Nations Experience is a humongous supermarket and global food emporium and entertainment complex with an arcade, VR and kids’ play area.
The grocery chain with origins in Woodbridge and another store in Hamilton swooped into the 155,000-square-foot space left vacant by Target.
The kids’ play area and arcade are located near the front along with the cash, dining and food court areas.
Beyond that the high-ceilinged space expands into more traditional grocery store aisles, where a pharmacy, butcher and fishmonger are located.
Here’s how it works as far as the self-serve hot table goes: there’s a value table where your meal is priced by weight at $5.99 a pound, a premium table where it’s $7.99 a pound, and a salad bar priced at $6.99 a pound.
Options might include shrimp, lamb shank, butter chicken, rice and beans, curries and stews, stuffed tilapia and much more.
If you’re the sort of person that craves meals of say, ribs, mango salad, burgers, pizza and sushi mixed and matched from various cuisines that you ordinarily wouldn’t practically be able to eat together, this is the place for you.
A dim sum area is not self-serve but has steam baskets filled with shrimp dumplings ($2.99), beef balls with bean sticks ($2.29) and chiu chow dumplings ($1.99).
Right near this is a Chinese BBQ area where roasted pork, duck, chicken and ribs prepared on site are sold.
Pre-made bubble teas in flavours like pineapple and taro run around 99 cents to $1.99, with made-to-order teas starting around $2.99.
The butcher carries all kinds of rarer meats, like beef stomach, pork feet, frozen goat legs, shoulder steaks and blood curd.
This place isn’t so much interesting for the variety of products under one roof, but the way they stock harder to find items.
A mini fish market is lined with tanks on all sides containing live fish, crab and lobster as well as other shellfish and pre-butchered filets.
“Happy Kingdom Play Cards” valid for play in the arcade start at $12 with a $20 activation fee for a new card.
Of course there’s also your typical dairy, deli and bakery sections, as well as frozen products like calamansi and longanisa.
Whatever ingredient or dish you’re looking for from whatever culture you’ll likely be able to find it at this megamarket, though environmentalists may want to note it may not come in the most pleasing packaging.