Asian Snack Food at T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
Asian Snack Food at T&T Supermarket
Asian Snack Food at T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
Boston Butt at T&T Supermarket
Sushi at T&T Supermarket
Bánh Mì at T&T Supermarket
Pastéis de Nata at T&T Supermarket
Cakes & Pastries at T&T Supermarket
Beef at T&T Supermarket
Dim Sum at T&T Supermarket
Grocery Store Takeout Meals at T&T Supermarket
Ready to Cook Soup Mixes at T&T Supermarket
Cakes & Pastries at T&T Supermarket
T&T Supermarket
Foods from T&T Supermarket
Comments

2009 Nov 16
Well I'll add my own experiences into the mix for T&T. I overloaded and visited 3X in the first week. I'm T&T'd out now and if my wife didn't bug me to go every week would take a 3-4 week break

Openning nite: Wed Oct 28 - crazy, crazy, crazy. Hilight, free steel chopstics w/ carying case. Let-down - no lobsters!!

Post Openning night visited 3-4 more times. Generally getting less crowded during the week.
Thank goodness it's only 8 minutes from home.

Overall Impressions:

Similar to Toronto versions/stores except the bakery is weaker, i.e. doesn't serve as great a variety of baked and steamed buns. I also noticed that many of the steamed buns were offered in the refrigderated sections rather than piping hot. I would say they should expand the offerings on weekends ... as nothing hits the spot like freshly steamed pork or sweet custard buns for breakfast. Egg tarts crust was a bit off, but filling wise good; creamy and with a bit of custardy richness. They had some awesom mouse cakes which have since disappeared.

Pricing: Decent, many items comporable w/ China Town (fruits & vegetables), but also many items up-priced for the Ottawa market (meats, lobster). Meat's tend to be more on the expensive side a la 5.88/lb ox tail !!

Produce: Vintage T&T and not really their strength; similar quality to the parent company Loblaw's. Nice selection of asian fruits & veggies though. Won't really be changing my shopping pattern of going to Farm Boy for fresh stuff. Better than the big Western Groceries, not as good as smaller grocers w/ strong produce areas (Farm Boy, selected Produce Depots, ...)

Takeout: Vintage T&T again, good selection & variety, average flavour. Relatively fresh. Ashley hit the nail on the head; you do feel like it's a buffet. The food (both dim sum & dishes) is ok, but not great by Ottawa standards. Most authentic Chinese restos will deliver more flavour and less grease. That is my complaint about the vegetarian & prepared foods, quite greasy & not sure totally necessary. I will say the steamed buns are pretty good. ** Notice how they set it up to trap you in the takeout/bakery/food court area as soon as you enter :) Yum Yum, but not so good for my keeping my body svelte and sleek.

Other: Home cook - soup pkgs, pretty good I tried these and they really simplify the Chinese soup scenarios. Hmm, i was thinking about cloning their pkg at home and saving the 6.99 ha ha. Oh yeah, if you are looking for soup bones (pork, beef, ...) for stock or similar dishes, hit the meat counter. Plentiful & cheap and unlike Western Grocers they won't run out. Just get your ox tail elsewhere (sorry to pump this twice).

Overall: Glad we have another choice, it's a great one stop shop with a few areas that standout, but there are still other gems in Ottawa that I'll keep going to. T&T is more for conveniece run, or occasional cravings for some goodies. One thing that bugs me is the takeout area generates so much pkg'g. Wonder if I can bring my own containers. Also, I hope China town doesn't dry up in the face of this big box version.


2009 Nov 16
Most of our friends all went to T&T to check out. Their overall comments are:

- It's good to have such a big-sized Asian store in Ottawa
- Their customer base include many from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, and many other Asian countries because of the variety the store can offer.
- My friends also think that T&T should attract many Asians from Montreal and the east coast cities. This will be good for Ottawa tourism.
- However, their price is higher than those items sold in Toronto. For example, the fresh Dim Sum vegetable and pork bun is sold for $1.5 each (vs $1.00 in Toronto). It is 50% more expensive.
- They also increase their recent price tag on some of the popular items (e.g., ready-to-cook soup series package from $6.99 to $7.99).
- My advice is to only buy those that are on their weekly Special since their regular items are a bit expensive. Hope this helps.

