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Assi International Food Plaza

Assi International Food Plaza
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  • Post #31 - April 7th, 2008, 7:10 am
    Post #31 - April 7th, 2008, 7:10 am Post #31 - April 7th, 2008, 7:10 am
    Da Beef wrote:
    JoelF wrote:I found wide, flat rice noodles, which I haven't seen since Di-Ho market in Morton Grove changed names (here comes a batch of pad si-ew tomorrow night).

    I took the ride because I had read on here that they carry fresh flat rice noodles for chow fun and it took me 35 minutes to locate them but they do have them. Due to the language barrier I was lead to different places and told by a few others they didnt carry them but after I remembered seeing some fresh noodles in the produce section, I found them sitting there with the tofu. They are not with the other fresh noodles section located near the meats. Im excited for my first homemade batch of beef chow fun tomorrow night, well see how that goes.

    It sounds like you were after a different pasta that I was: I was looking for the southeast asian rice noodle, which comes in big chewy sheets to be sliced for dishes such as pad si ew and lad nar. I found those in a central aisle on a refrigerated case near the meat section.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #32 - April 7th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #32 - April 7th, 2008, 10:12 am Post #32 - April 7th, 2008, 10:12 am
    JoelF wrote:It sounds like you were after a different pasta that I was: I was looking for the southeast asian rice noodle, which comes in big chewy sheets to be sliced for dishes such as pad si ew and lad nar. I found those in a central aisle on a refrigerated case near the meat section.


    Same thing, I think, but it wasnt with the other fresh refrigerated noodles last night. Were talking about those little packages of rice noodle with the red lettering from the distribution company Sunkee food INC...used to make lad nar and chow fun. I literally looked up and down in every aisle for 35 minutes until I realized the only refrigerated spot I hadnt looked hard was the tofu section in the produce area...tada!!

    For anyone that cares the price for a 1/lb package is $.89.
  • Post #33 - April 7th, 2008, 4:00 pm
    Post #33 - April 7th, 2008, 4:00 pm Post #33 - April 7th, 2008, 4:00 pm
    I got to Assi yesterday and, despite the crowds, quite enjoyed it. I'm only sorry that I ate before going, because the food court looks much more interesting than the one at H-Mart -- so next trip I'll go ready for lunch. For me, it's closer than H-Mart, so I'll probably get to Assi more often.

    I was also interested to note that the clientele was more diverse than at H-Mart. I'd guess 1/4 of the people there yesterday were Indian.

    All in all, a fun place to go when my nice by slightly less astonishing local stores aren't giving me all I need.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #34 - April 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm
    Post #34 - April 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm Post #34 - April 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm
    Went today, would say exactly what Cynthia said. I will definitely be making a trip back with my camera...it's interesting to see the little variations between Asian megamarts. Assi struck me as being a bit slicker than H-Mart (due in part to its newness, I suppose) and the layout is a little better, especially for the food court and bakery.

    I also found the non-food stores to be interesting, although it's a shame they don't have a toy store. Jewelry, health foods, a "Japanese Dollar Store" and a store that seemed an Asian equivalent to Woolworth's, all very neatly packaged in their niches. The bakery doesn't seem as European as H-Mart's - they do have the perfectly square bread.

    The produce section is a little smaller than H-Mart but has a lot of the same stuff (I found Yali Pears, they had mint, basil, and curry leaves) I purchased Kalbi and Bulgogi from the bar (where you bag it up yourself but need to take it to the counter to be priced, a slightly clumsy system, though the service was very helpful) and grabbed shredded daikon to go with it; I think they have a smaller frozen food area than HMart, and slightly more Japanese foods: there's a little sushi bar that has the single-serving, cello-wrapped susi portions - by the time I got there, there wasn't much variety, but I was in between lunch and dinner, so it may have been replenished later. Though still very Korean, it seems to me they carry slightly more Japanese foods than H-Mart; there were quite a few places where I ran into the translucent mochi balls.
  • Post #35 - April 9th, 2008, 9:17 pm
    Post #35 - April 9th, 2008, 9:17 pm Post #35 - April 9th, 2008, 9:17 pm
    Mhays wrote:...although it's a shame they don't have a toy store...

    Yeah... I was hoping for someone stocking Gundam models. The guy who was in Mitsuwa years ago has turned into a hermit, won't let people browse his store and only sells on eBay.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #36 - April 18th, 2008, 10:06 pm
    Post #36 - April 18th, 2008, 10:06 pm Post #36 - April 18th, 2008, 10:06 pm
    I wrote them an e-mail asking why it's taken them so long to get their weekly ad up... while Super H kills their marketshare... It has arrived:

    http://www.lotteplaza.com/branch/branch ... &action=ad
  • Post #37 - April 20th, 2008, 8:46 pm
    Post #37 - April 20th, 2008, 8:46 pm Post #37 - April 20th, 2008, 8:46 pm
    Took the family on a trip to Assi today, here are some pix (note what the Japanese restaurant is serving!)

