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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A visit to Scarborough's new ethnic food superstore

Forget about the ethnic aisle. Lovers of international food will be in heaven when they step inside the new 75,000 square foot Al Premium store in Scarborough. It's located at 1970 Eglinton East near Warden and it first opened in December. 

Al Premium isn't an ethnic store serving people from one country or region—instead it has food from all over the world. There is a heavy emphasis on Asian, North American and Middle Eastern foods, but Latin America, Europe and Africa are also represented. Check out my photos below for a tour. 

Al Premium is located in a former Rona building.

The store attracts a diverse customer base of people living in this stretch of Scarborough. 
There's a good selection of Middle Eastern cheeses, including akawie, which is similar to halloumi, and Palestinian nabulsi.

A display of Caribbean spices. 

There are a few different types of Middle Eastern flat breads, such as lavash.

The large halal meat counter offers various cuts of goat, beef and lamb.

The fresh fish counter is a hit with Al Premium's Chinese customers.
Al Premium's vice-president of corporate affairs, Manoj Biswas, shows off the selection imported produce
Rice galore.

If the store doesn't carry an item you want, Manoj will offer to bring it in.
There is a cafeteria where people eat food from the hot food counter and drink espressos and juices from the coffee bar.

The hot food counter offers dozens of Asian dishes, such as curries and noodles.

There's even a tandoori oven behind the counter. 

Garlic naan cooking in the tandoori oven. 

Butter chicken, lamb curry, garlic naan and freshly grilled kebab.

Al Premium is located at 1970 Eglinton East near Warden in Scarborough. Tel: 416 751 3666.