at Warden&Steeles T&T. that place is always a zoo.

                                        the takeout deli section is a bottleneck but the produce section was very well displayed, lit and had very few traffic jams. there was a lot of staff on had to replenish so that was good. If you're looking to get the chinese lantern coupons though, they don't have them (yet?). Customer service told me the other locations will give them to you if you purchase over $30.
                                        and until the 26th if you buy $48 and over you get 10lbs or chopsticks and holder for free and if you buy over 88 you get 18lbs of rice or donabe pot for free.

                                      2. chocabot Aug 24, 2007 04:30 AM

                                        oh and i have to add they have bell peppers (red,orange or yellow) for 99 cents a lb and green ons for 48 cents a lb. AND they're not old and wrinkly! (like you'd imagine for that price). and the reg watermelons are tasteless though really red inside.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: chocabot
                                          1
                                          11oclockish Aug 24, 2007 04:51 AM

                                          My favourite deal was a 6 pack of medium sized omega 3 eggs for 88 cents. Went yesterday at 11am and it was too crazy for me to spend much time there. Sounds like I should have waited and went a little later in the day.
                                          I will be back to explore further soon.

                                          1. re: 11oclockish
                                            chocabot Aug 24, 2007 07:16 AM

                                            darn! i missed the eggs.... i should have known something was up when i saw the guy restocking...

                                        2. m
                                          Mila Aug 27, 2007 07:37 AM

                                          Went on Friday night and it wasn't too crazy except trying to dodge those going to Cirque Soleil. I have to say, I love this place and I know I'm a little late to the party and you all knew, but I'm a downtown girl.

                                          Fish counter was amazing and fresh so much cheaper than SLM, great selection of vegetables and the quality was outstanding. I tried some dim sum and as previous posters said, it was a little greasy. And a nice fresh green coconut for $1 to sip on while shopping.

                                          I hope this is just not new opening phenomenon and it continues to be this good.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: Mila
                                            Davwud Aug 27, 2007 01:21 PM

                                            I was there Friday morning and got some seafood and a few other sundry items. Among them was an incredible Sambal. Very hot and nicely flavoured. I picked up one months ago in a Dominion or something and while it's very tasty, it's got almost no kick to it.

                                            DT

                                            1. re: Davwud
                                              a
                                              ace123 Aug 27, 2007 05:23 PM

                                              I have been looking for a good Sambal but with no luck. What brand is yours? Pls share. Thanks.

                                              1. re: ace123
                                                Davwud Aug 28, 2007 10:57 AM

                                                Keeping in mind that I'm not a sambal expert be but I do know what I like. And this I like

                                                Huy Fong Foods Inc.
                                                Sambal Oelek

                                                It's in a jar with a green screw on lid and a gold label with a rooster on it. No, it's not the rooster brand stuff that is prevalent in Dominion and places like that.

                                                DT

                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                  chocabot Aug 28, 2007 11:04 AM

                                                  i buy the same one! it's a bright, clean tasting chili heat

                                                  1. re: chocabot
                                                    Davwud Aug 28, 2007 11:13 AM

                                                    Ya, about all you can taste is chilis.
                                                    Of course, the steam will be blowing your ears out but that's what we're looking for isn't it??

                                                    DT

                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                      chocabot Aug 28, 2007 12:08 PM

                                                      i find it's a good sub for plain fresh chilis because it's not ketchupy or beany (which is also good but for other uses)

                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                        a
                                                        ace123 Aug 28, 2007 07:58 PM

                                                        Thanks a lot. Will try it next time.

                                              2. re: Mila
                                                s
                                                suzspot Aug 27, 2007 06:34 PM

                                                I didn't notice...do they clean the fish they sell whole?
                                                Also I got one of the clay pots that they were giving out....how do you use those?

                                                1. re: suzspot
                                                  chocabot Aug 27, 2007 06:45 PM

                                                  the whole fish can be cleaned and chopped for you if you ask.

                                                  the donabe, clay pot, is best to prep it by boiling some starchy water (add cornstarch or use water you rinsed rice in) to seak all the little cracks, then letting it cool and rinsing out. don't use over very high heat or fry in it. it's great for braising and soups since they retain heat well. also be careful doing hot to cold and vice versa, like fridge to stove, or stove to sink, to avoid cracking. i try not to use soap if possible and occasionally boil starchy water to seal the interior.

                                                  1. re: suzspot
                                                    pinstripeprincess Aug 28, 2007 07:41 AM

                                                    you use them for serving.

                                                    after trying to decide if we'd bother spending the extra $10 to get the clay pot, we asked about it being heat safe. the guy warned us to never use it for cooking. i think it was this particular type of clay pot as my grandmother uses hers for cooking. so now i've got a bevy of "compact" chopsticks.

