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Ethnic markets

hungryann Dec 27, 2007 01:45 PM

Just thought I would compile a list of ethnic markets in the Mtl area, so that I can know if I am in a certain neighborhood where to find tthe goodies and maybe it will be useful for others as well:

-Chinese/Asian: several but most inclusive Marche Hawaii (VSL) and Kim-Phat on Jarry E.
-Greek: several locations of Mourelatos
-Lebanese/Middle Eastern: several locations of Adonis
-Italian: Milano on St-Laurent, any other big ones in St-Leonard maybe?
-Mexican: ?
-Latin American: Supermarche Andes on Belanger
-Indian:sveral in Park-Ex, on Victoria and in WI but no real stand-outs. Is there anything fairly big and decent? JT Bazar is not that good. One that sells great samosas would also be appreciated!
-Persian: Marche Akhavan (NDG and Pierrefonds)
-Turkish: Marche Istanbul (St-Laurent and Cremazie)
-Thai: Marche Bangkok, on Maisonneuve E, opening soon I think (drove by there last week and had a quick glance)

Feel free to add your favorites!

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  1. m
    Maximilien RE: hungryann Dec 27, 2007 02:09 PM

    Japaneses : Miyamoto Foods (www.sushilinks.com) on Victoria in Westmount.
    Spanish : La Librairie Espagnole (3811, boul. Saint-Laurent) for some Spannish canned and some meat ( they have local hams, but I think you can order real ones).
    Portugese : I'm not certain of the name, but there is a store on St-Laurent just north of Mont-Royal.

    20 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien
      hungryann RE: Maximilien Dec 27, 2007 03:21 PM

      How could I have forgotten Japanese and Korean! My favorite for both is the one on Ste-Catherine west of Guy and east of Atwater. I don't remember the name unfortunately.

      1. re: hungryann
        rillettes RE: hungryann Dec 28, 2007 08:37 AM

        I believe it's called "Epicerie japonaise et koréene." Strange, I'm sure, but I've never seen another name on it.
        BTW, they sell the best Bento lunch boxes out there.

        1. re: rillettes
          hungryann RE: rillettes Dec 28, 2007 12:27 PM

          Really? What do they include?

          1. re: hungryann
            rillettes RE: hungryann Dec 28, 2007 12:33 PM

            No, I meant they sell the lunch boxes themselves, i.e. the containers. It makes for more diverse lunches, as long as you use your imagination.

          2. re: rillettes
            m
            moh RE: rillettes Dec 29, 2007 01:14 AM

            I think Epicerie japonaise et Coreene is the one on Sherbrooke and beaconsfield, not the one on St. Catherine. So far, this is my go-to place for korean ingredients. It is one of the few places in Montreal where I will buy kimchi. Their chong kap kimchi (Aka Bachelor's kimchi, made with small elongated white radishes with attached green stalks and leaves, the radishes are about 3-4 inches long and 1 inch wide) is the best in the city by far. (I am not including homemade kimchi).

            Other favorites:

            La Depense at Jean-Talon Market has an astounding selection of hard to find ingredients from all over the world in one convenient location. I was impressed by all the different items you could purchase there.

            Vava (on Parc near the Frit-Alor) seems to have an excellent Russian selection. All sorts of canned and dried goods labelled in Cyrillic got my curiosity piqued. They also advertise making homemade Russian tortes. I don't know how authentic they are, as my knowledge of Russian cuisine is limited to Blini and vodka, but the tortes we had were really delicious.

            Boulangerie & Pâtisserie Motta
            303 Av Mozart E
            Tél.: (514) 270-5952: I like this store near JTM. They have a nice selection of grocery items, not as extensive as Milano, but well chosen. Plus they have great take-out. I love their pizzas, and their mixed olive/marinated vegetable appetizer is one of my favorite in the city.

