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Dec 9, 2009 06:41 AM

-asian groceries query

is it me or them:

2 trips to china town in mtl,
looking for fish sauce/cooking wine;
revealed that 2out of 3 stores had expired products. ( well the labels said expired in 2008)
And 2 brands to choose from.

Do u have a fav. store that is reliable and carries a wider selection for basic condiments.

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  1. I'm not sure fish sauce is big in Chinese cooking to be honest. If you're talking about Nam Pla - it features more in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. To that end I wouldn't be surprised if there is a low turnover of this product at some of the stores in China Town.

    My favourite place for Thai ingredients is Thai Hour on Jean Talon, in between the metro and the market. It's cheap, and also quite busy so there's probably a good turnover of products... Just try to ignore the odd smell when you walk in... :-S

    You can get big bottles of Nam Pla which will last for a pretty long time if you refrigerate it after opening... It's also good for other staples such as Banh Pho noodles, Banh Trang, sweet chilli sauce etc.

    As for cooking wine, if you mean the Shaoxing variety - this was recently discussed at

    1 Reply
    1. re: NickMontreal

      Thai Hour also runs Super Marché Sakaris on St-Laurent below Mont-Royal so they carry a good selection of Asian products. There's also the big Asian supermarket Marché Oriental across the street from Thai Hour on St-Denis near Jean-Talon that is very good. And Eden near Cinema du Parc has a good selection of Asian staples. Here's a good post that also mentions favourite Asian shops in Chinatown:

    2. There's a big store next or real close to Ruby Rouge on Clark (not sure of the name, but it's south of La Gauchetière) which has a wide choice of fish sauce and other condiments, right by the entrance. Not sure about the turnover, but I was surprised at the variety compared to other stores in Chinatown.

      1. As fish sauce isn't a basic condiment in Chinese cuisine, I guess it's foreseeable that those products don't fly off the shelves in Chinatown. Try the Kim Phats', Goyer and Jarry, and Marche Hawaii on Marcel Laurain.

        1. thanks for replying guys
          my confusion arose from being a ex-vanc. where T&T store is like IGA of all Asian products: Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese et all.
          Plateaumamman- great post- the Marche Hawai will be perfect for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: divya

            Yes, the big Kim Phat on Jarry is pan-Asian as well (except South Asian - you'll find that in Park Extension).