2009 Nov 6
made it to T & T tonight. friday around 4pm it was busy, but no line up at the check out. i loved the store and had no idea what half the foods were. i really need someone to take me on a tour of the store and explain how to use many of the ingredients. perhaps an outing with others is in order?

2009 Nov 3
Great summary Ashley!

***

I braved the crowds this past Friday and Saturday. Each night I went with a strategy since I didn't have luxury of time: go in, go straight to what I want, get it and leave.

On Friday, I went around 8 pm and thought I'd have a chance - nope, lots of people there. I went straight to the dessert area and picked up some items and proceeded to be processed quickly through the cash.

On Saturday, I went to get dinner for friends. OMG, it was ridiculous. I was in the hot food line for a good 45 minutes. As I got closer to the counter I realized that those wanting BBQ items were holding up those who just wanted food from the hot food counter. Naturally it was frustrating and this is coming from someone who was shopping in actual grocery stores in China three weeks ago. When I finally did get served there was only one girl serving everyone even though there were other people behind the counter doing I don't know what, it looked like some training but a lot of chatting.

I am hoping that with time things get sorted out at T&T. Next time I'll know better. Here's my tip for the hot food counter (not to be confused with the dim sum queue which is more organized): be sure not to cut in line but check to see if there's a gap between those waiting for BBQ vs those wanting service at the cold and hot food counters. This can save you oodles of time.

I will say this though, lots of yummy stuff to be had at T&T. The hot dishes I got were ok but what I really enjoyed are the other prepared foods I picked up in the open bins (beancurd with mushrooms, soya eggs, multi-grain buns - OMG SO delish!!!)

So far my experiences at the cash have been very expedient.

Hope that as the weeks pass, the general chaos will subside.

2009 Nov 3
I forgot to mention that you need to have a dollar with you. To get the shopping cart, you need to put in a dollar in the plug to get it. When you are done shopping, put the cart back and you will get your dollar back. This way, they don't need to hire a staff to handle the shopping carts. Smart!

If you don't like to use their shopping cart, they have a portable basket with wheels inside. But the size may not be big enough if you tend to buy a lot.

2009 Nov 3
thank you for your very detailed post ashley. as someone who is not completely familiar with all the foods at t&t, your descriptions and photos are very appreciated.

2009 Nov 2
My hubby and I finally went to T&T to check out yesterday (Sunday), the 5th day since opening.

The Queue
I didn't expect that I still needed to wait in line to get in. This is day 5 already and it was 3:20 PM on Sunday. Well. Since I was here, I had no choice but to follow the line. Fortunately, the lineup wasn't too long. We only waited for about 5 minutes and the security guard let the people in the line to get in. Hurray!

Japanese Sushi and Vietnamese rice paper rolls
The Vietnamese and Japanese sushi counters are on your right at the entrance. These counters caught my eye first. The sushi staff are dressed up in kimono and they are cute to look at. My friend told me that she bought a sushi box because the sushi looked good. But I have to disagree with my friend since the rice looked pretty mushy. However, the salmon looks pretty fresh. So, I passed by the sushi section quickly. Besides, the crowds forced me to keep walking.

Chinese Dim Sum
There was a long lineup at the Dim Sum section (on your right). So, I didn't get a chance to check out the dim sum variety.

BBQ section
Next to Dim Sum section is the BBQ section. I saw a BBQ pig hanging (I guess half pig was sold), some cut-up soy sauce chickens on the bottom, and didn't see any Char Siu (BBQ pork) hanging.

Cooked food for take-out
This section offers a variety of cooked Chinese food such as fried rice, fried noodles (chow mein), fried flat noodles, sweet and sour pork ribs, sweet and sour fish fillet, general tao chicken, bean curd wrap with mushrooms, spicy spare ribs, and soy sauce pork chops. When you see them, you feel like you are in the Chinese buffet choosing what to eat. Sweet and Sour shortribs were on special (last day yesterday) for $3.99 for the large box. So, I bought one box to try and also bought the small box of General Tao chicken ($3.99 for small box and $7.99 for a large box) to try.

