One of my favourite places to eat in Calgary is only open Friday through Sunday and has just four seats. Eats of Asia resides in a little booth at Crossroads Farmers Market, but the space it occupies now actually seems huge compared to where it used to be. I first discovered this little gem at Market on Macleod, another Calgary farmers market, where it was literally a hole in the wall, barely big enough for two people to move around in. Their small stature was in no way detrimental to the quality of their food, though. It was love at first bite!
Eats of Asia serves just that – a variety of dishes inspired by the cuisines of my favourite culinary continent. From Sichuan, to Japanese, to Korean, to Taiwanese, to Filipino, Jay and his team do a bit of everything, and they do it all very well. They even sneak in a fun little nod to Hawaii with their Spam Musubi – everyone’s favourite canned meat wrapped in rice and seaweed. Pulling inspiration from so many different cuisines can be a dangerous endeavour, and I’ve seen many places try it and fail, but these guys know what they’re doing.
I’ve tried many of Eats of Asia’s offerings and have yet to be disappointed. Order the Dan Dan Noodles and you’ll be treated to a unique performance as one of the chefs hand pulls giant strands of dough right before your eyes. The chewy noodles and tender, gingery pork you’ll receive when it’s all said and done proves that the dish has lots of substance to go along with its style. The Lucky Pig Bao also features pork, but this time it’s a juicy piece of belly stuffed inside a pillowy soft steamed bun and topped with sweet hoisin and crunchy peanuts. If you’re looking for a southern staple with a twist, watch social media to see when the Korean Chicken and Waffles are on the menu. Crispy but oh so juicy, the chicken is everything you could want and more, and it’s fried in bite sized pieces, which gives extra surface area for that crunchy coating. The waffles have no trouble standing up to the savoury gochujang sauce and the subtly sweet syrup – no soggy waffles to be found here! If your chicken and waffles dreams aren’t destined to come true, Eats of Asia also offers the chicken on its own. Think of an order of chicken nuggets with an enormous flavour boost and way less mystery meat.
If you head down to Crossroads Market on a weekend you might see me at Eats of Asia, waiting to try something else off of their incredible menu. They also bring out their food truck every now and then, so these far east flavours might be coming to a ‘hood near you. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you order one of everything.