Asia Mall, Eden Prairie’s new pan-Asian shopping mall, is still in a soft opening phase as it debuts in the western suburbs. But that didn’t stop crowds of people in search of steaming hot pot, fresh seafood and tropical produce, and sweet bubble tea from pouring through its doors on Sunday, November 20. A grand opening had originally been planned for Sunday, but mall representatives pushed it back, extending the soft opening. Still, there was an unmissable sense of celebration and delight as people shopped and dined over the weekend.
Not all of Asia Mall’s vendors are up and running yet — CrunCheese Korean Hot Dog and Snowbing Korean Shaved Ice, for example, are still being built out. But many of the mall’s cornerstone restaurants were open for service this weekend. On the first floor, Hometaste Hong Kong Cuisine had whole roast ducks on display. Servers rushed around Pho Mai, serving fragrant bowls of pho tai and plates of bun nem nuong, while just outside, a line of people waited to buy boxes of mochi doughnuts from Bober Tea & Mochi Dough, the Dinkytown staple’s new sister venture.
At the market, shelves of Korean pears, peony grapes, and Hami melons were well picked-over, and shoppers loaded their carts with frozen dumplings, packs of dried Thai plums, and shrimp snacks, venturing into the seafood market for whole fish and live blue crabs. Upstairs, people queued for Hot Pot City, Uni Uni Bubble Tea, Legendary Spice Chinese Kitchen & Bar, and Dosirak, a spot for Korean barbecue and bibimbap.
Asia Mall was spearheaded by broker Marshall Nguyen, who, as Sahan Journal reports, was inspired to create a one-stop-shop for Asian groceries and dining in the Twin Cities. Though the metro is home to other excellent markets for shopping and dining — like Hmongtown Marketplace and Hmong Village, Original Karen Market, United Noodles, and Ha Tien Super Market, among others — Asia Mall is the first of its kind in the Twin Cities, taking its cues from pan-Asian malls and markets that are especially popular on the west coast. As Bring Me The News reports, another Asian supermarket and food hall is planned for Burnsville next year.
Asia Mall hasn’t announced a date for its official grand opening yet, but keep an eye on its Instagram or Facebook pages for updates. In the meantime, grab free tickets to visit during the soft opening phase here — and take a peek at these scenes from the weekend.