            Ok, this is't so precise, but... In Chinatown, next to the location where the big Chinese grocery store burnt down, on St. Laurent on the West side just north of dela Gauchetiere... That grocery store. The selection is smaller than soem of the big stores like Marche Hawaii, but it is again, thorough and well chosen. Prices are pretty comparable. The reason I still like that store is for its compact nature, the good quality produce and especially, the butcher. The meat is very fresh as they have great turn around. It is the best place to get pork neck bones for Kam ja Tang, and I will often buy the oxtail there. And the pigs feet are cheap and clean looking. My only beef (no pun intended) is that they cut the oxtails in half, and as i don't speak the language, I have yet to get the exact cut I want. But they are a reliable source for oxtail, and it is very fresh, and a bit cheaper than I've found in other places.

            What a great idea for a thread, hungryann! This will be a very handy reference list.

            1. re: moh
              l
              lagatta RE: moh Dec 29, 2007 03:12 AM

              I'll be even vaguer, but I'm sure someone here can find the precise name. There is a nice modern Chinese grocery store on Clark, between La Gauchetiere (sorry, I'm typing on an English-keyboard laptop and haven't found how to make the accents) and Viger, on the west side of the street. I've found lots of good produce and frozen items there - they have a lot of intriguing herbals. It is part of a little mall of Chinese shops.

              For groceries (not their baked items) I find Motta a bit more expensive than Milano or Capitole.

              1. re: lagatta
                m
                moh RE: lagatta Dec 30, 2007 01:45 PM

                Point well taken about the prices at Motta. I guess I'm just a sucker for their prepared foods. They also have a house-prepared eggplant pickle (mild and spicy) that is one of my favorites. I love putting those things on sandwiches.

                Also had a chance to look at the products at Marche Hawaii (finally!) I was impressed by the choices of products. For example, instead of the usual selection of 5-6 brands of soy sauce, there were many different brands to choose from. I was quite impressed by the multitude of frozen dumplings one can purchase. The meat counter was clean and the meat looked to be of reasonable quality. But I was a little disappointed nevertheless. (Am I being unreasonable?) I was hoping to find more new products, not more of the same products I can already find in smaller shops downtown. I wanted to see different meat products, more fruits and vegetables, more wacky fermented products. And they didn't have fresh shrimp! We had the choice to buy frozen only! I found that they had a dizzying array of boxed candies and odd cookies, a lot of prepackaged asian junk food. That was fun, but where were the flattened preserved ducks? The dried frog? Unfamiliar tofu products? I know I am being a bit whiny. It is still a great store, and I am very happy it exists. But I am comparing it to a visit to a T and T in Toronto, and I was a bit underwhelmed by Marche Hawaii. At the T and T, I was lucky enough to go on a day they had all the samples out. I got to try all sorts of unfamiliar tofu products and odd dessert items. I saw products that made me go "WHAT WAS THAT?" I guess I want that from Marche Hawaii. Am I being a spoiled brat? Or do others feel the same?

                1. re: moh
                  l
                  lagatta RE: moh Dec 30, 2007 02:51 PM

                  I guess we'll have to post on the Ontario board about T&T. Is that its real name?

                  I do love the Motta eggplant (I have made those myself, but really don't have the time). Their fresh foods are pretty good too, but I'm not quite satisfied with their tart dough. I have lived in that neighbourhood around the Jean-Talon market, both north (Villeray) and south (Petite Patrie) for many, many years, and have to watch my budget, so I do notice where things are cheaper.

                  I'm trying to think of the name of the Italian supermarket to the east, on Jean-Talon in St-Leonard. Think it is Bonanza, like the old western.

                  1. re: lagatta
                    m
                    moh RE: lagatta Dec 30, 2007 03:10 PM

                    Yes, I believe that is the correct name, T &T. I also appreciate the tips on cheaper prices! i tend to not think about this, but I should. I am also trying to watch my budget. I wouldn't be a very good contestant on the Price Is Right.

                  2. re: moh
                    bomobob RE: moh Dec 30, 2007 05:49 PM

                    Yeah, you're just being whiny...:)
                    But I agree with you. The one thing Hawai is missing is fresh seafood and prepared meats. OK, that's two things. A BBQ section to the meat counter would be nice, with pork and duck and beef tripe stew hot and ready to eat, but hey, I still love the place.
                    Their Indonesian section, while not huge, is still 100X bigger than anyone else's.

                    1. re: moh
                      b
                      BLM RE: moh Jan 1, 2008 11:40 PM

                      I've been told by a reliable source, that T&T is looking to open a Montreal location. Currently they are looking to find a suitable Montreal location first.