Note: They are using #1 PVC plastic container for the hot and cold takeout food. I guess #1 and #2 are the safe plastic for food?

Cold cooked food for take-out
Many cold appetizers are offered in this section. I saw spicy cold pig ears (common appetizer for restaurants in Taiwan, Shanghai, Beijing) and I forgot the others. I also picked up a box of spicy cold pig ears ($3.99 each box), and a box of vegetarian appetizer box (containing salted peanuts, cut up tea eggs, diced carrots, edamames, dried bean curd strips) for $3.99. You can see the photo below.

Ready to Cook Series
Below the Cold Food for take-out, there is an open fridge containing a variety of their ready-to-cook packages. I picked up 2 packages of ready-to-cook soup packages ($6.99 per package). According to the instruction label, you just need to dump the ingredients into the boiled water and simmer to cook for 2 hours or more. In Chinese culture, soup is a very important part in our daily dinner. It is always said that a married man looks better than a single man because a married man has soup at home for dinner (assuming that a wife stays home to cook dinner for her man and soup is always assumed).

…(to be continued)

2009 Nov 2
Cakes & Pastries
T&T is famous for their Cakes and Pastries. I bought their mango cake (on special for $3.49) and Lemon Angel Cake (on special for $2.99). The sugar level is just the right amount. From now on, no more cakes from Costco (although Costco is still one of my favorite places to go).
I didn't get a chance to check out their daily fresh cakes in the fridge because of the crowds waiting in front of the fridge. But I saw very beautiful cakes through the display glass. Also note that camera is not allowed. I took few photos and immediately they have staff coming out to tell me politely that I can't take photos. I shall respect that. (However, I am glad that I took few before they spotted me.)

Seafood section
I bought some shrimps with head for dinner. The price was $5.99 per lb. Not bad. I also bumped in to a friend who was selecting live Vancouver Dungeness crabs for dinner. He told me they already bought few for dinner few days ago and his wife asked him to pick 2 for dinner again. Live crab in Ottawa! Can you imagine that? Thanks to T&T and hope that Loblaws will change the seafood section to operate like T&T.
Note: They have about 6 staff in this seafood section to serve you. Wow!

Meat section
Lots of soup bones!!!!! The staff will cut the bones in small pieces for you at your request without paying extra. I think this kind of extra service will be the model for all the other supermarkets to follow.

In addition to soup bones, they have a variety of fresh meats that you can buy. I just wish T&T will open one store in Kanata area to make grocery shopping in Kanata a lot easier. Hunt Club is just too far for me and I think I can only visit them once every 2-3 weeks. In the winter time, I will definitely reduce my visits.

Fresh Produce
In addition to the normal vegetables that you can find at Loblaws, Farmboys, Independent Grocer, T&T offers a variety of vegetables that are normally cooked by Asians (e.g., very fresh and clean Choy Sum, Shanghai Bai Choy, Baby Bai Choy). There is also a small section for all the fresh herbs (e.g., bay leafs, lemon grass). You will be surprised by the variety of hot peppers. I bought one bag of spicy hot small peppers for $3 (you can just put them in the freezer and take few out whenever you need to use it for your cooking).

Those Shelves in the middle
You can spend many hours exploring all the shelves in the middle for any grocery items that you haven’t seen before. I am so happy to find the Fermented or brandied rice from Taiwan (quite similar to Japanese mirin). They carry few different brands as well and the label marked with “no preservatives”. I have been making Brandied rice myself at home. But when I am lazy, I know where I can go to get them now.

FYI. Brandied rice if fermented for more hours will become rice wine. I use it to cook seafood to enhance the food taste. In addition, I use it to make a dessert which is called Brandied Rice Egg. My husband said he is so happy that he marries a Shanghainese woman. Otherwise, he will miss those brandied rice.

