I just wanted to address what you said about finding the ingredients for Thai cuisine in Halifax. It's not really as hard as you make out. Lemon grass can be had at both the Queen St. Sobey's and the Barrington Superstore. As for the rest of what you listed -- Thai basil, chili and garlic, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and fish sauce -- well, in the South End, I would recommend Ca Hoa, the Asian store on Queen St. just around the corner from Sobey's. It's easy to walk past, so keep your eyes open, and don't feel shy about asking the Vietnamese Chinese owners for help finding something. If they don't have it, you're basically screwed. I've bought fish sauce and chili and garlic from them and they probably have the rest too. I do agree that Halifax definitely needs a Chinese bakery. I wish someone would start stocking Korean canned coffees, I need one of those before my morning runs.
Also, ever since being introduced to probably New York's best value for money falafels in February ($2! west Greenwich Village beside Cafe Riggio's!) I've been on a quixotic quest to find the best Haligonian falafel. My provisional number 1 has been Ray's, and I'm glad to be vindicated by other Coast readers. However, I'm still continuing my quest. It wouldn't be quixotic if it ended so easily, after all.
By Jesse de Leon