                      1. re: BLM
                        m
                        moh RE: BLM Jan 2, 2008 04:52 AM

                        you have just made my day! What a shame I have to start my diet.... Moderation and a lot of food window shopping will have to occur.

                      2. re: moh
                        m
                        moh RE: moh Mar 31, 2008 02:16 PM

                        I am writing to retract some of my whining about Marche Hawaii. I went in today, and maybe I was lucky and went on a day when they had just restocked, but I was much happier with some of the products. The fresh seafood section still sucks. However, I had a lot of fun checking out the organ meats. Today's selection included pig spleen, liver, kidney, heart, uterus (yes the uterus - I didn't even know it was edible!), and a whole host of chicken parts (feet, livers, gizzards). Saw some interesting Vietnamese sausages.

                        I also saw a lot more produce. They had an excellent selection of Vietnamese and Chinese herbs, I couldn't even tell what some of them were! Thai eggplants, something called "tiny eggplants" (they looked like grape clusters on stems!), wing beans, kaffir limes and kaffir lime leaves, all sorts of chinese melons, lotus root, great selection of fresh chiles, I could go on and on. Everything looked very fresh and everything was well-labelled (Yay! Made it easier to know what I was looking at!). The selection has not been this great on my prior visits! I hope they will continue to have this wonderful selection of produce in the future. Now if we could get them to work on the fresh seafood...

                        1. re: moh
                          bomobob RE: moh Apr 1, 2008 08:00 AM

                          Give them time. The whole seafood thing there is fairly new.
                          But I've always liked their produce section. Those tiny Thai eggplants are always used in green curry in Thailand, but they're not actually eaten.

                          1. re: bomobob
                            SnackHappy RE: bomobob Apr 1, 2008 12:14 PM

                            I'd never heard of that. I've always eaten the little things. I enjoy the taste and texture quite a bit.

                            1. re: SnackHappy
                              bomobob RE: SnackHappy Apr 1, 2008 06:21 PM

                              The tiny, slightly-bigger-than-a-pea sized ones? The Thais don't usually eat them. They impart a nice flavour, but they're pretty bitter to munch on. My cooking mentor used to joke about how tourists would say,"Oh, I'm so lucky, Such a nice big pea", then bite it and spit it out in disgust.
                              I cook with them, but never eat them. Maybe I ought to try one here!

                              1. re: bomobob
                                kpzoo RE: bomobob Apr 1, 2008 06:27 PM

                                Are you talking about "thai pea eggplants" like the ones here?

                                http://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_285-...

                                That's interesting about them not being eaten in Thailand, I was tempted to try picking up some but maybe not. I tried the green golf-ball sized ones one time and they were not bad. This site says of the tiny pea ones: "They become very bitter and tough when they are over ripe. These eggplants are best when they are harvested and used that day."

                                1. re: kpzoo
                                  bomobob RE: kpzoo Apr 1, 2008 07:42 PM

                                  Yup, them's the ones.
                                  The little golf ball, mini striped watermelon ones are delicious, and are also used in traditional green curry. They're fried up a bit of coconut cream and the curry paste to soften them up first. Yummy.

                                  1. re: kpzoo
                                    m
                                    moh RE: kpzoo Apr 1, 2008 08:43 PM

                                    The ones I saw at Marche Hawaii looked similar to this photo, but they looked smaller in size.
                                    They also had the golf-ball sized eggplants (green, striped). I agree, they are really great in curry!

                                    1. re: moh
                                      t
                                      ThaiNut RE: moh Apr 2, 2008 04:46 AM

                                      I can't understand the remarks about not eating the small, marble-seized Thai eggplants. In Thai, these are called 'Ma-khua Phuang,' 'Ma-khua meaning 'eggplant' and 'phuang' meaning 'a group or bunch.' They are widely used in curries and are quite delicious when fresh. The golf-ball sized eggplants are another Thai variety hat are usually quartered when used in curries and other dishes.

