Asian Supermarket Hot Bar

So the other day I was kind of side swept with a cold. I’ve been feeling a bit run down lately, but just chalked it up to not catching enough Zs. My immune system sucks, so the other day I felt crappy in general and in need of some comforting food. When I get a cold sushi is generally out of the question (since I can’t taste it), so I went for option number two – Chinese.

Hiya, hot bar!

Man, that hot bar at the new Asian Supermarket is awesome – $5.13 (looks like they fixed the slight error I mentioned in my previous post, where it was ringing up at $5.16) for the 3 items from the buffet + rice/noodle. I initially wanted congee, but they were out of it for the day.

I got some simple fried rice (I think just egg white, scallion, and onion) as my carb. The onion was still nice and crunchy but sweet. I know I’m sick when I opt for rice over noodles. It’s weird, but it’s one of those sick-foods I really crave when I’m feeling a little under the weather, and this fried rice was perfect. Lightly flavored. It was like regular rice, but just a little better. I might start tossing in some diced onion with my rice in the rice cooker to see how that comes out.

For the 3 dishes I got:
Baby bok choy with garlic (the top left greenery with white bits on it). Holy crap, this was excellent. Like, NYC restaurant excellent. The greens were nice and wilty, while the stalks were just softened but still had a crunch to them. The light broth they were in made them taste almost buttery. Yum. And not too greasy either. This was possibly my favorite dish since it tasted so refreshing and good.
In the center are mustard greens and 1 slice of roasted duck. The duck was moist but not fatty, and the piece I got was very flavorful. Initially I thought these were bitter melon, so I was all “Woo hoo, I bet this is great for my cold!”, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought it resembled the stalk of mustard greens, especially since it tasted very mild in bitterness for a bitter melon. Either way, the flavors were very complimentary (and the greens also went very well with the fried rice).
On the top right is pork spare ribs and fried tofu. Also very good. The tofu absorbed a lot of the sauce and the insides were full of liquidy goodness. The fried exterior helped it maintain shape. They were in a slightly sweet [but more] salty sauce.

And guess what? Albany John went to check them out later that day too. He also got the mustard and duck and wasn’t a fan of the bitterness. He’d also gotten some other green that was bitter, so he was bitter-overloaded that day. He said he wished he’d tried the bok choy since it looked good and I casually mentioned (read: totally rubbed in his face) that I’d gotten it and it was fucking awesome.
I think this hot buffet is really affordable and could easily feed a very hungry person for lunch, or two people who aren’t big eaters. Or two people who also get a bun or something (they’re right behind you. Get one, they look good). And it’s also such a treat since it’s not too greasy and well made.
The only hard part is not eating it all because it tastes so good.

9 comments
  1. i'm glad the bok choy made you feel better, lady : )

  2. Vic said:

    Swwweeeet! I just drove by there today, and wondered what they had inside … Now, I'll have to check it out … Thanks!

  3. Zenzele said:

    I've gone three days in a row, and I've enjoyed it each time.

  4. Mr.Dave said:

    I don't know why, but I feel too shy to go up to the counter and order something. I feel like I wouldn't know what to call things and they would point and laugh at me, the stuff always looks very good though. I think they had a bean curd and goat meat dish last time I was there. By the way, they sell little microwaveable tins of congee at the market, I have one in the pantry right now waiting for me to get a good hangover (congee is supposed to be good for hangover, no?).

  5. phairhead – magical properties, baby!

    Vic – Get in there!

    Zenzele – awesome! What's been your favorite dish so far?

    Mr. Dave – Oh, I just point and ask since I don't speak Chinese either. They speak enough English so that they can tell you the basics of what's in the dish (I had no idea what the pork and tofu was until I asked).

  6. Anonymous said:

    Can you tell me where this new Asian Supermarket is?

    Thanks.

  7. Hey Anon – it's on Central Ave right next to Bryant and Stratton College (like, neighbors)

  8. pjt said:

    Your picture shows your order in a to go container. Does the store have an eat in area in it?

  9. Yoyi said:

    Hi Albany Jane!

    I have to check out Asian Supermarket. I live in Pittsfield MA but I'm willing to drive for Asian food 🙂

    I guess you are an expert of food places in Albany. I was wondering where you can buy a whole roasted pig (Filipino/Chines style) in Albany?

    Thanks!

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