One of the first things we learned on our first visit to Ottawa was that there wasn’t as vibrant of a Chinese culinary community in Ottawa as compared to Calgary. While there was a Chinatown, I did not expect it to be smaller than Calgary’s (which is small in comparison to other big metropolitan centres in Canada!).
But we found some great little gems along Somerset Street where Chinatown is located.
One of my biggest concerns was finding Asian grocers to fulfill some of my requirements for foodstuffs, luckily I have found two Vietnamese supermarkets in Kanata and a few Chinese/Vietnamese supermarkets along Somerset. There is a T&T Supermarket, but while you can get many of the staples there, the pricing for meat and seafood is not always the best.
So last Friday, my family and I went perusing along Somerset and went through most of the supermarkets. The two that I was most interested in was Kowloon Supermarket and Ha Long Bay Fish market.
I was pleasantly surprised as I ventured through Kowloon Supermarket. There was a large selection of common seafood that I would purchase and the meat section was AMAZING! Lots of offals that were available for purchase at great prices (I was surprised to see the bucket of chicken gizzards completely emptied within the span of 1 hour between my first visit to Kowloon and my second after we had gone for dim sum).
The following are some snapshots from Kowloon’s seafood and butcher area:
We also went to Ha Long Bay Fish Market, but I just didn’t find it appealing. Not only was there a strong fish smell (NEVER a good thing when you’re selling “fresh” fish!).** And the shop was very cramped and small. Much of the fish that were offered were simply not common food fare for my family, and so I opted to return to Kowloon Supermarket instead.
I cannot wait to head back to Kowloon to score some of the stewing hens and a couple of choice cuts of offal and try some of the fresh fish.
Any O-Towners have any other recommendations for Asian supermarkets? Feel free to leave a comment!
Until next time!
** Fresh fish should NEVER smell fishy, the fresher the fish, the cleaner the smell – it should almost be fragrant like the sea breeze. (This is a rule of thumb for sushi lovers as well).