              2. bomobob RE: hungryann Dec 27, 2007 02:30 PM

                Eastern European: Bucharest on Decarie, big time
                Rocky Montana fruit store on Sherbrooke/Harvard has recently expanded, and has a very good selection of "emergency" Asian foodstuffs.
                Korean: Korean Marche at Sherbrooke/Beaconsfield
                Another Excellent Asian market for those in the Outremont/CDN area is Marche Ying on Wilderton

                1 Reply
                1. re: bomobob
                  bopuc RE: bomobob May 26, 2008 07:23 PM

                  Google says Marché Ying is on de Darlington, not Wilderton. Easy mistake to make?

                  Marché Ying‎
                  6655 avenue de Darlington
                  (514) 738-8282

                2. SnackHappy RE: hungryann Dec 27, 2007 03:39 PM

                  Has anyone been to Punjab Foods in Lasalle? I heard it was quite large and well stocked.

                  Punjab Foods
                  9000, boulevard Newman, H8R1Y8, Lasalle, QC
                  514-366-0560

                  1. SnackHappy RE: hungryann Dec 27, 2007 03:56 PM

                    The latin supermarket on Bélanger is now called Sabor Latino. There's still a Marché Andes on St-Laurent north of Marie-Anne.

                    For goodies from the former Yugoslavia there's Balkan on St-Hubert and De Castelneau.

                    For the best samosas in town just go to Pushap on Paré east of Décarie. It's not a market, but it's worth going just for the samosas and the great Indian sweets. It's dirt cheap, too.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: SnackHappy
                      hungryann RE: SnackHappy Dec 27, 2007 05:46 PM

                      Thanks I know about Pushap and they are very good but it's not always convenient. I'll definitely have to check out Punjab Foods in the near future.

                      1. re: SnackHappy
                        l
                        lagatta RE: SnackHappy Dec 28, 2007 05:16 AM

                        Other Latin American places not far from the Jean-Talon market are Boucherie St-Viateur on Beaubien, corner Casgrain (not just a butcher's, but a good and economical one for the carnivorous) but also a Latin American grocery. The owners are Argentinean, so mostly foods from Argentina and other Southern Cone countries (Chile, Uruguay...) and a lot of Italian groceries. And Popocatepetl, obviously Mexican, on Belanger a bit east of Christophe-Colomb (corner de Normanville), a tiny shop but great fresh tortillas.

                        Don't confuse Balkan, a bit north and east of JTM, and Balkani, inside the market along the new aisle, Henri-Julien side of market. Both interesting, not exactly the same products - Balkani is Romanian and Russian-Romanian.

                        1. re: lagatta
                          b
                          BLM RE: lagatta Jan 1, 2010 10:05 AM

                          You tried the grilled sausage sandwiches at both Balkan & Balkani? If you tried them both, which you like better(I don't think Balkani at JTM, serves grilled sausage sandwiches year-round however)? Just went inside Balkan for very first time yesterday, but I was in a rush to get home so I couldn't try their grilled sausage sandwiches.

                          1. re: BLM
                            l
                            lagatta RE: BLM Jan 1, 2010 04:59 PM

                            I've never eaten either on the spot - I live a short walk from both - I have bought sausages from both places but the offer varies at each, more at Balkan which is still a little rougher around the edges (and a bit cheaper). They used to have chicken sausages of the smooth European frankfurter type and don't carry them now.

                            Balkan is a wee bit forbidding; there is a very big Balkan (Serbian, I think) guy at the counter who looks stereotypically tough, but he has always been very nice - sure, I wouldn't try shoplifting there, but I wouldn't do that anywhere. There are a lot of interesting meats, cheeses and other products, not very artistically displayed. I wanted to point it out as they have some very good deals and even though they are very close to Jean-Talon Market, Beirut-Erevan (Chez Apo) on Faillon and other chowish destinations, they are a bit off the radar.

                            1. re: lagatta
                              alixium RE: lagatta Jan 2, 2010 05:34 AM

                              I also live a short walk away from Balkan, and walked in once... The displays are really not attractive, and I did not feel like sorting through the (unknown to me) products. Would you have specific recommendations of things to try?

                      2. ScoobySnacks20 RE: hungryann Dec 28, 2007 02:34 PM

                        Italian: FruttaSi on Chevcehnko in Lasalle, its huge! It is also very cheap.