    Japanese Dollar Store at the entrance
    Image
    Excellent selection of tomatoes, including heirlooms and Camparis
    Image
    "Sushi Dup Bap"
    Image
    Wait for it...CHEESE KATSU
    Image
    Yes, it's true - Katsu topped with melted cheddar cheese and I don't care, it was damn good!

    We also had Yu bu cho bap and kim bap (sorry, Sharona, I had to ask them what it's called again) and a fair beef-noodle soup with nice panchan (kimchi, pickled daikon and a couple of crisp broccoli florets with a sweet/spicy sauce) We ended with the little fish-shaped sweet bean cake and a honey/cinnamon/green tea Hoduck pancake which was really, really good (the 'spouse called it an Asian funnel cake)
  • Post #38 - May 4th, 2008, 11:21 pm
    Post #38 - May 4th, 2008, 11:21 pm Post #38 - May 4th, 2008, 11:21 pm
    JoelF wrote:There's a sushi counter in the main store, kind of sparse at 6PM, but there are single nigiri for $.79

    Joel,

    Stopped at Assi Saturday and simply could not resist single serve sushi, individually wrapped no less.

    Nigiri Sushi, Assi Plaza
    Image

    Sushi was not particularly delectable, about the same, maybe a shade better, than most grocery store premade.

    Salmon, yellowtail
    Image

    There was quite the crowd in the seafood section, with a feisty bunch of customers, young and old, vying for an equally feisty bunch of blue crab. It was really quite a sight, a worker would dump a bushel of very lively crabs on a low metal crab corral and, quick as a wink, the throngs would clean them out. I watched for a few minutes, about 3 bushels worth, thought about snapping up a few crab, but couldn't get within 6-feet.

    Overall I quite liked the store, a little more manageable than H-Mart with a wider selection of non Korean items. As Assi is more than double the travel distance than H-Mart I doubt I will go often, but then again single serve sushi may call. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #39 - May 6th, 2008, 2:34 am
    Post #39 - May 6th, 2008, 2:34 am Post #39 - May 6th, 2008, 2:34 am
    Produce is good but H-Mart has a better produce section. I think the (Asian) international mix is about the same, really. For example H-Mart carries my favorite brand of Japanese instant noodles and I did not see them at Assi. Assi maybe has a higher proportion of Filipino goods, but with Pinoy and Uni-Mart there in Niles, I wouldn't go to either for that. It seemed to me that prices were a bit higher than H-Mart except for obvious loss leaders like 10 bunches of green onions for 99 cents (anybody have a good pa kimchi recipe?)

    Assi has a more appealing selection of banchan, with both packaged types and a serve-yourself bar. (I did not actually get to taste the banchan we bought, because they somehow never got carried in with the rest of the groceries and Himself, finding them after driving off in the car, ate them all.)

    H-Mart doesn't have a hot filled pancake maker.

    Assi's bakery is a branch of Crescent Bakery in Arlington Heights.

    I will be adding Assi to my mix of Niles shops. I still visit the smaller Hana Super and Asia Super Mart, too.
  • Post #40 - July 29th, 2008, 3:13 pm
    Post #40 - July 29th, 2008, 3:13 pm Post #40 - July 29th, 2008, 3:13 pm
    Heretofore unaware of its existence, I deviated from my weekly stop at H-Mart to check out Assi last weekend.

    The banchan is better here, and I like the feeding frenzy that is the shellfish island. Great deals on shrimp here; I also got a 2lb bag of mussels for $2. They had bulk almonds for $2.99/lb. I liked the pre-marinated meats as well.

    But this place lost me on the produce: I'd say about 2/3rds of the peaches and plums I bought were bunk--and few things disappoint me like a bunk plum. I've had the occasional bad apple--literal and figurative--from H-Mart, but they are usually consistent; Assi, however, didn't leave a great first impression.
  • Post #41 - July 29th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    Post #41 - July 29th, 2008, 4:48 pm Post #41 - July 29th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    Chezbrad- I agree about the poor 1st impression by Assi. We vowed never to come back, but interestingly enough (and a complete surprise to me) I think Assi is actually killing H-Mart in terms of customers. The masses have left en masse for Assi. The deals ARE cheaper at Assi.

    Re: the mussels - they ARE cheap; We bought a pack to try, but found them "murkier" tasting than we like. We usually buy the huge mussel bag at Costco, and in comparison, it seemed the ones at Assi tasted less pristine. Maybe some people like the stronger taste. I thought maybe it was due to farm-raised product (at Costco) vs wild dredged product (from Assi). Their clams and shrimp are pretty inexpensive too (I'm guessing their clams are also wild product).

    Re: the produce - We were pretty turned off by the produce selection as well; It's hard to say why, but things just seemed "cheaper" in quality. Was kinda like shopping at an Asian version of Stanley's.
  • Post #42 - July 29th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Post #42 - July 29th, 2008, 6:19 pm Post #42 - July 29th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    LAZ wrote:I still visit the smaller Hana Super and Asia Super Mart, too.

    I'm sad to report that Hana Super at Golf and Milwaukee has bowed to the competition and shut its doors.

    I do urge folks to check out Asia Super Mart north on Milwaukee, too. It's a nice store with a good banchan bar, and you can get in and out of there much faster than at either H-Mart or Assi.

