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Assi Plaza in Lansdale

  • gjd131 Sep 11, 2008 06:35 AM
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Does anyone have any recommendations in the food court there? I stopped in one time, and it looked great, but its a bit confusing what everything is.

  1. Overwhelming, is more like it.

    There are actually 2 "plaza's", right next to each other. If you are interested in Indian food, there are restauants in both -- one is Sultan, and I believe the other is Greater India. Both are OK, but not comparable to some of the other Indian places reviewed on Chow. LaiLai Garden is OK as well. My sister LOVES the place -- I'm a little more circumspect. The other plaza (the one that doesn't have the Assi market) has a mega Chinese buffet and an Italian place. I haven't tried either.

    I tried shopping at the Assi market, but became very confused. Lots of stuff, but not a lot of direction for non-Asian patrons like me who don't have an in-depth understanding of all of the ingredients & can't read Chinese/Korean. Interestingly enough, they DO have a larger than usual section devoted to hispanic ingredients. Still, it's worth a trip for any foodie. I will be going back, even if I'm in a dazed & confused state! If you are interested in strictly Indian products, there is a market up 309, past the 5-points intersection, on the right. It's called Patel's, and has some very neat stuff.

    9 Replies
    1. re: PattiCakes

      PattiCakes - that's LaiLai Brothers at the Plaza. LaiLai Garden is on 202 just south of 73 in Blue Bell. Same family. My wife and I think LaiLai Garden is better. We've also been intimidated with Assi Market. Glad to see some of the responses, maybe we'll give it another go!

      1. re: bucksguy14

        We should so have a chowhound meeting at the food court. We could each order something different. I wonder how many hounds would show up?

        1. re: givemecarbs

          I would be there in less than 10 minutes!! It would be great fun to meet other Hounds.

        2. re: bucksguy14

          Thanks! My sister turned us on to LL Garden. When she moved to Talamore, she found LL Brothers & started doing take-out from them. She loves it. Her husband travels to China quite a bit, so the chef at LL Brothers will fine-tune certain dishes for him knowing that he can tolerate/appreciate spicier than average food. They have even come out of the kitchen on occassion just to see how he reacts when he eats it. See Mike sweat; see Mike turn beet red; see Mike Mike's lips puff up......

          I'd be up for a meet at Assi Market. It's gotta be a weekend though.

          1. re: PattiCakes

            Anyone else? If this takes off I will be carrying a small stuffed dog to identify myself as a chowhound.

            1. re: PattiCakes

              @PattiCakes ~ How did you get your dog to cooperate with your photo? We live in Talamore as well. Assi is so close and I admit I have been too intimidated to go

              1. re: crazyspice

                I'd go back again too, depending on the day. If anyone has a specific day they are heading up, let everyone know, and we can all meet up.

                1. re: crazyspice

                  Alright, it's time for true confessions. Although we have had a number of Goldern Retreivers, that picture is not my dog. I found it in my web surfing travels, and saved it because I love it so much. I have it hanging on my refrigerator door. God, I miss my goldens.....

                  would love to message off line. You can contact me through Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/user_details?user...

                  Join, then send me a message

            2. re: PattiCakes

              I agree. The LaiLai near Assi is known widely as "the bad LaiLai"—the best one is the one in Blue Bell.

              The food court is nice and cheap for Korean food, and there's a good Korean bakery too, Agape Bakery. I rec. going with someone who can show you around, order what's good, etc.

            3. I too am fascinated by Assi and the food court. I want to try something from the little hut with the red roof inside the Assi supermarket. Last time I went there was a line and people were paying cash. I think someone posted awhile ago that they had korean fried chicken there, and I saw some buns filled with barbecued pork I think. I like to get my fruit and veggies there in the wintertime, I remember a couple of years ago they had really good clementines at a great price. I've gotten bubble tea and hot tea at the food court and tried some baked goods from the bakery there also. I went fairly recently to Assi and got some very good plum sherbert and gawked at all the fresh seafood. People were helping themselves to some very lively live crabs. Maybe a group of us chowhounds can get together and hire a guided tour. I would love to learn more about all the neat stuff they have there. Any knowledgeable chowhounds willing to guide some chowpups through Assi?

              5 Replies
              1. re: givemecarbs

                I would be oh-so-there for a guided tour. I promise not to wear plaid shorts, a Hawiian shirt, knee sox and binoculars.

