T&T Supermarket Opening Oct 28 2009 [General]

2009 Oct 13

a place to grab more unique ingredients and produce...


2009 Oct 14
I'd hardly call it "grabbing" (that is to say, convenient), unless you live in Manotick. FWIW, this will attract those people who are okay with driving 10+ km for their groceries. I don't see it as a huge attraction, personally.

2009 Oct 14
Lady Who Brunches - Ya, I see it much the same way... although at a "crossroads" (Hunt Club & Riverside... and just across the bridge from Prince of Wales), I don't see this as something that the immediate area will be flocking to like a regular Grocery Store (say a Loblaws Superstore)... it will be more of a specialty stop. Made by people looking for specific food items. Not people walking over from throughout the "neighbourhood" to pick up their groceries. It would be fun to take a survey and find out a couple of months from now (once the opening hype blows over) and find out exactly where their clientele is coming from... my bet will be there will be a lot of folks making a 10+ Km drive to this "destination"... when you think about it... hardly what one could call green.

Although, I could be totally wrong on this... I'm not familiar enough with the brand, so it may very well fit into the neighbourhood, and become the "local go to" grocery store.

2009 Oct 14
a lot of my colleagues have been counting down the openning of this store. i think it will be very much a destination shopping trip once a week. they are keen to move their business from china town to T&T. i love shopping in china town and will definitely keep going there, but will also make the trip to T&T. i love grocery stores, especially interesting ones. we regularly have family visiting and they also love going to unusual grocery stores (they come from small towns and get very excited for what they can buy in ottawa).

2009 Oct 14
That area IS convenient and immediate for the huge numbers in Riverside South/Hunt Club (poor them - way out there). That it doesn't work for me downtown - totally OK by me.
I have the goodies of Somerset - notably Lim Bangkok & 168 Market.

Loblaw bought T&T this summer (the news release is on the T&T website listed above).
I wonder if customers will have to wheel their carts through clothing to get to the miso. :)

2009 Oct 14
AMR - Agree the area is "somewhat" convenient to the growing community of Riverside South (as for poor them... hey they bought out there). Mind you they won't be so isolated once the Strandherd Bridge goes in... infact they'll be right next door to BBQ-Haven. ;-)

I knew about Loblaws buying T&T... wonder if that will change up the products that they carry at all... will they indeed be stocking regular Blah-Blahs merchandise and thereby widening the scope for the store (sure is enough floor space from the looks of things... driving by this looks like a HUGE property... similar in size I'd guess to a SuperStore).

Oh well after about 18 to 24 months of hype in the Ottawa area... we'll all get to see in short order.

2009 Oct 14
T&T's a cool place. with toronto being my 2nd home, i usually shop at the T&T's there for their selection of unique and exotic stuff the other grocery store don't carry and had to bring stuff back to ottawa regularly. it is great to shop in a large asian grocery store that is CLEAN and can even give other big box stores a run for the money. the fresh and live seafood selection is great and the prices are quite competitive. they are usually rammed with long lineups of custies till 10pm. i will find it a welcome addition to ottawa, especially for suburbia and convenient to those with vehicles, less so for those who rely on bus routes. with most of the working population leaving the downtown core afterwork, they'll be hitting T&T, just like the costco's, walmarts and superstores open late.

other items i tend to find that other stores don't carry are a wide array of mushrooms, herbs, garnishes, so many different types of wild rice (red rice being a fave), huge array of frozen dim sum in mass packages.

next up you'll find the T&T flyers being added to your local flyer force delivery enticing you with the token weekly specials.

i hope T&T does not negatively impact chinatown are there are gems and earnest family businesses there that i frequent and will continue to do so.

2009 Oct 21
That area IS convenient and immediate for the huge numbers in Riverside South/Hunt Club (poor them - way out there). That it doesn't work for me downtown - totally OK by me.

I guess that's a bit my point. Ron Eade talked about the possibility of T&T affecting Chinatown, and I honestly disagree with that. The scope of the store, as F&T pointed out will be vastly different from that of the small shoppes in Chinatown. Personally, unless I lived in the 'burbs I wouldn't dream of making the trek out there (to be honest, I resent it enough when Husband wants to go to AMC for movies)

2009 Oct 21
Yeah, while I will probably go to T&T just to check it out, there is about a zero percent chance of it taking any of my business away from Chinatown. I try to avoid suburbia as much as possible, thanks :-)

2009 Oct 21
LWB - Ok so off the food topic... but I hear you on the whole AMC thingy... people like the fact that it is "one site" that offers just about every movie on current release, and runs them at a variety of times etc. So when someone says "Lets go see a movie..." they can find something they like playing soon. I suppose it is great in the burbs if different family members want to see different things but all go at the same time (and they call that family time?). BUT, really I miss the days when movie theatres were much smaller and "sprinkled" throughout city neighbourhoods (1970s).... heck I'm soooo old I miss 25 cent Saturday matinees when they used to play old corny Westerns, the 3 Stoogies and Godzilla type movies to a house packed with kids (up until the mid 1960s).