                        1. p
                          paperfree RE: hungryann Dec 29, 2007 10:32 AM

                          Where precisely is Marche Bangkok? I wanted to get some kaffir lime leaves, and I know I can get them at Thai Hour, but I was wondering if Marche Bangkok was closer.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: paperfree
                            hungryann RE: paperfree Dec 29, 2007 03:41 PM

                            I saw it while driving by on Maisonneuve E. near Papineau. The windows were papered over in an opening soon kind of way (if that makes sense) but I can't find any listings for it.

                            1. re: hungryann
                              l
                              lagatta RE: hungryann Apr 7, 2008 03:25 PM

                              Has this opened yet? I have friends who live near there who would be very interested.

                              1. re: lagatta
                                SnackHappy RE: lagatta Apr 7, 2008 06:04 PM

                                There's a pretty decent Asian market on Ontario just east of Frontenac called Hiep Phat. Not everything is super fresh, but the meat looks good and the selection isn't bad. It's pretty handy if you live in Centre-Sud or Hochelaga.

                                1. re: lagatta
                                  hungryann RE: lagatta Apr 7, 2008 06:54 PM

                                  I haven't went by since then.

                            2. redroses RE: hungryann Dec 30, 2007 09:33 PM

                              i just went to La Baie des Fromages on Jean Talon East just a block east of San Marco. great store!
                              i have latelyu become obsessed with giardinera mixed pickled veggies. iborught the Aurora brand there and it is mighty spicy good! try it on a sandwich or as an antipasto

                              1. l
                                lagatta RE: hungryann Jan 2, 2008 06:59 AM

                                Panaderia Argentina y Chilena NAPO - 9897, boul. St-Michel, corner Sauve, phone 514.387.5333, for seven types of empanadas, sandwiches, empanada and pascualina shells (tapas), various breads and baked goods.

                                1. k
                                  KT MTL RE: hungryann Jan 3, 2008 10:38 PM

                                  Check out Wing Cheong Hong, a Chinese supermarket on Clark (in same building as Ruby Rouge). It was renovated last year and now has the best (and cleanest) meat in Chinatown plus a small but solid selection of fresh vegetables. Prices are also great.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: KT MTL
                                    bomobob RE: KT MTL Jan 5, 2008 12:10 PM

                                    Went out to Kim Phat today for the first time since they expanded. Now I know what heaven must be like.

                                    1. re: bomobob
                                      SnackHappy RE: bomobob Jan 5, 2008 01:05 PM

                                      Really? Appart from the larger produce section and the kitchen hardware, I don't see any difference. They don't have any more choice as far as food is concerned. I still can't find unsalted roasted peanuts except for the awful overpriced chinese ones. I thought the expansion would have come with more choice but it just made the place bigger. I still prefer Hawaï or even Marché Orientale.

                                      1. re: bomobob
                                        kpzoo RE: bomobob Jan 5, 2008 04:13 PM

                                        Which Kim Phat outlet expanded? The one on Jarry East or another?

                                        1. re: kpzoo
                                          l
                                          lagatta RE: kpzoo Jan 5, 2008 04:40 PM

                                          Is that close enough to St-Michel to make the St-Michel bus (which comes very frequently) worthwhile? The Jarry bus is the pits. (Alas, I didn't get there during cycling season).

                                          1. re: lagatta
                                            m
                                            mtl98 RE: lagatta Jan 5, 2008 05:02 PM

                                            You can get to Kim Phat on St-Michel and Jarry but it is a good walk (especially in winter). It has a asian restaurant and a sushi one inside. They have the best meat counter for the east part of Montreal. I think they expanded to be able to offer more fruit/vegetable varieties than they used to offer. There is nothing in term of exotic vegetable that you can't find there. Also, I have a secret to tell: behind that Kim Phat, there is huge (warehouse style) SAMI FRUIT (same owner that the one on MJT) and there, for real, nothing can't beat them in terms of price, quality and variety of fruit/vegetable. I just went to Kim Phat and bought a bunch of mint (for Mojitos) and it was a bunch for 99$ and at Sami, you get 4 bunches for 1,25$. It's like paradise for food lover. Go and see, thank me later.

