A1 - LEBANESE BAKERY
This is the store to go to if you are wanting Middle Eastern items. It is not only a bakery but also a grocery shop full of Middle Eastern items at very reasonable prices; every type of bean you can think of, as well as spices galore!
The store is located at 643 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 3056, Victoria.
I found Arthur's relatively recently in my continual search for good food stores, after going to other stores for some time. Arthur's is at the Prahran Market, has extremely friendly staff, and their poultry products are extra fresh.
This enormous store has all that you may want as far as cookery hardware (saucepans, plates, glasses,etc.) is concerned, and has a whole range of commercial items as well. Located just opposite the South Melbourne Market at 131 Cecil Street, South Melbourne, 3205, Victoria.
I have bought all my fish at Claringbolds for 14 years and since I formed 'Zest Cooking' in 2001 - that is the only store I go to! Claringbolds is at the Prahran Market, and they are so accommodating - they will do exactly what you want them to do with the fish in question.
They have the freshest of fish, and for many recipes I request that the fish be filleted, boned and de skinned - they will do this with pleasure. They have a wide range of fish for sashimi and you can purchase sushi there as well.
I purchase all my oysters, scallops and crab meat there, and for more specialised items like Sea Urchins; Salmon Roe; Patagonian Tooth Fish; eel; etc. - they either have these items in stock or will get them in if given notice.
The staff there are extremely friendly and helpful and will readily advise you of a fish they have in stock and how to cook that fish.
Looking for some strange Asian vegetable? The Footscray Market is the place to go! Very reasonably priced, you can get everything Asian, and since most of the Asian people shop every day - the vegetables are very fresh indeed.
This is an Halal store at 609 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 3056, Victoria, and has a whole range of Turkish and Lebanese meat cuts. Here you can buy true 'kibbeh' as well as the special dried and spiced beef called Bastrouma - just lovely! The meat here is cheaper than in other parts of town, and you can get all sorts of wierd and wonderful cuts. A visit here is well worth your while.
This is a very large store, open to the public, that has everything at remarkably low prices. You can buy items like olive oil for cooking, cheeses, Italian products, a whole range of dried and fresh pasta of every kind and shape, tinned items, breads and cakes and liqueur and wine. It is located at 482 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 3056, Victoria.
If you ever want anything Asian, then this store is the one to go to! Actually there are two stores - one next to the Queen Victoria Market (125 Therry Street, Melbourne, 3000, Victoria) and the other one in Richmond (178 Victoria Street, Richmond, 3121), the latter store being a 'super' store. You can buy everything from Soy sauce to white fungus; from lychee nuts to lotus seeds to Jelly fish. Anything and everything you want - you can find it in these stores.
I found Neil's - also located at the Prahran Market - after looking around for some time, and I would say they are really special! You can buy Wagu beef, aged beef and any other type of meat possible. I have found that if you want a 'strange' cut of meat, they will prepare it for you or, if possible, get it in. The meat is carefully and fully prepared with only the minimum fat remaining.
PETE AND ROSIES
This store, also at the Prahran Market is a favorite of mine for cheeses. They have a wide variety of both local and international cheeses, as well as many other items of a delicatessen nature.
I have purchased my fruit and vegetables at Russo's for many years. I in the main see either Paul or Frank, and they have been extremely helpful to me. They are situated at the Prahran Market, and the fruit and vegetables I bring home are always fresh. The ripeness of the fruit depends on what I ask for, and if for some reason the fruit has gone bad on the inside, you can take it back and get it replaced at no charge at all!
This beautiful store with wonderful people on the staff posesses everything hardware that you could possibly want for cooking. Go there - you will NOT be disappointed. It is located at 1400 High Street, Malvern, 3144, Victoria. Well worth a visit!
THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT
This store adjacent to the Prahran Market is a store you would love to be let loose in with money matters being taken care of by someone else! It is a treasure trove of both food and hardware items, and for all specialty items - you just cannnot go past it! It has nearly everthing you may want as far as cooking is concerned.
Essential Ingredient has a large food section, a large section for kitchen hardware, an appreciable cooking book section, and it also has a cooking school. I could literally live in this store!