International supermarkets in Taipei area

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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby cranky laowai » 08 Jan 2010, 11:50

Yes, Jason's is expensive. But I think it may just seem much more expensive because of sticker shock related to its tendency to carry high-end specialty items like organic Peruvian llama butter for NT$890 a square. (OK, I'm making that up. But you know what I mean.) OTOH, Jason's is in my experience more likely to have sales or discounts on items I'm interested in (or at least am interested in when they're not so damn expensive).

Through Sunday, Jason's is giving out NT$50 coupons for every NT$500 purchase. These coupons are for use later this month.

More interestingly, at present Jason's is also giving out calendars. I don't know what you have to do to get one of those. Perhaps purchase more than NT$1000. The good thing about the calendars is that they have coupons every month for NT$100 off a purchase of NT$1000 or greater. And with just one square of Peruvian llama butter you're most of the way there....
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby Bao_Lisha » 09 Jan 2010, 10:41

olm wrote:Last time I got "Western" (Sweet) Basil it was in the supermarket at SOGO in Zhongxiao Fuxing, went very well with the Mozarella there plus some great Tomatoes and Olive Oil :) It's more expensive than the Thai Basil - and I totally agree, it's very different, not only in the looks.


Fab! That's the kind of lead I want! I'll go and look for it, this w/e if poss! Is this the City Super you're talking about? Or is there another supermarket in those 2 SOGOs that I need to be looking for?

I don't think I'm really up for growing my own. I feel I have enough going on here at the mo, (although I would love some courgettes/zucchini and haven't seen them anywhere here yet), to be trying my hand at kitchen gardening just now.

On the positive side, I did find baked beans-British ones!- at Guting Dinghao(Wellcome) and plan on paying a visit to Tianmu Carrefour PDQ to see what they've got that we haven't at the mo!!! I am so SICK of refined grains and no wonder I'm beginning to show the first, minor signs of B vitamin and magnesium deficiencies! I got some B vitamin tablets to redress the balance there in the short term, but I really need to be more pro-active about finding beans and whole grains. Seems to me that the so-called wholewheat stuff here, which looks suspiciously light, is basically white flour with a handful of wholemeal thrown in to give it the 'speckled' look! Bah!

I'm planning to checking out one international supermarket per week, (at least) until I've sourced all the stuff I need. Thanks for all your suggestions, guys and guyesses! :D

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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby TheLostSwede » 09 Jan 2010, 12:01

I'd suggest you go find one of the baking supply shops, they have all kinds of interesting bits and pieces beyond just baking supplies. Bags of nuts and seeds, dry goods, various chilled items and a whole bunch of stuff I don't even know what its for. Found really decent rye flour in the one I managed to find by chance, but it's expensive at NT$100 for 500g. They also stock bigger packs of flour for decent prices.

And no, there are no other supermarkets in Sogo than CitySuper.
I'm sure I've seen courgettes here, but I think they're a seasonal thing. The local markets tend to have various odd bits and pieces and I think beetroot season should be here next month (I'm all out after pickling about 2l worth of the stuff) which I'm looking forward to.

The problem with Taiwan is that you can't just go to one place to get your shopping done, you have to go to a dozen or so places.
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby Dragonbones » 09 Jan 2010, 12:14

Bao_Lisha wrote:Seems to me that the so-called wholewheat stuff here, which looks suspiciously light, is basically white flour with a handful of wholemeal thrown in to give it the 'speckled' look!


Bingo. Probably not even a handful, IMO.

There's also "dark rye" sold at one place (a gourmet bakery in an upscale shopping center, no less) which is I think white flour with a few tablespoons of colorant and wholemeal rye to make it seem different. I've seen this colorant mixture for sale at baking supply stores. And there's "whole rye" sold at another gourmet bakery which is mislabelled in English, and says 'whole wheat' in Chinese (I've not tried it but I suspect it's mostly white flour as you say above).
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby olm » 09 Jan 2010, 13:14

Bao_Lisha wrote:Is this the City Super you're talking about? Or is there another supermarket in those 2 SOGOs that I need to be looking for?