Shopping Strategy
I didn’t know I was so excited when I was inside T&T. I spent about 2 hours there. My husband said I was like Alice in Wonderland exploring so many things. He was just laughing at me all the times and he said T&T should hire me as the marketing person helping customers to select their items (since he saw me explaining to a shopper how to use the filter to make Vietnamese coffee). A Canadian shopper also asked me which vegetables to pick.

Anyway, I spent $152 yesterday at T&T buying a variety of items. I normally did my grocery shopping at Costco and Farmboy. I never felt I bought a lot from Costco, but the bill told me a different story. I think I have to change my buying habit now. The End

For your first trip, just buy the items on special. This save you $ and gives you a chance to try the food.

Newer ·



2009 Nov 2
The Beef Rib Fingers (Intercostal) is on special ($6.35 per kg) and I grabbed a package right away. Tonight's dinner is curry beef rib fingers with potato. Yum Yum. Do you know where else sells Beef Rib Fingers in addition to T&T?





2010 Jul 23
Who would have thought that fresh Portuguese egg tarts would be available from the bakery of a giant Asian grocery store?

These are sold still warm, and they are very popular! I picked some up today for the first time and I can say that they are as good or better than many I've had in Portugal.

Note: These are the straightforward, eggy kind of pastel found in most Portuguese cafes. The elusive (and superior) Pastéis de Belém (www.pasteisdebelem.pt/en.html) are found only in one shop in Lisbon, and differ by their thinner crust (more like phyllo, less like puff pastry) and the aromatic hints of lemon and cinnamon in the filling.

These currently go for $1.09 each or $4.99 for six.





2010 Jul 24
Picked one of these up while my wife was grabbing some sushi for lunch (see above review).

They aren't spectacular and more loaded with meat than with vegetables which oddly enough, which is a disappointment to me. Also, there are none that come with hot peppers, so I added my own jalapenos to the second I had for lunch.

However, they are more sizable than the 2 to 2.50 dollar ones you pick up elsewhere, but not as tasty.

Overall, not too bad, but nothing to really recommend over any other place.

Much like grabbing sushi at a grocery store, if you don't expect the best, it's a good way to kill the craving.




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2010 Jul 24
Too bad you didn't get bone in. Much better for smoking and BBQ. Luciano's can get this cut for you so can Brian's or Sasloves.

2010 Jul 24
I was able to finally find Boston butt cut of pork, which is a shoulder roast cut. This one is boneless. It is used in Southern US cooking, BBQ and especially in pulled pork dishes. It is also a cut preferred for carnitas for tacos and other pork dishes in Mexican cuisine.

Neither Loblaws, Metro nor Farm Boy carried this cut of meat and most seemed baffled when I asked for a shoulder roast cut. Only the butcher at Loblaws seemed sad when I asked and told me that he couldn't get the cut even if his LIFE depended on it. He was the one who recommended to check Metro, which also did not have it.

But they had it at TnT along with a gigantic selection of cuts of pork, beef and chicken. The meat is very fresh and comes with a variety that I have not seen in the Ottawa area.

I can finally put together my Puerco Pibil dish without having to substitute for a different cut of meat!













2012 May 23
Yes! The seaweed! I am totally addicted to the laver seasoned with sesame oil and salt - it's better than potato chips!

The one pictured by FF below is particularly delicious too! YAY FOR SEAWEED!

2012 May 23
My wife is hooked on these fried seaweed snacks and I can't blame her. They are wonderfully seasoned and hit all the right snacky craving triggers. A number of flavours are available, some spicy and some not.

2011 Apr 15
This is what the bag looks like! "GARLIC FLAVOUR - Crispy Chicken Skin Chips"

Ingredients: Chicken skin, vegetable oil (Canola or Soya), MSG, Salt, Garlic, Vinegar.

"Enjoy a Crispy and Tasty Snack! High in Nutrition, Energy and Protein." Hahaha! It's salt and fat, with 10% protein by weight.

