Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Monday, April 18, 2011

The wonders of Toronto's Japanese Mall

In a barren complex in Markham lies the bustling Japanese Mall, J-Town. It's the biggest Japanese mall in the Greater Toronto Area, and here you'll find a wide sampling of the great foods of Japan.

J-Town is located at 3160 Steeles East off the 404 (map below) and it's open 10am to 7pm Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm on Sunday.

True, there are some missing items at J-Town these days due to supply and radiation issues following the recent earthquake in Japan. The seafood section, in particular, looked understocked, but still, you'll definitely be impressed by all the great food on offer.

The complex includes stores selling Japanese magazines and clothing.
The grocery store, Heisei Mart, has seaweed, various Japanese sauces and green tea.
Jumbo radishes.
The Cafe Green Tea serves "Western-style dishes you used to have in Japan." They have breaded pork and chicken, hot soba tempura, fried noodles and curried chicken. Plates are $8 to $9.  
A red bean pastry at the Cafe Green Tea.
A woman makes fresh tofu behind the grocery store.
Bakery Nakamura serves additive-free pastries and breads. Here is the tuna and cheese crown and a ketchup and mayo knackwurst.
Black sesame custard bun and green tea bun with red bean paste.
Feeling brave? Try the  beef curry donut.
Famu, the butcher shop, sells Japanese cuts of naturally-raised meat.
Get a lunch plate for as cheap as $3.88. 
Pick up some octopus, albacore tuna, charcoal grilled eel or black cod from the Sakana-Ya fish market.
Sushi chefs in action.
Normally 90% of the fish here comes from Japan, but more fish from other regions is being sold right now.
Sea urchin roe is a delicacy in Asia.
Still have some money left in your pocket? Pick up some premium fatty tuna belly for $120 a pound. This package costs $139.20. While you're at it, pick up a rare geoduck clam for sixty bucks.

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  1. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never been to J-Town before! I've passed by it numerous times since it's on Steeles, but I've never actually went in. Guess I should finally pay a visit!

  2. They also have Yakitori, chicken skewers outside of the door! totally good, though I haven't had any in other places

  3. This plaza makes working up at Vic Park and Steeles so much more fun!

  4. Hi guys, I am looking for this product. Can you please tell me where I can buy it here in Toronto? Thanks. It's the Kracie Popin' Cookin Complete Set


    1. Sanko, a Japanese grocery located downtown has those Popin' Cookin gummy sets