                                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                      chocabot Aug 28, 2007 09:37 AM

                                                      perhaps it's only for serving as it's a cheaper quality? even so i see a lot of those pots in chinatown sold for cooking... I've bought the tall green clay pot they sell in the T&T (it was like $15 or something ridiculous!) and i use it for soups and haven't had a problem. My other clay pots were around $60 for the size of the freebie, ($25 for my smaller) and i think those are made in japan and i cook in those regularly (again no frying, but boiling and simmering is ok). i wonder if they're worried ppl won't be careful.

                                                      1. re: chocabot
                                                        pinstripeprincess Aug 28, 2007 09:44 AM

                                                        that's what i assumed, cheaper quality.

                                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                          s
                                                          suzspot Aug 28, 2007 04:40 PM

                                                          great...thanks...I will use with caution

                                                2. Olivia Aug 28, 2007 09:24 AM

                                                  Finally got to go last night. Overall, I am very pleased, and will probably be back at least a couple times a month to stock up.

                                                  The Mr. and I were like kids in a candy shop with all the produce, fish, and other ingredients we'd never heard of or seen before. And we scored the giant 18kg bag of jasmine rice, the cooking pot you're all talking about, and chopsticks. Glad to hear another version of how to prime the pot since I was spaced out when it was being explained to me.

                                                  FYI, the sushi counter sucked. Badly. I guess I was spoiled by the one at Warden and Steeles, but for now, I'd stay away from the Cherry St. one--mushy rice, unhappy fish, and sloppily rolled.

                                                  I loved seeing stuff like pork tongue, whole geese, black chickens, live fish, and aisles of condiments I wouldn't know how to use: it was all very inspiring and exciting. I mean, I go to Chinatown (Spad. and Gerrard) but to have it all in one superstore right downtown is pretty rad.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Olivia
                                                    Davwud Aug 28, 2007 10:58 AM

                                                    One of these days I'm gonna pick up a half bbq duck for lunch. They look great.

                                                    DT

                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                      d
                                                      DylS Aug 28, 2007 02:32 PM

                                                      And they ARE great. We had one on Saturday. Saves a trip to Chinatown.

                                                      Amazing prices on meat and most veg, and very good quality. Nice addition to the neighbourhood for those of us forced to rely too much on Beach supermarkets and the Leslie St. Loblaws.

                                                  2. f
                                                    flashy_mcflash Aug 28, 2007 11:46 AM

                                                    What's the Pocky selection like?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: flashy_mcflash
                                                      chocabot Aug 28, 2007 12:05 PM

                                                      like your dreams... sweet and savoury varieties (pretz) as well as odd novelty "flavours" like men's pocky in the dk green box. they might even carry the "giant" pocky...
                                                      there's a lot of snacks and candy... the pocky will look kind of boring

                                                    2. j
                                                      jgloverwork Aug 28, 2007 02:14 PM

                                                      Positives first:
                                                      - the fish counter was amazing (live rockfish?)
                                                      - some great deals to be had with the meat specials including $3 pork tenderloins
                                                      - same thing with the fruit and veg sections ($.49 a pound yellow and orange peppers)

                                                      Negative

                                                      -decided to get some dim sum for lunch as wandering the store made me famished. Great price ($3.99 for 2 dim sum selections and an order of congee), but the Har Gow wrapper was very rubbery and hard to penetrate, the Shao Mai was a pretty looking little bundle of gristle that was impossible to eat. The congee was also pretty blah.

                                                      Verdict - a grocery store victory and food court letdown.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jgloverwork
                                                        y
                                                        Yongeman Aug 30, 2007 05:25 AM

                                                        Yeah, that's how I've come to view most of T&T's in-store prepared foods--ho, hum. But it is a great grocery store with good produce and protein prices.

                                                      2. w
                                                        wesarge Aug 30, 2007 02:28 PM

                                                        i have been down there the last couple of days. great specials. lobster for $5.98 lb and crab for 4. the best deal was the beef tenderloin for 5/lb. a pleasure to shop there.

                                                        1. Recyclor Aug 31, 2007 07:54 AM

                                                          So I finally made it over there, I figure the Markham one must be much better or maybe it's because I don't shop at Loblaws regularily, but I didn't find much that isn't available in Chinatown (much more convenient for me) or that was incredibly priced...$5.98 each lobsters were a tiny variety, maybe 1/2 pounders - tiny claws tails no bigger than jumbo shrimp, green peppers were $0.49/lb but that's nothing to travel across town for...jarred sauces and such were more expensive...the best thing I saw was the prepped food area, nice touch to a grocery store I gotta admit, and everything in one place (a clean place at that!) is nice...but sadly underwhelmed, I guess I was expecting too much...I'm sticking to Fiesta Farms, occasional canned goods stock-up at No-Frills and weekend market trips...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Recyclor
                                                            chocabot Aug 31, 2007 08:31 AM

                                                            i think the appeal of T&T is the one stop shop for asian stuff. In chinatown you'd be visiting mutliple stores for meat/fish, then produce, then bakery etc etc. Plus, it's more inviting/clean/organised than a lot of the little shops in chinatown. I agree the prices on the whole are not crazy cheap but if you shop from the weekly flyer there a lot of good deals. T&T has a wider assortment than most asian grocers and carry chinese, japanese, korean, southeast asian...

