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A person grabs a mochi doughnut off a bakery shelf to put it in a box.
Mochi doughnuts from Bober Tea & Mochi Dough, Pho Mai’s new venture.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities

Scenes from Asia Mall’s Sizzling Second Weekend

The new pan-Asian Eden Prairie mall is already one of the most exciting dining destinations in the Twin Cities

Justine Jones is the editor of Eater Twin Cities.

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.

Hot Pot City

Diners sit around a table sharing hot pot and laughing.
Hot Pot City is on the second floor of Asia Mall.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities
A buffet of fresh vegetables with a shelf stacked with white plates above it.
The hot pot buffet.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities

Boba from Uni Uni Bubble Tea

A person dressed in black puts the lid on a tall orange drink. Also on the counter are two tall drinks with boba and red lychee, and a smaller green drink.
Baristas worked nonstop at the bubble tea counter over the weekend.
Tim Evans/Eater Twin Cities

Mochi doughnuts from Bober Tea & Mochi Dough

White mochi doughnuts topped with Fruity Pebbles and other mochi doughnuts topped with green frosting in the background.
Some shoppers waited more than an hour to buy a box of mochi doughnuts.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities

Pho Mai

Egg rolls sit on a bed of rice noodles, shredded carrots, and peanuts.
Vegetarian eggrolls and noodles from Pho Mai.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities
A person carries a tray with a pork and rice dish, banh mi, and spring rolls.
A Pho Mai spread.
Tim Evans/Eater Twin Cities
A family sits at a long table eating together.
Members of the Li, Xing, and Zhou families dine together at Pho Mai.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities

The mall itself

The exterior of Asia Mall: two brick pillars flank glass doors and windows, and a large crowing archway reads “Asia Mall.”
Asia Mall resides in a former Gander Mountain.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities
The interior of the mall, with a balcony wrapping around the second floor and a large open space on the first floor with many cashiers and shoppers.
A view of the market from the second floor.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities

Asian Mart 88

Large frozen item areas and shoppers milling around the shelves at Asian Mart 88.
Shoppers in the frozen section at Asian Mart 88.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities
An array of orange persimmons.
Persimmons in the produce section.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities
Fresh blue crabs piled on one another.
Fresh blue crabs.
Tim Evans / Eater Twin Cities

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