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Aug 15, 2006 04:29 PM

Calgary - I'm loving the "New Asian Invasion" in Mall Food Courts

Used to be, the only Asian food in Malls was either Manchu Wok /Sizzling Wok /Tiki Ming (all N.A. Chinese) or Edo Japan. But times are changing and there is some good stuff out there.

Here are my top three, in no particular order, feel free to comment on them or add your own picks

Thai Express - Market Mall

I absolutely love their Tom Yam (hot and sour) Soups, they are my favourite in the City after Thai Sa-On. Also love the green and yellow curry dishes and the General's chicken. Almost everything under $7.

Thai Tai - Deerfoot Meadows
The name is confusing, because most of the food seems to be Vietnamese. I hear they also have a location on 17th Ave near WCHS.
I like the Subs (though not nearly as good as Thi Thi) and the soups and vermicelli dishes are great too

Koryo BBQ - North Hill Mall

Just tried this place yesterday after walking by it for 2 years. It was really good for Mall Food! I had the Jubmo Combo and they don;t mess around with the word here -- You get short ribs, sliced beef, chicken, 2 dumplings, 4 veggie side dishes, and 2 scoops of rice for $8.49. It was all quite tasty, especially the short ribs!
One question - Do koreans normally eat their veggies cold? Because mine were.

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  1. I tried Thai Express last time I was at Market Mall- not bad at all, esp as they didn't skimp on the jasmine rice and the curry was served, as it should be, in a bowl to be eaten with a spoon (they seemed thrilled that I knew to ask for a spoon!). There's another at the Eaton Centre food court.

    Thai Tai has at least 3 locations- 17th Ave (correct, just east of WCHS), Deerfoot Meadows and 1st St dt right by Fiasco Gelato. I've heard that they named it "thai tai" to make people think it was "thi thi," but their logo is completely different, and yes, this is first and foremost a vietnamese sub shop. We prefer Kim Anh on 17th but you have to respect thai tai's ambition in becoming a bona fide viet sub chain.

    Koryo has been there for years, and I'm glad to see you mention it! I love that place- there is another in the 5th and 5th food court downtown. Yes, the side dishes are cold, but it is a DELIGHT to get their garlic potato salad when it is warm- one of my favourite things in the world.

    3 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      There's a third Koryo in the otherwise dire food court at 5th and 5th; 605 5th Ave SW on the west side of the downtown.

      Most Korean sides are served cold. And even cold, Koryo's garlic potatoes are truly proof that God loves us. Particularly with the barbecue sauce, even though it bears an uncanny resemblance to Thousand Island. I've been to Korea, and it was amazing how much eating cold and lukewarm food for a week drained my tour group. (Okay, the food we were served was also just plain bad sometimes.) The duck BBQ the last night had us jumping for joy, because food cooked at the table meant we ate hot food!

      1. re: ByeByeBaby

        I've tried reproducing these with oven-fried potatoes and mayo-garlic-dash of soy-dash of rice vinegar-sugar, it tastes delicious but not close enough to Koryo- any ideas what's in it?

        I said there was a location at 5th and 5th and one at North Hill- since the one at 28th/Memorial SE has been closed for years, which location is the third you mention? 605 5th Ave *is* 5th/5th, isn't it?

        1. re: John Manzo

          There is one in 5th Avenue Place as well, which is at 5th Avenue and 1st Street (or 2nd street, depending on how you look at it).

    2. I'm Koryo happy as well and glad that Northhill is part of my commute these days.

      1. I've seen Koryo but haven't tried it as of yet. I might make a point to go today for lunch. I 've also seen a place called Choices that I believe is Asian inspired. I believe they have a restaurant in bow valley square and then a couple little food court type places as well around downtown. Has anyone tried it?

        3 Replies
        1. re: CJL

          I think Choices is like Veggierama- more of a sandwich/salad "healthy options" place... No, never tried it.

          1. re: John Manzo

            John, Choices is Asian-inspired. They take "themes" from a bunch of the Asian culture, and then serve it on rice or noodle pretty much. They have Pho as well.

            I have been - CJL is right that they are littered all around downtown. It's very very average at best, but takeout is pretty cheap, so you can't complain too much. Nothing as good as Koryo though... not even close.

            CJL, if you go, the combo that the OP talked about is my fave as well (only problem is they deep fry their dumplings). However, if you want something the lighter, the salmon is surprisingly decent with sauce.

            1. re: yen

              Thanks yen. It's only 10:30 but i'm already getting hungry thinking about lunch now.

        2. "One question - Do koreans normally eat their veggies cold? Because mine were."

          I eat at Koryo fairly often and I find they sometimes ask if you want the veggies heated. Even a microwave doesn't kill the garlic potatoes! Depending on what else I have I'll sometimes go for heating. I've also asked if they haven't already offered. I prefer the green beans and noodles cold tho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sharonanne

            Thanks Sharon!!! I will remember that next time