There is something wonderfully nostalgic about walking into Miramar Nut Shop on Lygon Street, East Brunswick. The heavy mixture of spices wafting out is there to greet you like a breath from the Mediterranean.
Compared to the more streamlined and sanitised supermarkets, Miramar is a pokey looking sort of shop front. The owner is a grumpy looking Lebanese man who doesn't speak much English, and looks fairly bemused by everyone he sees enter.
Yet, upon walking inside you are taken aback by the amazing varieties of Turkish delights, special honey and uncommon seeds that line Miramar's walls and aisles And if you are looking for a saving, Miramar will give you bargains that will massively cut your shopping bill.
Miramar is well known in the area for having the cheapest nuts, seeds and legumes in Brunswick. Favoured by the university and young professional hipster-ratti, Miramar allows you to eat healthily while not spending a fortune. And one look around should be enough to demonstrate just how much you can save by getting your nuts and seeds here.
Almonds at the bigger supermarkets will cost you ~ $25 a kilo, while at Miramar they are $12. Walnuts are commonly ~ $36, but at Miramar they are $15. You can also find rare seeds here that are hard to find like watermelon seeds, which you can buy from $10 a kilo (normally $16 a kilo).
One downside of the nut and seed selection at Miramar Nut Shop is that your orders can be a bit of a 'mixed bag'. Every so often, while foraging through your nuts, you may come across something you didn't pay for - like a wasabi pea or pepita. Presumably, they have followed the continental European way of ordering their store; and consequently, there is a slight element of disarray in all their products.
Obviously for these old school Mediterranean guys only two things matter: cheap prices and moustache trimming. The lack of precision is a small price to pay, really, for the discounts you can make from shopping there.
Another great thing about Miramar Nut Shop is how late it stays open. Miramar Nut Shop is open till 8pm every night, making it easy to ride the number one or eight tram down Lygon street after work and pick up some healthy snacks for the next day.
I was shopping here one day and was about $1.50 short so was going to put something back, the owner said don't worry you can pay next time - I wasn't even a regular. He is just a beautiful, trusting old guy - you don't get service like that everywhere. I love this place.