Skip to content

Source: Kowloon Market – Ottawa

712 Somerset St W, Ottawa, 613-233-1108

The Kowloon Market in Ottawa’s Chinatown has become my favorite store for finding interesting new things and for stocking up on many of the Asian foods that are impossible to come by up here in the North.  For quite a few years, I used to pass by the market on visits to Chinatown without realizing it was there. It was in a fairly poor state of repair with paper covering many windows for the longest time and it wasn’t until they did a bit of a cleanup that I noticed it last spring. Now, I make it a regular stop on every trip to the capital… 

When you enter the store there is a rather unpleasant smell that can be a little bit off-putting, at first. I’m not sure what it is … and I’m not sure I want to know … but, thankfully, it doesn’t extend much beyond the first half-dozen feet or so past the entrance way. Once inside, there are all sorts of things to explore…

The dry-good and canned section, which comprises three lengthy rows and several other sundry sections, includes products from China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and all across Asia. There are spices, sauce mixes, and dozens upon dozens of culinary pastes for all sorts of dishes. The fresh produce selection is not huge but it is possible to find things that are not easily available elsewhere. On this recent visit I saw fresh galangal, which I can only buy in the dried form at home, as well as a decently varied selection of exotic herbs and greens.

Live fish are something of a novelty for me. In Iqaluit, we may occasionally get fresh mussels that are (presumably) still alive, but the ability to buy marine products that are at the absolute peak of freshness is something that makes me green with envy. Sadly, it is totally impractical for me to try and buy anything from the tanks, given the transportation realities to my home, but it is certainly a pleasure just getting to ‘window shop’, as it were.

The selection of fresh, although not living, fish is also pretty impressive. Not on par with a proper fish market, maybe, but still far more varied than the odd cut of Arctic Char available up home on Baffin Island. I saw several species here that, thus far, I have only seen on menus at restaurants specializing in sashimi down south, or in some of my cookery books.

The Kowloon market has frozen as well as fresh meat but you won’t find much in the way of steaks or other cuts typically found in a western butcher shop. You can, however purchase a lot of things that most westerners would classify as ‘offal’ and, somewhat unfortunately, dismiss. The picture above does not capture everything I saw, but for those who would like to try something a little unusual, you can come here to find such interesting cuts as beef tendon and feet, as well as pork tripe, tongue, kidneys’ chicken’s feet and hog intestines both large and small.

My Finds

I could probably spend all day, and a fortune, here gathering treasures to bring home but the realities of airline luggage restrictions demand a certain amount of restraint. Nevertheless, I was still able to come away with a good number of treasures, as you can see below:

  • Tapioca Starch
  • Dried Mussels
  • Dried Marinated Mustard Green
  • Chang Fen Noodle
  • Crab Paste
  • Sambal Oelek

  • Salted Duck Egg
  • Century Egg
  • Pixian Dou Ban Jiang
  • Dried Yellow Croaker

It will take a while to get to all this stuff, but everything you see will eventually feature in upcoming ‘Foodstuffs’ posts as well as a many recipes and experiments …


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a super interesting read! I’m not familiar with most of the items but can only imagine that each is an ingredient for a wonderful meal. Thank you for sharing!!

    April 30, 2013
    • Oh… not good 😦 I hope they get their act together!

      August 17, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Foodstuff: Thai Crab Paste – Jack Hua Brand | Sybaritica
  2. Travel: Home safe and sound… | Sybaritica
  3. Notable Nosh: 鹵水墨魚 | Sybaritica
  4. Source: Manphong Supermarket – Ottawa | Sybaritica
  5. Foodstuff: Shaoxing Cooking Wine | Sybaritica
  6. Foodstuff: Crisp Fish Skin – Un Chi Brand™ | Sybaritica

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .


My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design


Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?


Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season


If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes


a recipe sharing and bento blog


Just another site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!


home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine


A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations


Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: