I was in disbelief when I first heard about Asia Mall. It was a while back when the plans were announced to turn a vacant sporting goods store into a mall with various vendors of Asian food and other goods.
The most shocking thing about it? It was going to be built in my hometown of Eden Praire.
Growing up in EP, I got used to the fact that our town was mainly filled with chains when it came to dining options. Sure, there were a few independent restaurants like Lion’s Tap, but we also had many of the major chains. It was, for better or worse, typical suburbia. A good place to grow up, but not much culinary excitement.
So the fact that Asia Mall was going to be built in Eden Prairie was exciting for me — even though I now live 45 minutes away. But I still have family in the area, so this made for a good excuse to visit.
That’s exactly what I did recently when my family and I met up with mom for dinner at Asia Mall. Of all the dinner options there, I was most interested in the hot pot restaurant. We ate there and really enjoyed it; I’d recommend checking it out.
But perhaps the thing I was most anticipating during my first trip to the Asia Mall was the mochi donuts. What is a mochi donut, you’re wondering? I wasn’t entirely sure myself. I knew it was a Japanese take on the donut, with rings that looked a bit different than your classic donut. The shop in Asia Mall is a chain, Mochi Dough. The company’s website describes mochi donuts as such:
Our Japanese inspired donuts use rice flour instead of traditional yeast to create a uniquely airy and chewy inside with a perfectly crisp outside.
Made fresh throughout each day with multiple flavor options, our donuts’ famous “pon de ring” shape allows you to enjoy each bite, one pull at a time.
So there you have it.
There was another Mochi Dough that opened in Minneapolis a while back, but I had yet to try it. That meant this would be my first foray into mochi donuts.
Simply put, these were awesome.
They’re made fresh, and like anything made fresh, they’re best eaten right away. We got six different flavors and sampled all six right away. (Well, I should amend that. My son wanted his own, a fruit loops donut, so I didn’t taste that one. But he seemed to love it.)
The flavors we did try were: taro, black sesame, strawberry (it might have been strawberry shortcake; I forgot…), churro, and matcha. All were good, but the strawberry was my winner, followed by the matcha. If I had to rule one out, it would be the black sesame. It was a bit too savory.
We ate these before sitting down for the hot pot dinner, so we didn’t finish all of them while still fresh. I did eat more after dinner (for the blog, of course!), and they were still good, but not nearly as good when they were warm and fresh. So again, if you go there and get these, eat ’em while they’re hot. And be prepared to wait in line. We were there on a Sunday night, and I probably waited 10 minutes to order. I’d heard that the line when Asia Mall first opened was over an hour, which even for me is a long time to wait for donuts…
The rest of Asia Mall is worth checking out as well. There’s a full market filled with various Asian goods that you can’t find at your typical grocery store. There are also several other restaurants, including a pho place that seemed quite popular.
But of course, this is a donut blog. So I’m here to give my seal of approval to mochi donuts in general, and Mochi Dough in particular. Next time you’re in the West Metro, consider stopping at Asia Mall for some great food and tasty donuts.