                                                            1. re: chocabot
                                                              Recyclor Aug 31, 2007 08:42 AM

                                                              All good...I appreciate the advice of everyone here and am glad I went, & I certainly don't mind having yet another option for sourcing Asian products!

                                                          2. e
                                                            embee Aug 31, 2007 10:49 AM

                                                            It's a great store in many ways. It is certainly cleaner than ANY store in Chinatown East and it doesn't smell in ways that it shouldn't. As someone who doesn't speak any form of Chinese, it's great that they have staff I can talk to in English. The selection is vast and I've found many things in one place that I had needed to source in multiple stores (Gerrard, Spadina, and Kensington Market).

                                                            The waterfront location is a bonus that nobody has mentioned yet. While it's hardly a place of pristine nautical beauty, one can munch very cheaply while gazing out at the water.

                                                            I couldn't sample much from the food court (on a diet), but the few things I did sample looked wonderful but weren't very good. The barbecue didn't compare with KaKa Lucky on Broadview and wasn't any cheaper. The fried things on display looked very greasy (though I didn't actually taste any of them).

                                                            The meats, fish, and produce weren't bad, but they weren't great either. Some items were much cheaper that similar items at the major chains, but prices were much higher than Chinatown prices. Quality was pretty good, but by no means excellent. There was virtually no organic produce when I was there.

                                                            I was not impressed by the quality of the meats and poultry. There were some unusual items, to be sure, but much of it was standard and nothing cried out "buy me". I did take home some nice looking, well cut, beef short ribs, but the price was nothing special.

                                                            The fish was the biggest disappointment. The fresh fish wasn't. Whole fish were displayed in profusion, but eyes were glazed and skins not shiny. Cut fish pieces, other than the farmed salmon, did not look fresh either. The quality was nothing like what was on display on my single visit to the Promenade store last year. Aberration? I don't know.

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: embee
                                                              chocabot Aug 31, 2007 11:10 AM

                                                              i love t&t despite all the things i don't think they do well and i'd have to agree that their inconsistencies really make or break the experience. I go about once a month and i like the novelty. comparing to other asian grocers like big land farms, asian farm, i think t&t still beats them.

                                                              (on a side note: Has anyone been the Michael's No Frills across from Pacific mall? I remember it being really big and having a chinese bbq/ take out/bakery areas but i don't know if it was up and running at that time....)

                                                              produce wise i've managed some excellent fresh finds and other times just got what i needed. i've never seen organic produce at any of their stores.

                                                              i know when i go my main purchases are the jarred sauces/condiments, rice, steamed buns and bbq (agree it's not "the best ever" but i like it enough), soy products, frozen seafood (check the packages carefully, the air seal is sometimes broken on some packages) and produce specials.

                                                              the fresh meat i have bought (pork tenderloins, beef cross rib roasts, short ribs) have been good quality though i find the oxtail not as nice as Dominion.

                                                              my whole fresh fish experiences have been passable

                                                              1. re: chocabot
                                                                Chocaholic Oct 6, 2007 03:27 PM

                                                                Well, I don't have a car! So, I am gonna try taking to bus from union station to T&T tomorrow.

                                                                Has anyone taken it to go yet?

                                                                1. re: Chocaholic
                                                                  Teep Oct 6, 2007 05:53 PM

                                                                  On Sundays, bus 172 runs every half hour. It's a 1 minute walk from the stop when you get off. Going back, the stop is across the street.

                                                                  http://www.toronto.ca/ttc/schedules/i...

                                                                  1. re: Teep
                                                                    koknia Oct 7, 2007 07:59 AM

                                                                    It's a great one stop shop, but after the initial glow wears off I was kind of disappointed.

                                                                    1. re: koknia
                                                                      m
                                                                      millygirl Oct 7, 2007 08:10 AM

                                                                      We don't live to far away and last night decided to drive over and get some take out chinese. While there I decided to pick up ingredients for a sweet potato soup I'm making. I was very impressed with the produce, both quality and display. Must admit I'm not good at comparsion pricing so I couldn't tell you if I got a deal or not but we were pleased. For dinner we got a variety of prepared foods - steamed rice, har gow, sui mei, chicken, duck, pork and steamed veggies. The veggies were overcooked for my liking, and the food was greasy, but other than that, okay. It was something different for us, kind of a fun thing to do. Much cheaper than ordering in and a lot more variety for your money. The placed was really hopping at 7 p.m. We would do it again, but not regularly.

