Yet another Diana's Seafood rave...
- Thatcher Dec 24, 2009 03:01 PM
Sorry. Know I've said it before, but Diana's never fails to differentiate on selection, service - and price.
Went there again this morning to stock up on oysters and fresh fish for the next few days. Beautiful, fresh selection. Malpeques $20 something for 48 count pack ( I bought other choices from BC and the US , however) and mussels $2.99 pd just a few of the "value" deals.
Everything fresh, fresh, fresh.
What impressed me most - as always - was the staff's engagement. No less than 4 people approached me, unsolicited. Not only that but *every one* of them knew their stuff and I was able to have a useful, insightful conversation with each person.
As previously mentioned, I live around the the corner from Oliffe (where I *used* to shop) and can compare them to Diana's. Oliffe charges higher prices, demonstrates less product knowledge, projects a sense of having to "earn" their service and just can't compete in selection. Don't know if there is anyone at the market who can punch their weight the way Diana's does. If so, please advise...
In this day and age of mediocre service, staff ingnorant of their product and general indifference to the customer, Diana's is a welcome breath of fresh air.
Full disclosure - I have no stake in this business. Just a relatively new customer who appreciates an "old school" approach to customer service. Please shop there so that this place stays in business forever!
Rave over. Go if you can.
The reason! They are trying to crack into the Chinese market! That explain their recent effort to expand selection in the area of 'fresh or live products'. However, their pricing is still not competitive enough and their ' live' selection of fish and crustaceans still fall way behind the likes of T&T and other big Chinese supermarkets. eg., No live spotted prawns, no live geoduck clams, no live whelks, no live fish like French Turbot and sea bass....etc.
Well, in the 45 minutes or so that I was there, I didn't see a *single* Asian (other than the Japanese lady behind the counter).
I saw lots of Portuguese, Italians, Spaniards, Eastern Europeans (going by the languages I overheard) and plain old Wonderbread whities but NO Asians!
Where were they all??!!
Maybe they were shopping someplace cheaper? Where they can buy carp disguised as cod for $1.99 a pound...? Or maybe mystery "garoupa" and "bassa" for $$$ below market value perhaps...?
It's a pretty short-sighted and arrogant to presume that the Chinese grocers have cornered the market on seafood. Volume and scope of selection doesn't automatically equate to quality and desirability...
Some live and swimming spot prawns are available in certain T&T and Foodie Mart locations right now but missing in Diana's. As well, compares to quite a few places, Diana lacks fish tanks to house live crustaceans like live snow and king crabs and live fish like Green Bass from Australia or Rock fish from Thailand.
True, Diana's is THE PLACE for oysters and other fresh 'traditional' fish like Haddock, Cod, European snapper and bream, halibut and salmon etc. But, IMO, they still fall short in the 'exotic tropical fish' area.
One should pay the Chinese supermarket just south of the 407 on the east side of Kennedy a visit to see what really huge fish selection is like! Just Garoupa alone, they displayed at least 4 types!!
re: Charles Yu
Not sure most people share your raves about T&T when it comes to seafood. I was at Diana's for the first time this week and loved it. Served fresh oysters yesterday and was impressed with the quality and freshness. The prices also can't be beat. Most oysters were under $10/dozen when bought loose. Malpeques were $29.00 for 48 ct., and the best bargain were the "irregular" Malpeques, $10 for 30 ct (just meant they were harder to shuck b/c of their shape - good for refining your shucking skills without breaking the bank). The best part was my tutorial on storing, shucking and serving oysters as well as the difference between pacific and atlantic varieties- the staff are fabulous. As busy as it was, they took the time to help me. Not enough superlatives to express this on top of the great quality seafood. Never had such service and knowledge (or patience) provided to me at T&T BTW!!!!!!
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