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Asian Grocery Stores in London

I was wondering if anybody might know of Asian grocery stores in London. My friend lives there and when I go visit, I inevitably end up lugging groceries up from Toronto. Normally this wouldn`t be so bad, except that I`m carless so it`s a bit of a hassle on public transportation.

I`m looking more for a store that stocks East Asian ingredients (tofu, Japanese eggplants, black fermented beans, soybean milk, 5 spice tofus, fish balls, agar agar etc), and one preferably on a bus route or within walking distance of the route. My friend is also carless.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks

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  1. I use to go one in the North/East end of the city during my years at Western. It was on Highbury Rd.

    1. You might want to try King-Wah on York next to the Greyhound station. It's been a few years since I was there so I'm not sure what their inventory is anymore.

      1. Thank you gtafoodie and fickle for the suggestions. Next time I'm in the city, I'll check both out.

        I didn't even know there was a store near the Greyhound station - shows how inattentive I am.

        1. I would try the market downtown, there are quite a few different asian stores there...not sure if King Wah is still around...don't remember seeing it last time I was in London, which was December...

          1. There is a big asian grocery store at the east end of the city, Asia food mart, i believe it's called, on Hamilton, East of Highbury. It's where I get all my ingredients for asian cuisine from. They have all the listed ingredients above im sure. It is however far away but there is a bus route that drives up to it. Hope this helps.

            1. King Wah is gone. There is Far East at Oxford and Wharncliffe (on Oxford)

              1. Thanks so much for the update. The other day when I was visiting, I stopped by the King Wah near Greyhound only to find it boarded up and dark. I did find a small Korean market by chance on Commissioners but they don't stock everything I need. It worked in a pinch but not for the long term.

                I'll be sure to check out Far East and the one on Hamilton to see if the buses travel there. It's hard not having a car to get around the city.

                1. There are a number of good markets.

                  Asia Food Market (Hamilton and Gore) - The largest, with by far the largest selection.
                  Asia Food Mart (Hamilton, west of Adelaide) - Predominantly Chinese, great selection of Chinese groceries.
                  Indo-Asian Groceries & Spices (Oxford, west of Wonderland) - Indian and Thai, good selection of dried goods.
                  Thai Kee Oriental Supermarket (Huron, west of Highbury) - Large selection of Thai and Vietnamese goods.

                  There are plenty more, but these are the ones I frequent. If I had to go to just one, Asia Food Market would be it. Snack & Bake in Covent Garden is a staple as well for spices, although if buying small quantities it can be more expensive than the Asian markets.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dmccurtis

                    Where can I find tofu other than in an Asian supermarket? I stay in the masonville vicinity and Hamilton and Gore is really too far for me.

                    1. re: sugarkitty

                      Most major non-Asian supermarkets should carry tofu, if not the freshly made variety
                      Loblaw on Richmond and Fanshawe Park Road is in the Masonville area, and carries their own brand of PC Blue Menu Tofu:

                  2. Update: United Supermarket has recently opened 1062 at Adelaide Street North. Decent size, fresh produce, take-out items - like T&T but on a smaller scale.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ibbileyta

                      The United Supermarket looks pretty good -- presumably everything is at its best now, since the place just opened, but there's a big selection. Most notably (for me, anyhow) the fish counter is extremely promising: a large range of whole, fresh fish -- some ocean, some farmed -- cleaned to order. If they can keep the quality at the level I saw today, I will be going back regularly just for the fish!

                      1. re: gdenham

                        Here's an article on the newly opened United Supermarket on Adelaide N. http://www.lfpress.com/money/business...

                        1. re: gdenham

                          I agree, the fresh fish section looked pretty good, as did the meat section. The produce section was well ahead of what London is used to. In my opinion the produce and meat should be viable - not sure if London has the demand to keep the fresh fish section going at the same level it is starting at. Hope I am wrong. Probably not a good sign for the smaller Asian mini marts and Asian Food Mart will have to raise their level of play to even stay in the game - competition should be interesting (and harsh!)

                          We were there on Saturday and had to do 3 circles of the parking lot (front and back) to find 1 pkg spot - a good omen.

                          We will definitely be back for the produce and frozen food sections on a regular basis.

                          1. re: ragnar01

                            I have been looking for a good chinese/asian supermarket for months now and was overall very disappointed when I went to Asia mart. After reading these posts, I went to the new United supermarket on Adelaide. It is amazing and has an excellent selection of fresh veggies, fruit, noodles, meat, fish, prepared foods (sushi, hot dishes), bakery goods etc. I was really impressed and so thankful this place opened up. It has standards similar to the T and T chain in Toronto with equivalent "freshness" and overall excellent selection. It's really big and lots of people are shopping there so the turnaround is very good to keep the food restocked often. There is a small adjacent parking lot (I went around 5pm and still found a spot).


                      2. A competitor to United Supermarket has opened in the Sears Outlet plaza near Oxford/Wonderland, named Food Island or Foodland (name seems to vary). Lots of people checking out the wares on grand opening weekend.

                        1. Another competitor to United AND Foodisland is coming to vicount and wonderland "superking" And apparently ANOTHER one in cherryhill mall.

                          Props to all of these chains picking up the slack on the open space...but all of these are on relatively the same transit lines...are all of these going to survive?

                          Me thinks not...my money is on foodisland for the location, they picked a good one

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: byronblazer

                            I'm not sure about Food Island's location, in the Sears Outlet Mall. I guess time will tell.

                            Food City was a good grocery store for around 30 years, until the London Mall started its decline after Kmart and Dairy Queen left the building. That once was a busy well-kept mall, believe it or not! Price Chopper, what Food City was rebranded as, didn't last long at that location, closing in 2008. http://www.lfpress.com/2012/10/03/las... It probably doesn't help for a grocery store to be at a corner located partway between Remark/Superstore and the North London Costco/Angelo's/Sherwood Forest Metro (the Sherwood Forest Metro will become a Food Basics this spring http://www.lfpress.com/2012/12/04/she... ), and halfway between the Cherryhill Metro and Remark/Superstore. Maybe being a larger Asian grocery store in that part of London will be enough of a draw for its success.

                            The store at Viscount and Wonderland might be a good location, since South London has a large population, and doesn't have a large Asian grocery store, as far as I know.

                            How would you compare the quality at Food Island to the quality at United? The signage at Food Island made Food Island look like it might be even more economical/budget-minded than the already reasonably-priced United.

                            1. re: prima

                              Stopped by Food Island today, to check it out. Very busy, bright, well-lit store. I think this place will give United a run for its money.

                              Very reasonable prices. A litre of milk is priced at $1.99, compared to $2.79 at Shopper's Drug Mart or Remark, and usually $3.29 at Metro or Loblaws.Flank steak at Food Island was $3.79/lb, while flank steak at Remark is running $9.99/lb.

                              Well-stocked meat dept, including goat, gizzards, all sorts of organ meats. Produce dept is well-stocked, with very low prices. Florida clementines or mandarins for $0.88 a bag. Very limited number of Chinese baked goods compared to T&T. I didn't notice a bakery department. Everything seemed to be cellophane or plastic-wrapped and shipped in.

                            2. re: byronblazer

                              SuperKing Supermarket
                              785 Wonderland Rd,
                              London, ON,
                              N6K 1M6

                              This so called super store no longer accepts Visa!

                              According to this cute cashier, she said they no longer accept credit cards, only debit is accepted and she pointed to a little paper with the same message written on it.