                1. re: PattiCakes

                  I'm glad I'm not the only one to be overwelmed by the food court there. I think I might stop up there for lunch today and report back with what I try. Givemecarbs, did you try the barbecue pork buns or just see them? They sound like they're worth a try if nothing else looks good. Or the soup that Chefpaulo mentioned. If anyone else has any suggestions before lunchtime, let me know.

                  1. re: gjd131

                    I went to lunch today, and I got Dumpling Ramen from the place called "Friends" in the food court. It came out in a small pot, which was pretty cool, and it was really good, it had a bunch of really good dumplings, noodles, several fresh vegtables, and a spicy broth. It came with Kimchi and some kind of bright yellow crunchy fruit or vegtable. The sushi place looked really good too, but I figured you can already get good sushi at Whole Foods nearby.

                    1. re: gjd131

                      I didn't have any cash on me and it seemed like a cash only business. Thanks for the report, that lunch sounds yummy. Good day for something nice and hot. Yeah going to Assi and the food court for me is like a mini vacation to someplace new. I have got to stop there sometime this weekend and try something I've never had before.

                  2. re: givemecarbs

                    Try the redbean cakes sold in the "Little red hut". Excellent eaten immediately or the next day if you nuke it for 20 seconds and put in a toaster.

                  3. The Korean place at the market food court provides a noodle soup bowl at just under a half gallon (well, maybe 1.5 quarts) for $6. Bringing the leftovers home in a styrfoam box was a bit risky but we made it. But what a bargain!

                    Most of the fun for me at Assi is figuring out what some of the products are. Also, finding exotic ingredients or rarely-seen produce (I almost blew $10 on a fresh durian but have heard tales of the stench) is what keeps me going back time and again. The fish market is amazing, especially if you are looking for sushi grade cuts.

                    For hounds from afar, bring a cooler with some ice packs and be prepared to be blown away. Also, bring an appetite for lunch. Its worth the trip.

                    1. Where is this Plaza?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: scda

                        The address is 1222 Welsh Rd. North Wales, PA 19454. Its on the corner of Welsh and Bell Run Blvd, one shopping center over from the Redner's. Its about 2 minutes from the Montgomery Mall.

                        1. re: gjd131

                          I went there a lot when I used to live up that way. They had these baby crabs in some kind of spicy sauce at the prepared food section. They were no bigger than a nickel, and very salty but delicious. Don't know if they still have them but it's time for another trip back there anyway!

                      2. I used to go there a lot when I lived in the area. I would get udon or ramen most times or yakitori. I am at a bit of an advantage as I spent a considerable amount of time living in Asia. I think that the food is really good, probably the best suburban alternative to Chinatown. I feel like a lot of the workers don't speak english very well, but perhaps if you could find someone who spoke english you would be at more of an advantage? Also, the above poster talked about the yellow pickled stuff- thats prob pickled daikon, takuan.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Mag454

                          Wow! I am determined to eat my way through that food court now! And the little korean fried chicken and bun hut inside Assi too. Any other tips for a noob that will aid me on my quest to educate my palate would be greatly appreciated.

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            Sounds like fun. Like you said, going there is like going on a trip to someplace new. I always make myself pick up a few new items to try. How many places have a Kimchi aisle? Last time I found some japanese chococlates that are in the shape of straw mushrooms. Its also fun to get some 'Bon' snacks from the stand near seafood and eat them while exploring the store. The food court always looks closed when I am there.

                            1. re: xtownj

                              Been meaning to try that stand. What do you recommend?

                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                I have tried the shrimp Bon, veggie Bon (cheese), and the fried sweet potato strips. Everything was tasty. Its fun to watch them make the Bons, they have a special griddle appliance where they form little balls by turning the food. They have a hard time explaining what the ingredients are so I just let them put on whatever toppings they recommend. The spicy orange sauce and white flakes are a good topping combination. They cover the fried sweet potato strips with syrup and powdered sugar, yummy! Enjoy!

