Monday, July 03, 2006
Up 'til about a year ago, Simpang Asia market was one of those treasure-troves waiting to be exposed. It's two blocks away from home and if I was ever in need of an Asian snack—from generic Chinese shrimp chips to the lastest Pocky box from Japan—it was sure to be there. You could also get a basic Indonesian meal like nasi goreng, pictured above, or a simple plate of chicken and rice, each for under $5. The staff was always friendly and food was out in a jiffy.
So then Jonathan Gold writes up the place. Months later, the neighboring croissant shop goes under and Simpang Asia expands its lot. Now it's turned into one of those hip loitering spots where the cashiers throw around a lotta attitude, and food (see above) takes nearly 30 minutes to come out. (I started wondering if they were waiting for the rice to grow.) And even then, it was utterly bland. Most prices have increased by a dollar, too.
So sadly, Simpang Asia has dropped a few notches from my list of favorites. It's still fun to walk up and down the grocery aisle, though. They have a good selection of Asian condiments, not to mention fresh-squeezed mango juice. Just steer clear of the staff.