                                                                      1. re: millygirl
                                                                        Chocaholic Oct 7, 2007 02:02 PM

                                                                        I saw the 2 lobster tails... and a set of claws but did not buy...don't feel like cooking tonight. I bought a fried talipia for dinner later.
                                                                        The har gow is so so...the siu mai is ok.... It was easy to get to from the 172 bus from union and back...I would not go up to the Warden Steele location living downtown, this was quite easy, I went at 3pm and got back by 5pm...

                                                                2. re: chocabot
                                                                  b
                                                                  bluedog Oct 7, 2007 11:07 AM

                                                                  i love t&t as well and am thilled they are downtown! Despite not necessarily being cheaper than Chinatown, it is a great one stop shop. I have bought salmon there and have been extremely happy, especially comparing prices for basic atlantic fillets with SLM (which is outrageous in my opinion).

                                                                  I bought a lobster last week for 5.98/lb. It was not 3/4 of a lb as someone elses asserted, but about 1.5 lbs. I asked for a large one, and so I think finding an lobstere over this is doubtful. Nonetheless, I was very happy with my 1.5 lb lobster for about $10. Have not explored the meat, and find the deals on produce mostly much better than the big chains, and have no current reference for Chinatown. I've mostly stayed away from the prepared food, but it looks adequate for the price, if basic (e.g. whole cooked Tilapis in sauce for $5.99).

                                                                  1. re: bluedog
                                                                    Chocaholic Oct 7, 2007 02:14 PM

                                                                    Wow, so cheap the lobster...but I have lots to do today and tomorrow so I have no time to cooks ... would have loved to buy it.

                                                                    Yeah, I found everything I wanted.

                                                                    Except now I have to go to Dominion to buy rice because if going buy bus not ideal to buy a bag of rice.

                                                                    Well, I bought the dim sum stuff...its not bad... quite good, well the har gow skin is too thick but the filling is fine... I bought the sushi too..but I can only eat so much at the moment..haven't gotten that far yet.

                                                                    1. re: Chocaholic
                                                                      m
                                                                      millygirl Oct 7, 2007 02:20 PM

                                                                      I thought the har gow was just so so. The filling needs to be kicked up with a slice of ginger or onion. It is too bland for my liking. But the sui mei were good. I saw the tilipia, it looked very nice. Let me know what you think of it.

                                                                      1. re: millygirl
                                                                        Chocaholic Oct 7, 2007 05:45 PM

                                                                        the fish is good not greasy at all...quite tasty for a dinner dish. i would buy it again. I wud not be frying a fish in my condo that is for sure!

                                                                        Oh forgot to mention the sushi was fresh and the rice was not hard. I got the 5 pieces called Canadian for $4.99 i think, 1 raw salmon, 1 egg, 1 octopus, 1 ebi, and one white thing...... I know why people think the rice is hard, if you look carefully, its not all Japanese rice...I think they mixed a tad of regular rice with it...BUT its good just to have a few pieces of if you are shopping just pick some up for lunch or dinner!

                                                              2. c
                                                                chalenegirl Oct 8, 2007 12:43 AM

                                                                This T and T has a Mango Tapioca drink that is pretty good. they have it for $1.99 near the display of egg tarts. I"ve never seen it at any other T and T. i will usually pick this up when i go to buy some steamed Tripe (dim sum section - $2.99). it's pretty good. not the best ever but i mean pretty good and fresh for supermarket dim sum. i will usually take the mango tapioca drink home and chill it. it tastes best cold (either put ice cubes in it or freezer for 1 hr or so) and with a bit of milk to thin it out. reminds me of bubble tea,

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: chalenegirl
                                                                  Chocaholic Oct 8, 2007 08:34 AM

                                                                  Oh I was going to buy that, I saw that! But I've been really happy with the Rubicon Mango juice lately, so I didn't want to be disappointed.

                                                                2. y
                                                                  YummyYummy Oct 17, 2007 11:46 PM

                                                                  I was just reading the thread about HK style milk tea and it really made me crave a cup badly. I haven't had any in years and was curious if they carry this stuff as part of their products on the shelves at T&T?

                                                                  Better yet, does anyone know if the T&T dim sum food court area serves HK style milk tea?

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: YummyYummy
                                                                    Teep Oct 18, 2007 10:10 PM

                                                                    They definitely carry instant, canned and tetrapaks of the stuff, but the first two are no good and I haven't tried the latter. Didn't notice if they make it there.

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