I think it was $2.99 for the 100g bag. Great eaten with raw broccoli and dip! All I can say is it's a tasty, evil, wonderful conversation piece. :-)

2011 Apr 15
A like-minded coworker introduced me to Crispy Chicken Skin Strips. If the idea of eating KFC skin without meat appeals to you, then this snack will pop your eyes wide open! It's basically pork rinds but made with chicken. Seasoned with garlic and MSG, it's already halfway to KFC's recipe.

The quality is a little bit variable, even within a bag. The pieces with some meat attached tend to have a slightly rancid taste. The other ones are pure heaven though. You never know what you're gonna get! LOL ;-)









Aug 11
Ok, so Char Siu was on sale last week at T&T and we decided to try it out.

The result: Unbelievably tasty, the best char siu I 've had in a while in Ottawa. Just the right mixture of garlicness and sweetness without being too salty (a common sin). The bargain price of $3.99/lb only made it better. There was a long queue and they even posted a little sign telling when the next batch would be out to avoid disappointment.

Way to go, whoever's manning the bbq!





2009 Nov 15
The new T & T Asian supermarket (Hunt Club & Riverside) has Ito En bottled green tea - in both single serving and 2 L bottles, and in cans, which I've never seen before.
It seems the New York distributor is now shipping to Canada too.
Try this tea - you'll love it! And if there is volume in sales maybe it will stay on the market here...
Note: most varieties are unsweetened, so this is not North American style green tea "pop". There is a honey lemon slightly sweetened flavour though.
If you are new to real green tea, I suggest you avoid the barley flavour!




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2009 Nov 20
Actually, intercostal beef in those shrink wrapped packages is readily available at Loblaws Superstore on Richmond Road.

My better half's mom has bought them from the Loblaws Superstore in Kanata.

Loblaws has been advertising these in their Asian fliers since the last Chinese New Year.

Only, when T&T opened, they cost less than what Loblaws Superstore usually sells them for, normally $2.99/lb. I picked up two packages for the freezer.

I use them to make great pots of stew, both Asian and European.

2009 Nov 2
I picked up two of their Ready-to-Cook soup packages ($6.99 each).

One package is "Arrow Root pork bones soup" containing pork bones, arrow root pieces, red beans, date, honey date. I boiled a pot of hot water and put the pork bones in it for about 1 minute (to get rid of the blood from the bones). After throwing away the boiled water, I boiled another pot of water and put all the ingredients into the boiled water. Let is simmer on heat for at least 2 hours. If the meat falls off from the pork bones, it is done and the broth should taste very sweet and delicious. (Note that if the soup is not simmered long enough, the soup will be tasteless.) I put about 2 ml of sea salt into the soup when it is done.

Another package is for "Pork with Turnip & Carrot Soup". This will be my tomorrow's soup since I still have some leftover soup from yesterday.

This kind of "ready-to-cook" soup package provides convenience and time-savings to moms. At least I don't need to cut up all the ingredients.

Note: When we eat soup for our daily dinner, we normally throw away the ingredients and only drink the broth. There will be oil on top of the broth and I use a special container that can filter the grease on top.

Update (Nov. 14): The price tag has been increased to $7.99 per package. For this price, I won't buy it any more since I can buy the material separately and it's more economical.




1

2010 Jun 30
Huge variety of baked goods. There are so many different things that I have yet to sample them all in several trips to the store. The mousse cakes, red bean cakes, and the steamed cakes are frequent purchases of mine, and my family is addicted to the egg tarts. I like that many of the items in this section of T&T have a subtle sweetness, compared to many other supermarkets that use lots of sugary icing and whipped cream with sugar, and sugar coated sugar with chocolate and sprinkles. The latter: not so good for you, and hurts my teeth personally, so three cheers for T&T!

I love that T&T has many excellent egg bread goods as it is hard to find this kind of bread in other chain supermarkets. If they had egg bagels there sometime it would make my week. They sometimes have ensaïmada with a bit of cheese which is delicious warmed in the microwave -- however I haven't seen it lately and recently the ones I found were stale.

The cakes you see behind the glass are light and fluffy. The whipped cream icing is not overly sweet like other supermarket cakes and tastes like real whipping cream. If you want something different try the taro cake.

