Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed North Austin restaurant Asia Market this week, finding a “sparkling” renovated space and and “expansive” menu he seemed quite taken with.
A fan of the original iteration of Asia Market, which opened in 2004, Odam visited under the new ownership of husband-and-wife team Jenny Chen (daughter of founder Tina Chen) and Eric Yi. He found the restaurant reinvigorated:
You can still find Szechuan-inspired dishes, like a bowl of thin, rippled beef swimming in a scarlet broth tingly with red chili oil, dotted with sesame seeds and draped with floral cilantro; a spicy soup filled with springy housemade noodles and hunks of beef shanks, their hefty sized belied by a supple tenderness; and a dish of wok-fried pork intestine popped with peanuts, colored with numbing peppers.
Odam also enjoyed the house-made dumplings, which are also available frozen in the market section. He discovered that “[e]ven seemingly mundane dishes offer surprises,” praising the “deceptively complex” pan-fried radish cake and egg rolls made with taro.
Though the menu may be less traditional than it once was, Odam recommends repeat Asia Market visits to try it all.
August 26: This article has been updated to reflect that Asia Market and Asia Cafe are two separate businesses.