Could Coquitlam's newest T&T Supermarket become a destination location for the city?
Visible from Highway 1 and close to IKEA, the new T&T Supermarket is located at 1085 Woolridge St., just off Lougheed Highway in southwest Coquitlam.
Folks seeking a traditional Asian food experience, or foodies who want to try something new, may want to check out this new grocery store.
While it's meant to target the area's growing Asian population, there are a lot of novel items for other cultural groups to try.
Think a visit to Chinatown without the long drive, SkyTrain route or parking hassle.
The new store opened this week just as the Beedie Group is in the planning stages of developing a massive waterfront community nearby off United Boulevard called Fraser Mills.
(The first 38-storey tower for the site is expected to go before council this fall, the Tri-City News was told.)
T&T CEO Tina Lee told an opening day crowd on Thursday (June 1), that she hoped the new 38,000 sq-ft. store would become a destination — like IKEA — but instead of Swedish meatballs people could purchase Asian food products.
Lee told an assembled crowd of dignitaries on opening day that she hoped people would visit the store for "food discovery" and "food exploration."
What you can buy?
Indeed, the store contains a bewildering array of fresh and prepared food items.
The bakery is notable for its breads, buns, and large, fruit-topped cakes, the store's specialty, which range in price from $22 to $50 depending on the size.
There is a large heat to serve dim sum section, where you can pick up items, such as pork buns, banana-leaf wrapped chicken and rice dumplings with intriguing flavours, such as black fungus and mushroom.
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Self-serve hot food bar
A self-serve hot foot bar offers traditional Chinese food favourites including noodles, rice, glazed chicken, tofu and spring rolls at $2.29/100g. All you have to do is load up a container, select the food item with serving utensils provided for each specific food item, and weigh and pay at the check out counter.
For those wanting to bring home a taste of old Chinatown, traditional barbecue chicken, pork, wings and more can be purchased from the deli-style counter, including meal combos that come with vegetables and rice.
The seafood department is massive and carries a number of live fish and shellfish including king crab, rock fish, tilapia, lobster, spot prawn and live Dungeness crab.
Frozen seafood is also available, including abalone and Arctic char while in the meat section a large selection of meat including a rack of side ribs for $10.39 for 1.5 kg, and split wings at $7.12 for almost 1kg.
Parking, how to get there
For those new to the area, it's best to get directions via GPS because Woolridge Street is a quick turn off Lougheed Highway.
You can also get to it from the Woolridge Connector that cuts through the IKEA parking lot.
As for parking, there is covered parking but there will likely be competition for spots in the first few weeks.
There is some parking outside the store in the strip mall that also hosts a McDonald's and Sleep Country as well as Fat Burger and a new middle eastern restaurant called Ayam Zaman.
But all those familiar with IKEA will know how to get to the new Lougheed Coquitlam store, the first since the Coquitlam Centre T&T opened in 2000.
But pro tip, don't park in the IKEA lot as it's busy enough there already.