Some of the cookies you find in the area may not taste very good to westerners that are used to the overly sweet brands we have here. One package of T&T cookies was so very bland to me (sawdust texture) that an Asian friend offered to take them off my hands. She then promptly devoured them so they probably aren't bad if you have the acquired taste.

Overall very good, very impressive selection.

Be aware that some of their baked goods, especially those which were open to the air in the store at some point, can have the same fishy aroma to them that the store tends to emanate. Bread absorbs the air around it! The aroma ranges from "hey it smells like T&T" to unpleasantly interfering with the taste. Right now I have a whole package of red bean cakes I cant eat because the smell is so bad it's more like fish cakes. Previously I had a package of cream puffs that I couldn't eat for the same reason. YMMV, in fact this might not even bother you (my family eats it anyway), but it bothers me.

2009 Dec 5
I found an odd cake that I just HAD to try here and I think I am hooked now. I was a swiss roll style cake, white cake and a creamy filling. But it also had dried pork and green onion! The combination is strange at first but quickly grew on me! Last time I was there they didn't have any but I hope it comes back.

The pear or teardrop shaped almond cake is also AMAZING!

2009 Nov 3
I took this photo before their staff told me that camera is not allowed. (So this is the last photo inside T&T). All packaged cookies and rolls can be found in the aisle across the Fresh Cake section.

2009 Nov 2
This is the Mango Cake that we bought for $3.49 (special price for the week and don't know what the regular price is). The cake has disappeared from our kitchen already.




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2010 Jul 24
My wife picked up a mixture of sushi today for lunch after noting the prices the time we were at TnT earlier.

She agrees that the rice was a little sweet; it needed more vinegar in it. It's also not restaurant quality sushi, so don't expect it to be that high of quality.

But it is at least on par with Farm Boy in quality of take-out sushi, with greater variety than Farm boy and much, MUCH better prices.

2009 Nov 27
I tried one of the sushi boxes at T&T and I have to say it is a good value. It is definitely fresh and much cheaper than other grocery stores. The rice wasn't the best, and a bit too sweet. I would say it is worth a try, for a cheap sushi fix.




1

2010 Jun 30
In two separate trips I bought some "fresh" mangosteen, but none of them from either trip were fresh at all. The inside of all of them were rotten or half rotten with a yellow substance, so I wont be buying them from this store again. Sadly fresh mangosteen are not easy to find as it is.




3





Aug 11
Recently had the har gow and siu mai fresh from the counter.

I was impressed with the size of the pieces. The taste was pretty good too.

2009 Nov 2
Since the fresh dim sum section has a long lineup, I bought the vegetable and pork bun from the open fridge section (near the won-ton wrap area). They are from Toronto and not bad, but is not the best I've tried. The package has 6 buns inside for $3.39 (note that they are not the frozen ones). I steamed them for about 10 minutes.





2009 Dec 5
This week I went after work and picked up some mixed dim sum packs near the end of the day. They were under $3 a pack and had a NICE combo of things such as radish cake, red bean paste bun, and crispy pork dumpling. I grabbed 3 packs and had enough for 2 good home feasts for under $10.

2009 Nov 2
This is the cooked food I bought - sweet and sour shortribs (the one on the upper left), General Tao chicken (the one on the upper right), cold spicy pig ears (the one on the lower right), and cold marinated dish combo-A (the one on the lower left).

I like the spicy pig ears and marinated dish combo. For the hot food, I think they are okay for general customers. You can also add rice and noodles for 2-choice, 3-choice or 4-choice combo. This kind of combo will be welcomed by the university students. For me, T&T is running an efficient kitchen based on the same cookie cutter formula (deep fried and mix with a variety of sauces to finish up). I will buy the cold appetizers again. For the hot food, if they are on special price, I may buy them again sometimes later.













Aug 11
Bought some pig ears from one of the refrigerated display cases. They seem to be have stacked many ears and gelled together before sliced by machines.

Tasty with a bit of heat, it is the best takeout from the stores. Kowloon used to have very nice ones from Toronto but they now do their own and it is not to the same quality as the previous ones nor the new T&T ones.