                                1. re: xtownj

                                  Was staring at the sweet potato chips yesterday and I finally found the fried chicken area! You pay them directly and there are a lot of choices. I hope someone can fill me in on what they like there. Was too full to get anything because my friend and I finally got around to the food court. We hit Friends and the smoothie place. I got steamed dumplings and my friend got mushroom stir fry with rice. The stir fry was huge, and there were eight or so dumplings with dipping sauce. We also got some nice hot (temp not spice) yellow broth, a small bowl of yellow veggies or fruit, and a little dish of red stuff which I think was kim chi. It was pretty spicy to me. My friend loved the broth best and we devoured almost everything. It was a good value and gave me the sense of adventure that I think is sometimes missing in my life. The smoothie was tasty and hit the spot. Afterwards we just got apples, potatoes, peaches and bananas. I really had to restrain myself though. On the way to the bathroom was the coolest thing ever! A stack of hula hoops with tenacle suckers all around the inside. I wanted to buy one so bad!!!! Must resist! If anyone wants to explain to me more about what we ate that would be great. I want to be a bit more knowledgeable before my next trip but dunno how long I can wait. The hula hoop is calling to me!

                        2. They have excellent produce and the food court is pretty good. The food court sells fresh sushi rolls 3 nice size rolls for $10.00. Try some their soups on cold days. Great stuff. Lot of food for the price.
                          I've been buying their marinated meats from the central food area in front of the fish market area. The meats are great on the grill or cooked as part of a stir fry. I've been sauteing the marinated pork and spicy chicken together and when almost done, I add marinated beef. I dice all of the meat together and load a nuked corn taco with some of the meat, add some srirachi sauce, get out the beer and eat. MMMM!

                          1. Went back to Assi Plaza today and got some fruit and veggies. I'm looking for some help from anyone who's bought fish there. It looks great and I couldn't detect any "fishy" smell. However, my wife is a little concerned about buying fish there. I'm willing to give it a try, but would really like to hear from anyone who's bought from the fresh fish counter.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: bucksguy14

                              When my friend and I went there, she bought Tuna, Halibut and Sword fish. Her husband raved about all three. It was fresh and delicious. I was with her but didn't buy any and I know her husband is picky. Hope that helps!

                              1. re: crazyspice

                                Wow! I will have to give their fish a try. I also have never ordered from the fried chicken place inside Assi. I get mezzed by all the choices and just walk away in a daze and chickenless. Any tips on which chicken to get?

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  Can't help you with that one. I have never eaten there. :-( The one day we were planning on having lunch there, we got a phone call from another friend and ended up at Iron Hill. BTW, I was in TJ's on Friday and they were serving samples of their mushroom and truffle flatbread. YUM!

                                2. re: crazyspice

                                  I thought everything looked very fresh and I didn't pick up any "fishy" odors. I'm happy to hear that your friend's husband was pleased with the fish (he sounds like my wife - very picky!). I'll probably give it a try after Christmas.

                                  1. re: bucksguy14

                                    Please be sure and report back!

                                3. re: bucksguy14

                                  We buy almost all our fish there these days and its great-- and i would add that my husband is a chef and very, very picky about quality having run a seafood market before.

                                  They seem to turn their product over so quickly, it is always very fresh. And I would actually be more inclined to buy there then some of the upscale seafood markets closer to my house.

                                  The tricky part, if you buy fresh whole fish, is getting it cut the way you would like... The language barrier has wound up sending me home with Korean-style filets that i had no idea how to cook. I'm much more careful now when ordering... plus I've brushed up on my spanish!

                                  I would add that they have great prices on live lobster right now too!

                                  Beyond that, we always stock up on fresh produce (especially mushrooms and greens), teas, cactus honey powder, coconut water, frozen shu mai (great for unexpected holiday guests), and all the great condiments. And a pork donut from the food court bakery. :)

                                4. The moderators removed the recent postings because they don't like it when people organize the details of an event on these boards. Makes sense to me. Please write to xtownj@yahoo if you would like to get together at Assi. We can discuss when is best for everyone by email..

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: xtownj

                                    Folks=

                                    xtownj has posted an email address, please discuss all logistics of your dining together via email and not on the board.

                                    Thanks for helping us keep the focus on sharing great chow tips.

                                    1. re: xtownj

                                      We have finally decided on a date to meet: Saturday 1/10 @6pm.

                                      We will meet in the food court which is in the back right corner of the market. Its tucked away behind a big wall and some smaller shops. It will be fun to all order different things and share. Afterwards, we can explore the market. If anyone knows someone who would be a good guide, please bring them along. Hope to see you all there.

                                      Website with map:
                                      http://www.lotteplaza.com/branch/bran...