Kat from Spatula Spoon and Saturday has been hassling me for months about visiting Leo’s Fine Foods. She described it as ‘Simon Johnson at supermarket prices’ where you could stock up on gourmet products in a place that was still affordable enough to do your weekly shop.

Leo’s is effectively two supermarkets housed in one shiny building. They stock the kind of brands you’d expect to see at the major supermarkets – Arnotts biscuits, Weetbix, Omo washing powder etc and then there’s a large section of imported products brought in mainly from the Mediterranean. That means a dried pasta and olive oil range rivaled only by Mediterranean Wholesalers, for example. It’s actually quite overwhelming unless you know exactly what brand you’re looking for.

Leo’s not only imports products for retail but is also wholesale importer, which means that it can buy at mass volume and pass on the lower prices to the consumer. That means you can shop there for your gourmet products while still buying staples like milk, bread and (French) cheese.

If, like me, you’re a bit relaxed about ‘Used by’ and ‘Best by’ dates and aim to be frugal with your grocery budget, then I highly recommend raiding the discount fridge section! It’s not very posh to be digging through a jumble of random orange-stickered items but the results of the foraging are definitely posh. I bought almost due date and perfectly fine King Island Vanilla Bean yoghurt for $2 as well as useful freezer standbys like Yarra Valley Dairy lasagna (serves 3-4) for $22, fresh gnocchi (serves 2) for $5 and Maria’s Pasta vegetarian lasagna for $5.

If anyone else has tips as to what to buy from Leo’s and the as to the best times of day to go for discounted meat and freezer/fridge items please let me know! Now that I know the kind of bargains available I will be making a regular trip whenever I visit Kew.

Leo’s Fine Food and Wine, 26 Princess St, Kew

7 days 7am – 10pm

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