Yep, City Super it is. Good luck, and pick up some Mozzarella as well :)
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby lostinasia » 09 Jan 2010, 15:16

Bao_Lisha wrote:(although I would love some courgettes/zucchini and haven't seen them anywhere here yet)

The Tianmu City Super (in the Sogo near Zhishan/ 芝山 MRT station) has the most regular supply of zucchini that I've seen - I haven't figured out a seasonal pattern. Sizes vary hugely. They're not always there, but I believe more reliably so than at Jason's or the Fuxing City Super.

Never ever go shopping with just one [western] recipe in hand - I guarantee you won't be able to find all the ingredients. Go with at least four or five recipes. (Which drives me nuts.)

On wheat flour: is there any recommended whole wheat flour around? I use the standard supermarket stuff all the time, and the results are fine, but I'm curious if a healthier more-than-just-flecked option is available.

LostSwede: I saw beetroots the other day somewhere... perhaps it was the Jason's in Q Mall, or whatever the new place beside main station is called. (It wouldn't have been in Wellcome, would it?) Looked at them in some shock and nearly bought them, because I remembered I'd been looking for them a while back, but wound up not buying any because I had no idea WHY I'd been looking for them. (My kitchen is friggin' full of bits and pieces bought for recipes that I can't quite find the missing key ingredient for.)

To continue the bash-Carrefour theme: the Danshui/ Zhuwei branch has also gone downhill. Instant noodles have overtaken most of what used to be the foreign section, although at least the bakery hasn't yet abandoned the improvements made about a year ago.
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby Bao_Lisha » 09 Jan 2010, 15:57

Oh darn! I wish I'd known to look in the Tianmu Sogo City Super as I've just got in from Tianmu Carrefour, where I found organic wholemeal pasta for less than half Jason's price - hurrah! Also got a few things that Xindian branch seem to have dumped! So, a monthly trip is in order to stock up on dry and tinned goods.

I agree about the amount of instant noodles in Carrefours! There's so little variety compared to UK supermarkets in all sections, but the sections here seem to be sweets and snacks, drinks, instant noodles, dried noodles and rice, a few tinned foods (mostly fish and sweetcorn), oils, produce and a limited selection of frozen and foreign goods. The proportion of drinks and junk food (candy & snacks) to actual useful ingredients seems to be slightly in favour of the snacks and pre-made drinks!! :loco: How do these people stay alive??

Oh, never fear, I don't go shopping with recipes in hand. I often make a list of stuff to look out for (based mostly on what I know I can get) and I'm just making things up as I go/adapting from things I did all the time at home.

Lost Swede - how does one track down a good baking supplier? I've not yet seen anywhere like that. I fear the best place to get bread is going to be Wendells in Tianmu, although Mr Mark might be OK, given that it's German style.

Anyway, planning on trying the City Super on Monday afternoon with Sir. I try not to eat too much cheese, but can get mozarella from the Xindian Carrefour. :cool: Tell you what, the Xindian lettuce/salads section knocks Tianmju's into a cocked hat anyday!
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby TheLostSwede » 09 Jan 2010, 17:35

Yeah, Jason's has them, imported from the US and about 5x the price of the local kind I bought last year. The local ones started out small and about a month later they where the size of small swedes! Don't like them that size, they start to taste woody then.

Any you're right, never expect to find anything you need, make sure you have other options and if you see something you want, get it there and then as next week it'll be gone.

The only baking supply store I know is about 5 minutes walk from Jing'an MRT station, but do a search, been discussed several times.
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby Dragonbones » 09 Jan 2010, 19:53

It's hard to find the thread if you don't get the key words just right. The main thread on baking supplies is here: viewtopic.php?f=98&t=39628

and there's also one on a particular store here:
viewtopic.php?f=98&t=68618

My favorite store is the Minquan one:
http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph ... 76#p641276

There are also stores in Nangang, Donghu, and near Dihua St (all listed in the first thread above).
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Re: International supermarkets in Taipei area

Postby TwoTongues » 09 Jan 2010, 19:58

urodacus wrote:tesco died and was eaten by carrefour


Matsushei is an international supermarket you might try, if you like Japanese stuff.


Ish that you Sean? Shounds like you've been on the moorsh lately...

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