EDIT - LOL, I can turn this post into a "foodie" topic... I remember a Chocolate Bar was 5 cents, a Coke 10, and a Bag of Popcorn 10 as well. Find me a "discount" movie you can get into today, and not spend more on the food than on the movie.

2009 Oct 21
Food&Think I too miss those small neighbourhood theatres which is probably why I tend to favour the Bytowne/Mayfair/Ottawa Film Society screenings - they seem so much more civilized-;) However in my movie theatre days I remember $2.50 Tuesdays (when movies were half price) until the price went up then renamed "cheapie Tuesdays". I can't imagine how families can afford the theatres these days what with the cost of admission, popcorn, etc.

As for the T&T market I too will go there just to check it out. However, living downtown and not having a car, it just isn't feasible. Why would I take three buses somewhere when I can get to Kowloon by foot in 15 minutes. And the more I hear about the T&T store it sounds HUGE. I rarely go to the Loblaws superstores because I am not interested in walking several miles just to get to the aisle I want. It's just more convenient going to any of the shops in Chinatown (which are a much more reasonable size IMO) to pick up the things I need. And now that Loblaws owns them I would be curious to see if they charge Loblaws prices which are a little more than what I would pay in Chinatown.

2009 Oct 21
to restate the already noted, T&T will be big for those in Barrhaven, etc. And, for at least 2 b-haven families i know, T&T will (i'm almost positive) reduce the number of trips to their usual sommerset and bank street haunts, esp. for the everyday "Asian" staples (e.g., the 20 kg bags of rice you don't get at Loblaw ... not now, anyway).

The 2-families (of Chinese and Korean birth) are an admittedly small sample, but a cursory glance at the playgrounds next to their homes is pretty telling in terms of highlighting a growth in the number of families of Asian (and other) backgrounds settling around them: my friends are themselves surrounded by families of similar ethnic identities (if not birthplace) -- at least a couple families per street, all middle-class income earners, etc.

At odds w/ said demographic, and a stated concern / issue for my friends, is the paucity of available options in places like B-haven: while there's a mecca of generic box stores, little approximates the suburban "Chinatown" clusters you see in the outskirts of Toronto (Markham esp.). So, from their perspective, T&T is welcomed, and even if they're jumping in SUVs for the purchases, there's an environmental benefit here.

And projecting forward, perhaps T&T represents a thin edge of a wedge, an anchor for competing and complementary businesses to the area? And, also perhaps a stimulus to further demographic growth? i'm probably overstating the case here, but where anti-suburbanites might not care, perhaps a family settling from Hong Kong (or resettling from somewhere in Canada) may be swayed by proximity to T&T and similar? Time will tell, i guess.

ps: this is all idle-at-work speculation. I'm sure T&T have done their market research.

2009 Oct 21
Food & Think: I go to the O'Brien theatre in Arnprior--small, old style,stylish theatre. real popcorn (not cheap anymore) but don't blink or you will miss the latest film. Still great and weekend matinees and Tuesday nights are a great price...alas , you have the food here in Arnprior. Some is good, but not unless its fine dining (burnstown) or cafe--daytime only--some great offerings here, you won't do too well with dinner and a movie.

2009 Oct 22
itchy feet You make some valid points which were overlooked by me-;) I guess I'm reacting to the speculation that T&T will take business away from Chinatown but, as you pointed out, Chinatown and T&T are in different neighbourhoods hence different demographics. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.

2009 Oct 23
sorry Pasta, Oct/Nov are my least fav months ... didn't mean to come off so contrarian: wasn't reacting to anyone's (let alone your) perspective specifically ... just trying to working in a slight different p-o-v, not even mine, exactly. Again, just idle speculation to break work monotony.

i remember the $2.50 nights and good ole popcorn. Am also looking forward to looks-vaguely-like-corn mutation snacks from the new T&T. ;-)

2009 Oct 27
One more day!! *Wooo hooo*

2009 Oct 27
W.C.~ I didn't know the O'Brien does weekend matinees! I'm so there. I want to take the kids to the theater I went to as a kid. Done!
As for food, at least there are good sandwiches at the Bonnechere bakery. :)

2009 Oct 28
don't bother going to T&T grand opening today. the lineup is atrocious 1.5-2 hour wait so i'm told, the traffic is gridlocked with police directing.

and i work in a building right beside T&T and we can't even get in. with the insane traffic, many of us are changing our hours of work just so we can get to/from work on time!

2009 Oct 28
I never understand this about Ottawa -- the driving need to storm the opening of any new store (or revamped store). I live in Orleans, and I remember the chaos when the RCSS and Wal-mart opened... and then when the Wal-Mart rebranded itself with the self-contained grocery store. It was absolute bedlam on Innes. In the case of T&T, I guess at least this is something "new"... but really, a line up of an hour and half? Golly.

2009 Oct 28
Yeah, I definitely will be holding off another month or so before checking out T&T

2009 Oct 28
Some stores have special events for opening day - contests, prizes, etc. I'm not sure if T&T is doing this (although it wouldn't surprise me if they do) but I still plan to wait awhile before going.

