Best Montreal grocery for (authentic) Thai ingredients (and not in suburbs)
Having purchased Andy Ricker's new book, Pok Pok (http://eater.com/archives/2013/09/17/...), I need to get my hands on some pretty obscure ingredients, including various sauces, chillies and key limes. Any idea what the best location would be to get Thai ingredients? I presume Vietnamese groceries would be a good start.
Where do you live? Kim Phat has two locations within the city of Mtl (in St-Michel on Jarry and in CDN), and Marché Hawaï also carried foods of several southeast Asian countries; they have a store on Pie-IX (border St-Léonard and St-Michel) and another in Ville St-Laurent.
Marché Hawaï - Saint-Laurent
1993 Boulevard Marcel-Laurin
Saint-Laurent (Québec), H4R 1K4
Tel : (514) 856-0226
Fax : (514) 856-0237
Marché Hawaï - Pie IX
9204 Boulevard Pie IX
Montréal (Québec), H1Z 4H7
Tel : (514) 329-0998
Fax : (514) 329-9980
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Since I live near JTM, my first go-to is the knot of southeast Asian shops (Sino-Vietnamese or Sino-Cambodian) around Jean-Talon and St-Denis. I think there are still several around Victoria in CDN, but haven't happened to go there recently.
I've seen key limes at the Loblaws at the corner of Parc and Jean-Talon.
Thai-Hour is a fine Southeast Asian grocery store, I shop there a lot as they are probably the cheapest. However, I don't believe they are Thai - I think they may be Cambodian, probably Sino-Cambodian. I'm unfamiliar with any actual Thai grocery in Mtl, though many Southeast Asian groceries keep items from several countries, including China and even Japan and Korea.
It is a blessing to have these stores (Thai Hour, also Marché Oriental, and a few others) within easy walking distance of my house, and not just for making SE Asian food - also for any kind of greens and fresh groceries mid-winter. Marché Oriental is better for fresh fish. They are a blessing no matter how broke one may be, as they will sell a bunch of watercress, one sweet pepper, a small portion of some other vegetable, meat, tofu...
I mention Kim Phat and Marché Hawaï simply because they are larger and have items unavailable at the smaller (albeit well-stocked) groceries near JTM.
Alas my knowledge of old southwestern Mtl is limited, but I believe there are Southeast Asian shops in the Point, or perhaps in Verdun? Please wade in, chowhounds from those areas.
My reply is entirely irrelevant to this thread but I finally got into Marché Oriental today and i'm in love - please give me your tips on what are good buys there as well as in Thai Hour! (I was there to pick up pho stuff as well as too-expensive kimchi and other sundries). I have a newish obsession with southeast asian foods.
It is too varied to think of one or two things. They have great greens over where the bean sprouts and coriander are - always fresh Thai basil for $1, the leaves of snow peas and many other things we don't know how to prepare - most can go into soup, or stir-fries. Laksa paste is great to supply a "Southeast Asian" taste to soups and other things.
Just googled, and now they have a website! (In French and in English)
Marché Oriental St-Denis
7101 rue St-Denis
Montréal, Québec, H2S 2S5
Tel: (514) 271-7878
Fax: (514) 271- 7535
Of course you've seen the ducks and other yummy prepared foods. For a while the roast duck was on "promotion" at $13, but even at $15, it is a good buy.
I have friends who live right behind Oriental, on St-Vallier, and they say the fish at the fish counter is always very fresh, as there is a large turnover (you notice that there are always a lot of customers, from many ethnic backgrounds).
Do you like Marché Oriental better than Kim Phat (which would be due east of your place, I think).
Hawaï has aisles by country; I have to get back there for some Indonesian stuff. However, sometimes there is no staff that speaks French, English or any other language I speak...
At Marché Hung-Phat, just south of Oriental (the place that makes a wide variety of banh-mi, though I prefer the place north of Jean-Talon on the west side of St-Denis), they sell packages of ten frozen, locally-prepared nems - vegetarian or crab+pork, for about $4 a package. Frying those up will make your guests very, very happy. Vietnamese wrap them up in lettuce and other greens, I guess to balance out the fatty nems?
I was at Marché Oriental yesterday buying a bbq duck, and some soup bones, and noticed jarrets de porc (pork hocks) that were boned, and the outer fat had been removed: nothing but meat. They were quite cheap (but I didn't need any more meat, with the duck, some ground bison and frozen fish) and I think they would make a great little braise. They were fairly small, so from a young pig.
I came across a recipe for boneless chicken thighs braised with stout, and think these hocks would be a better choice, as they'd hold up better to lengthy slow cooking. I'd choose St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout...
There were lots of greens, such as snow pea leaves... Great for a quick stir-fry, with garlic and/or ginger.