Assi Food Court
Has anyone been there recently? I've checked some older threads, but haven't found too much information on what's available there currently. I'm a big fan of the H Mart food court in Elkins Park, and I'm hoping to find a similarly delicious experience up in North Wales. Any information would be appreciated!
Just a quick trip into Assi recently for a watermelon, but grabbed a smoothie from the court. They are delicious. If the lady is not there, just stand at the booth for a minute or do what we did, got our groceries and then checked back. My friend John and his mom also went there and his mom tried bubble tea for the first time.
re: Hungryin theBurbs
Yeah, it can be a bit intimidating if you're not sure of the protocol. The first thing to know is that all orders are placed at the register, which is straight ahead as you go up the escalator. When you order, they give you a small receipt with a number on it; when you see that number pop up on the stall from whose menu you picked, your order is ready to pick up. You pick up your food at the stall containing your item (don't forget to grab cutlery, napkins, and water). When you're done, you return your loaded trays to the rack at the far end of the window from the registers.
Basically, as you go up, on your left is the Vietnamese stall (recently re-opened) and the choices for Korean fried chicken. I've only had the banh mi at the Vietnamese stall (terrible) but my father says their pho is decent, and the Korean fried chicken is really tasty as long as you're prepared to wait at least 20 minutes for it.
On your right, the stall closest to the window is Chinese/Korean hybrid food. They have the jjampong, ja jyung mein, ja jyung bap, japchae, some stir fries and other things I'm forgetting. From that stall, I like the jjampang, a very spicy noodle soup with seafood. The wool myun has a mild, egg drop soup-consistency broth, but is also loaded with seafood and noodles. The other dishes are fairly standard renditions - but the ja jyung bap is super comforting. I also had an awesome spicy stir fried squid, but I'm not sure which window that was from.
The next window is more purely Korean, and mostly soups/stews. That's where you find soon doo boo, the spicy soft tofu stew with seafood - and it's usually pretty awesome - and also bi bim bap, the rice bowl with an egg and lots of veggies. Those are pretty much all I order from that window.
The third stall from the window, on the right is also Korean, but has some more cooked food options. They have steamed buns, dumplings, Kim Bap (the Korean bastardization of maki - but a tasty bastardization), and my mom's favorite, the mandu soup, which has a mild broth, rice cakes, and tender dumplings in it. That stall also has ramyun (don't bother, go downstairs and get a packet of Nong Shim), Dduk bok ki - spicy stir fried rice cakes (YUM), and the Korean version of tonkatsu.
The last stall on the right is quick service Japanese - udon, sushi, teriyaki, tempura etc - but pretty much everything I've had from there was quite good. The tempura is nicely greaseless, and the fish is consistently fresh.
As you can tell, I'm a frequent visitor to this food court - it's reasonably priced and has a ton of tasty choices. Living 1/2 mi away doesn't hurt either. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Assi's overriding strong points are its fresh produce (a third of which I've never heard of), incredible fresh fish selection, and practically every Asian and Latino food staple you can name. The food court offers some terrific and reasonably priced Asian fare. If you cook Asian or Latino, make your list of necessities, bring a cooler and make sure to stay for lunch.
Now that it's warm, hit Friends' for cold kimchi noodles. They are fantastic - cold noodles with chopped kimchi, hot pepper paste, sesame oil/paste, romaine, and a hard boiled egg. Also if you need something to pass at summer parties the sushi stand does lovely trays at great prices.
We were there right before easter. I wish I could tell you which restaurant was which, but I'm terribly bad with names. The one booth closest to the store itself, not in the same line as the others was good. We had fried vegetables, I had a soup, and hubby had some sort of fried pork thing that was AWESOME. It came with pickled yellow radishes that I have not been able to find. Would love to know what they were. (I'm assuming they were radishes...violent highlighter yellow) and the other place is next to the sushi booth makes a spicy squid with udon I really like. You often get kimchi or kimchi style cabbage and broth with the entrees.
You order, pay, and they give you a big plastic number to stick on the table you pick, and bring your food.
I'm still confused with the tray situation. The one time I returned it, it was made clear that I should have left it. The time we left it, we got icy stares. Usually we just order enough that there are leftovers so that solves the problem...I return to the window and ask for take out containers. :)
I really like the bubble tea there as well, and I've seen lots of awesome looking sushi but never tried that.
Thanks for the report sommrluv. I haven't dined there in awhile but my friend and I usually eat at the place by itself. Friends I think? There was a trash receptacle and tray shelf right by that restaurant so we took our stuff there. I think each restaurant wants their own not disposable dishes back so that is what we have done in the past. Maybe things have changed since we were last there to eat. I still miss the yaki bun hut in the middle of Assi. Sniff.
Yes, that is Friends. The yellow pickled radishes are sold in the refrigerated case opposite the beverage aisle. It is near the sliced rice cake and not yet sliced so it's a yellow half round in a vacuum sealed package.
I return our trays to the vendor. There is a place to set them near the garbage receptacles but if you have dishes on them it's not a great idea. Just return the tray and say thank you.
Thanks for everyone's responses! I went on Friday night, and my overall impression is that I definitely prefer the More Food Court above the Elkins Park H Mart. We got mandu and jjampong from the Friends stall, and sushi and hwae dup bap from Sushi Express. The mandu is the only thing I thought might have been better than the version we get at H Mart, with lots of tender dumplings and rice cakes. I found the jjampong overly spicy, in a harsh way, and the fish in the sushi was ice cold. Even the eel avocado roll wasn't warm! The hwae dup bap was premade, for which I won't fault it, but the amount of fish was extremely minimal for the price. Reminds me of what I used to get at the Tokyo Sushi stall in the Comcast Ctr food court.
Glad I got to try a new place, but I'm even happier that I live so close to the H Mart food court!
PS - I will say that the market at Assi is MUCH more impressive than the H Mart, especially the product section. Definitely a shopping destination!