                                          2. re: kpzoo
                                            bomobob RE: kpzoo Jan 5, 2008 04:56 PM

                                            Jarry at 18th ave.

                                            1. re: bomobob
                                              l
                                              lagatta RE: bomobob Jan 5, 2008 05:37 PM

                                              Thanks both of you - yes I had googled it, but the Jarry bus does not come very often. Perhaps the Sami Fruit in St-Michel is less dreadful than the JTM

                                      2. l
                                        lagatta RE: hungryann Apr 7, 2008 03:32 PM

                                        Marché Mondiana, 1130 Bélanger Est (Corner Christophe-Colomb). Not only an "ethnic" market, though it is owned by a "mixed" Arab couple (he is Syrian, she is Moroccan) - it is a store with a lot of organic and sort-of-healthy food, vegetables and fruit (some great, some dodgy, all relatively low-priced) a cheese and charcuterie counter with such lovely things as Krinos ewe's milk yogourt) and also halal products and Maghrebi and Middle Eastern ones.

                                        Very good prices overall. What they have is cheaper than JTM. And they are nice - when they don't have something, they say so and so in or around JTM has it.

                                        Worth a look if you are in the area.

                                        1. l
                                          lagatta RE: hungryann Aug 27, 2008 09:16 AM

                                          Marché BK, at 690 Jean-Talon W (corner Bloomfield) can best be described as "pan-Muslim"; they are also cheap, as is often the case in Parc-Ex. I think the former owners were South Asian (Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi?) but there are now staff there from Morocco as well and I found frozen artichokes (just emptied of the burrs, not just the bottoms as one finds elsewhere) from Egypt, as well as barley couscous for a little more than $2kg. Also good prices on nut products - I picked up both slivered and powdered almonds. There are still a lot of South Asian products and even some Greek and Italian things (eons ago, that was marché Delta, a Greek place).

                                          On the other hand, Andes on St-Laurent between Marie-Anne and Mont-Royal seems to be specialising more in prepared foods and has cut down their grocery section.

                                          1. e
                                            emerilcantcook RE: hungryann Jan 6, 2009 07:23 PM

                                            I stopped by at Al Mizan (1695 de Maisonneuve W) after work today to pick up some staples and I was surprised by the range of the food items they offer. They are Palestinian owned, so you'll get some of your usual Arabic staples (as well as a halal butcher counter), but they also seem to stock a lot of Turkish sweets (no surprise here actually, since all of them are halal).

                                            What surprised me most was the amount of Indian foodstuffs they sell (such as lime pickles, and not talking about your mamas Patak here, there were Indian made brands such as Bedekars and something else I never saw before). And if you are into ayurvedic toothpaste or soap, you can also find them there.

                                            They also had five different brands of grape leaves (four pickled and one dried); I didn't even see this variety at Adonis. Nice. I am surprised that I never checked this place out before (until a friend mentioned that she shops there often). But hey, from the outside it looks like any other depanneur in the hood. And yay, it is right next to my metro stop!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: emerilcantcook
                                              superbossmom RE: emerilcantcook Jan 2, 2010 05:07 AM

                                              corner of St. Mathieu, right ? will investigate it, I pass by there often.

                                            2. n
                                              nonpareils RE: hungryann Jan 2, 2010 08:24 AM

                                              La Vieille Europe on Saint-Laurent (near des Pins)
                                              I was only there for two minutes (and for the first time) this week, but I can't wait to go back and explore. The place looked jam-packed with treasures.

                                              1. SnackHappy RE: hungryann Jan 2, 2010 10:30 AM

                                                Since the thread has been bumped... I recently checked out Supermarché Bonjour in Chinatown2 on Maisonneuve near Fort. It's a small Asian grocery store about the size of a Couche-Tard, but the selection is pretty impressive. All the fresh produce looks good as does the meat. They also have a very decent selection of Chinese, Korean and Japanese products. And they also sell fresh home-made foods. I've only tried the frozen pork and chrysanthemum dumplings, but they were darn good. They have some take-away stuff, mostly around lunch time like baozi and cooked dishes, but I have yet to try them.

                                                http://www.nihaomontreal.com/

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