    Asia Super Mart
    847/297-4949
    9800 N. Milwaukee Ave.
    Des Plaines
  • Post #43 - August 2nd, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Post #43 - August 2nd, 2008, 6:19 pm Post #43 - August 2nd, 2008, 6:19 pm
    how is it? I am a fan of Mitsuwa's and haven't read a lot of positive things about HMart, so thought i'd check out ASSI's. Thanks
    SAVING ONE DOG MAY NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT IT CHANGES THE WORLD FOR THAT ONE DOG.
  • Post #44 - August 2nd, 2008, 7:49 pm
    Post #44 - August 2nd, 2008, 7:49 pm Post #44 - August 2nd, 2008, 7:49 pm
    I had some salmon and avocado rolls from there a couple of weeks ago for a quick snack- they were pretty good. Last time I looked at the sushi at HMart, the fish looked kinda gray, so I passed on it. I'd definitely go back to Assi's food court, though.
  • Post #45 - August 3rd, 2008, 8:35 am
    Post #45 - August 3rd, 2008, 8:35 am Post #45 - August 3rd, 2008, 8:35 am
    jleblanc05 wrote:how is it? I am a fan of Mitsuwa's and haven't read a lot of positive things about HMart, so thought i'd check out ASSI's. Thanks


    It really depends on what you want to buy. Having been to all three, I still rely on Mitsuwa for fish. Between Assi and HMart, I like HMart better but I don't make much use of either food court; I go to those places mainly for produce.
  • Post #46 - April 27th, 2010, 11:05 am
    Post #46 - April 27th, 2010, 11:05 am Post #46 - April 27th, 2010, 11:05 am
    LTH,

    Hit Assi just after they opened Sunday morning, produce still being shelved and massive amounts of seafood swimming into place. Food court was empty, one family slurping noodles, though the toasty caramel aroma from the Korean Walnut Cake machine drew me in, resistance was futile.

    Korean Walnut Cake Machine

    Image

    3-4 minutes of no common language gestures resulted in small bag of piping hot red bean filled cakes with a delicious toasty half walnut in the center, 6 for $3. The woman initially wanted to sell me the packaged pre made, hot off the line or nothing for me!

    There was a very funny moment, in an I Love Lucy at the Chocolate Assembly Line sort of way, when the lady made change from my $5. The machine kept running, and she has to oil and place a walnut half in each little cup as it swings past, hilarity ensued, at least from my perspective. ;)

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #47 - January 11th, 2011, 7:53 pm
    Post #47 - January 11th, 2011, 7:53 pm Post #47 - January 11th, 2011, 7:53 pm
    Junk food alert! I went to Assi this weekend for some shopping and a stop by the food court. I noticed that the very walnut cake food stand pictured above in Gary's post is now selling Korean fried chicken AND some pretty tasty panko covered corn dogs. Since I had just eaten some great noodles at Lai Lai, I bought a corn dog to go, which was still all right about an hour or so later on my car ride back downstate to Bloomington.
    By the way, if you ever have the same dilemma as I often do, where you can't decide to get jjajangmyun (black bean noodles) or jjampong (spicy seafood noodles in broth), Lai Lai offers a combo called jjamjamyun, which is offered in a bowl that's divided in half. The only other place where I've seen this offered in Chicagoland is at VIP Restaurant on Montrose. For people who can't decide which Korean-Chinese noodle dish they like better, this is a grand option!
  • Post #48 - January 11th, 2011, 8:03 pm
    Post #48 - January 11th, 2011, 8:03 pm Post #48 - January 11th, 2011, 8:03 pm
    Sharona wrote:Junk food alert! I went to Assi this weekend for some shopping and a stop by the food court. I noticed that the very walnut cake food stand pictured above in Gary's post is now selling Korean fried chicken AND some pretty tasty panko covered corn dogs. Since I had just eaten some great noodles at Lai Lai, I bought a corn dog to go, which was still all right about an hour or so later on my car ride back downstate to Bloomington.
    By the way, if you ever have the same dilemma as I often do, where you can't decide to get jjajangmyun (black bean noodles) or jjampong (spicy seafood noodles in broth), Lai Lai offers a combo called jjamjamyun, which is offered in a bowl that's divided in half. The only other place where I've seen this offered in Chicagoland is at VIP Restaurant on Montrose. For people who can't decide which Korean-Chinese noodle dish they like better, this is a grand option!


    Sharona,
    How was the corn dog? I've seen them, and they're beautiful -- panko or bread-cube coatings, but I wonder about the flavor. Growing up here, I have a hard time eating any dog that isn't a kosher style, or at least spicy.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #49 - January 11th, 2011, 10:48 pm
    Post #49 - January 11th, 2011, 10:48 pm Post #49 - January 11th, 2011, 10:48 pm
    Joel,
    To be honest, the dog itself wasn't all that great, it was skinless, and it almost tasted like one of those ball park dogs I ate growing up ("plump when you cook 'em!"). But the panko coating was darn crispy, even when I ate it lukewarm in the car an hour later. I think they're $1.50, so it's not too bad to try as a one-time thing.

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