International supermarkets in Taipei area


#21

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…


#22

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! :smiley:

:bow:


#23

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.


#24

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).


#25

Yep, City Super it is. Good luck, and pick up some Mozzarella as well :slight_smile:


#26

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.


#27

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. :sunglasses: Tell you what, the Xindian lettuce/salads section knocks Tianmju’s into a cocked hat anyday!


#28

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 Jingan MRT station, but do a search, been discussed several times.


#29

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:
[forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph … 76#p641276](DIY baking supply / supplies

There are also stores in Nangang, Donghu, and near Dihua St (all listed in the first thread above).


#30

[quote=“urodacus”]tesco died and was eaten by carrefour

Matsushei is an international supermarket you might try, if you like Japanese stuff.[/quote]

Ish that you Sean? Shounds like you’ve been on the moorsh lately…

(oops)


#31

Yep, City Super it is. Good luck, and pick up some Mozzarella as well :slight_smile:[/quote]

I checked today again, they were out of sweet basil :frowning: Only the Thai ne, for NT$10 a pop. I recall the sweet one was at least NT$40


#32

Well, that’s the other problem here as I mentioned before, you can’t put any trust in the shops having regular stock, of anything.

CitySuper managed to run out of locally produced ham… :loco:
It’s obviously a very popular product, as it’s affordable and very good quality imho, yet they don’t seem to know how to keep stock and at one stage they were out of it for a month…

I also found a very good brand of German mustard there, which they no longer stock. Not to mention no more rye flour (been like that for a year or so no) and a few other items that never came back in stock.

Still, I think CitySuper has the best selection of speciality western food, but things are sadly getting worse… :frowning:


#33

If you’re near Songshan airport and looking for Thai sweet basil (I believe it’s called “HO LAPA” in Thai, as opposed to holy basil, which is “GRAPAO”), PM me and I’ll map to you a little veggie stand that always seems to have sweet basil, it’s across from Matsusei behind the Zhongshan HS.


#34

[quote=“TwoTongues”]

If you’re near Songshan airport and looking for Thai sweet basil (I believe it’s called “HO LAPA” in Thai, as opposed to holy basil, which is “GRAPAO”), PM me and I’ll map to you a little veggie stand that always seems to have sweet basil, it’s across from Matsusei behind the Zhongshan HS.[/quote]

Thanks - but actually I am not so sure any more that even “Sweet basil” is what we are looking for:

I picked up some Basil at Jason’s below 101 on Sunday… It was labeled in English “Sweet Basil”, and the address of the company producing it was in the US. No mentioning Thai or whatever in the English part of the labels… I even smelled at it to make sure it smells like the “Italian Basil” that I’m looking for. Smelled OK. Only the leaves looked far more pointed than the very round leaves I am used to. And the final check (tasting) showed that it’s kinda similar to the Thai basil that you can get very cheap everywhere :frowning:

Hmmm… according to Wikipedia [wikipedia]Basil[/wikipedia] it really is sweet basil what I’m looking for, not Thai, Holy, or whatever basil… maybe they just labeled wrong :wink:

Anyway, also the other threads about basil mention only sporadic availability - so we just have to keep trying. But then these threads also mention Thai Basil can easily substitute the western style Italian type sweet or whatever basil :loco: Maybe in pasta sauce, but the taste is really distinctively different for example in tomato mozzarella salad…


#35

Not an easy thing to get hold of huh? Anyway, I know to look out for it at City Super etc now. :sunglasses:

So, thanks to the info here, we’ve got affordable wholemeal pasta from Tianmu Carrefour as well as their own brand tinner tomatoes, and some Cross and Blackwell baked beans from Guting Wellcome. Haven’t eaten those yet, but they won’t be around long… :lick:

Thanks, guys! :bow:


#36

Uh-oh. The City Super at Zhishan Sogo has become marginally less useful - the area next to the deli, that used to have additional western-style deli products, has gone local, with those bins of… stuff.

It seems like most of the now-disappeared products (packaged cheese, meats, tortillas, salsas, etc.) are still available over in the dairy/ produce section, but I didn’t see the Land of Lakes (very expensive) cheese anymore.

And that branch has only light sour cream - regular sour cream has, oddly, vanished.

The change isn’t a big deal yet, but the trend is worrisome.


#37

If you have some Chinese reading skills, you can try this online store:

lamarche.com.tw/

I buy quite a few things from them, as I just don’t have time to run around looking for cheeses, sauces, spices, lasagne sheets, crackers for cheeseboards, etc, but I do like to eat them!

If you scroll over “shop” you can see the English and Chinese names of products. It’s a bit of a pain to scroll over to each product category to open up the order pages, I do wish they would improve that part of their site.

You can pay by ATM/creditcard/on delivery. When my Chinese typing was not so good, I called them and told them my address etc and they arranged the order for me. They have free shipping over a certain amount, I think it’s $1500, which doesn’t take long to get to.


#38

Thanks asiababy - that’s a useful resource.

But as you say, awful web design.

EDIT: Hey, looks like they’ve got vacuum-packed gnocchi (buried in the pasta section). City Super used to stock that, but it’s disappeared. Although I’ve been meaning to try to make my own…


#39

The Zhongxiao Fuxing CitySuper just started selling Australian beef jerky/billtong (that’s what the label says) at NT$600/100g… as well as dried smoked leg of lamb for something like NT$350/100g and there was some other kind of air dried beef for a stupidly expensive amount of money as well. Not sure why they bother to import these kind of things as I can’t see it selling.


#40

La Marche positions itself as a gourmet grocery. So, do expect to pay extra for their goods. They have a store near Anhe Road and XinYi Road.

台北市信義路四段199巷9號
Tel: 02-2755-1055
Hours: 11:30~22:00
Map