2009 Oct 28
Agree with Pasta Lover's comments... definitely an incentive for some folks... I don't see myself checking this spot out for quite awhile. I don't like crowds (and like waiting in line at a check-out even less).

2009 Oct 28
finally made it in around 4pm and it was an asian invasion sensation. nice selection of produce, groceries, prepared foods and take out. noticeable goodies i picked up today were a 1.3kg duck for $8, pork belly, jumbo prawns, kaffir lime leaves, herbs. they were sold out of lobster which was an amazing price... dungeness crab was $5.99/lb, assorted drozen dumplings 5 for $9.98... are but a few of this weeks' loot, sea scallops were a plenty...

if you like to cook, the huge selection of exotic items in all departments will take your imagination and creativity to a new level.

a lot of people shopping there really liked it and commented that T&T will teach a lesson about cleanliness to many chinatown stores. everything is properly refrigerated, frozen, unexposed and behind clear counters.

got free metal chopsticks from customer service from signing up for their weekly e-flyers.

next door, PC Cyber will open this friday for your computer gizmo goodies.
and i hear there will be a Moxie's there for all things sexy good and sexy bad.

2009 Oct 28
According to CBC, hundreds of people flooded T&T today, and people can't even find space for parking.

I didn't go (although I was tempted to go). Considering the H1N1 alert, it's best to stay away from the crowds.

I was told that 1,000 kg of lobster was sold out today. My friend's university son went there and bought about 8 lobsters in total. I have the privilege of sharing the lobsters that my friend's son bought (see the photos).

If you want to see how T&T looks like and the crowd from today's lineup, you can click on the link below (some Chinese words and just keep scrolling down to see the photos).

I am so happy to see so many Asian fruits.

P.S. Ron Eade has a coverage on T&T's opening and the YouTube slideshow:

2009 Oct 29
Wow, this place looks awesome! I'd love to go there, but will also wait until the crowds let up.

Once it opens I want to buy: durian (hopefully fresh), mangosteens (hopefully large and juicy) and light and dark soy sauce (though I don't really understand the difference between the two). Apparently they have 400 kinds of soy sauce! It will be exciting to make some other exotic foodie finds.

2009 Oct 29
Hmmm this makes me think I should make a list too-;)

Out of the people that went to T&T already is there a favourit product or section you can recommend?

2009 Oct 29
Shopped there at 10:30am, and it was slightly insane. No line up going into the store, but a few lines at the fish and dimsum area.

I waited in line for lobster, but they did not tell me only 2 per person, so I was a little ticked off. And they made an announcement in manderin, so I was not able to understand what they said. I got my gf to line up for two more lobsters.

The prices for orange juice, ice creams, cereals, etc. are the same as, for example, Loblaws, but pastries and sushi are decent and fresh!

Now I could be wrong, but if you spend $98 before tax, you can get a free bag of rice AND bowl or cup set AND a bag. It wasn't specified very well in the ads. Can anyone confirm this? Sale ends Nov. 1.

When you folks finally visit, I hope you don't get shoved and hit with carts like I did.

2009 Oct 29
i can't wait to go, hopefully next week some evening. i also hope any give-aways are for all customers. at 168 market, i am constantly ignored during the give-aways. sometimes it doesn't matter, but i did take it personally when everyone was given a free bag of dumplings before chinese new year, except me. i like free stuff too.

2009 Oct 29
Very quickly Ms. Foodie, the soy sauce is kind of like balsamic vinegar. The light sauce is light in consistency, and salty. It is generally used for marinades or as a dipping sauce or in fried rice. Dark soy sauce is thicker and generally sweeter and holds up better in a longer cooking process like a braise and is generally not used (in southern China/HK) as a dipping sauce or condiment. A typical/common use for dark soy sauce is braised soy sauce chicken (more or less just dark soy + garlic + ginger + chicken cooked for a long period of time). Hope that helps!

2009 Oct 29

Thanks Snoopy Loopy! Now, why would you use light and dark soy sauce in combination? I ask because on the T&T website I saw a recipe for stir fried udon noodles that called for light and dark soy sauce.

2009 Oct 29
I too saw the newscasts... both at 6 PM and again for the late night. They said BEFORE they opened there were more than 1,000 people in line. And on the late news they said that the store was busy all night after the dinner hour as well... they were guestimating that somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 people passed thru the store yesterday.

I like Pasta Lover's suggestion so much, that I am going to create a seperate OF Topic where people can give others (especially us Non-Asians) tips on what to look for when shopping at T&T.

2009 Oct 29
You could use the two in combination for different colour and different taste. I suspect that for the fried udon noodles (which I make at home), the light soy is for the saltiness (great replacement for salt with its own distinct flavour), and the dark is for a hint of sweetness, but more importantly, to colour the noodles to a nice brown colour. Two points, Chinese cooking, especially that around the Shanghai area really likes to incorporate some sweetness into their food, and secondly, brown fried noodles look nicer than off white ones (plain udon). Didn't write that recipe myself, but this is just my guess.

2009 Nov 3
This is one of the inside scene at T&T on day 5 (around 3:30PM).