I had mentioned in a previous blog that growing up, I spent most of my life moving from house to house in a number of East Vancouver neighbourhoods. My parents finally settled in to a home in Renfrew-Collingwood, where I lived with them for almost five years. I moved to Richmond a few years back and although the food in Richmond, where I currently live, is amazing, nothing beats a home cooked meal… especially from my mom.
I’ve been insanely busy as a result of our pending beta-launch and with our Lett office now located on Victoria Drive, I’m close enough to my parents house to enjoy dinner with them most nights out of the week. I’ve always asked my mom to teach me how to cook, but she’s adamant that I’m hopeless. I think she mostly keeps this a secret because she wants me to have more reasons to come visit her. She does, however, regularly profess that her cooking is better than restaurant food because ‘it’s faster, it’s more fresh, and it’s made with love.” I’m already a safety hazard as it is, so I definitely don’t think cooking faster is in anyone’s best interest. I’m not sure if I can cook with love if I’m mostly anxious, so that’s hopeless too. The one thing that I can control are the quality of my ingredients.
She was the perfect person to go to when formulating this list. “So Mom, where do you get your groceries close to home?” It’s no wonder her food is as delicious as it is, to this, she suddenly perked up. She typically takes a couple of hours to browse the fresh markets in Chinatown in between transit from work to home – this is where she finds the best ingredients for our meals. When she’s pressed for time, these are her ‘3 Best Supermarkets in Renfrew-Collingwood’:
1. Chong Lee Supermarket on Rupert Street
The best place in the neighbourhood for fresh protein. She comes to this family-owned Asian supermarket for fresh cut deli meats and daily catches of fish from every part of the ocean… from salmon head to yellow fin tuna. The best part is that they not only clean, but also cut the fish. Chong Lee by far is the most affordable of all Chinese supermarket chains. On special occasions, you can buy traditional ready to serve foods like the sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf. The parking is terrible on the weekends, so my mom recommends that you come here on weekdays or later in the evening.
2. Joyce 99 on Kingsway
This market isn’t the easiest spot to get to or find parking by, but it’s close to home so my mom typically walks. She loves to browse through their produce discounts – they have a $1 bin at the front – and explore what new items they’ve brought in. For the best prices on fresh fruit and vegetables, this is the spot. She advises against buying most anything else here.
3. Safeway on Kingsway
My mom’s English isn’t the most sophisticated, so when she tells me that she “goes to Safeway for the things Westerners use” I know she’s coming from a good place. She loves that the Safeway has a little Starbucks at the front. This was once the to go Sunday spot on rainy days for my parents… until Tim Horton’s opened up across the street. There’s not much of a surprise with what’s offered at a Safeway, but she likes the best that there is a ton of parking, the staff at this Canadian supermarket chain are always helpful, and there’s a pharmacy. “I always use the phone number ‘6044349881’ to get membership discounts.” We’re not sure who the phone number belongs to, but it works and you’re more than welcome to use it the next time you’re at the register.