Eat Boston: Avana Sushi
You know that feeling when you can’t decide between sushi, dumplings, noodles, bubble tea, and egg puffs?
Well I’ve got just the five-restaurants-in-a-room for you. I’ll explain.
I would argue that Avana is more known for their rolls than their sushi, although the sushi still rocks. Top picks are Spicy Tuna/Avocado Roll, Dragon Roll, and the Chirashi Plate.
Choose a filling – Pork/Mushroom, Pork/Leek, Chicken/Mushroom/Leek – then choose fried or boiled. Go with your gut; there is no going wrong.
Just get them. Now.
Enthusiastic, friendly, easy. There isn't much space in here, so don't dawdle and waste it. Please.
Avana Marketplace is a mini-mecca (emphasis on mini) of Asian cuisine, the one open space containing Avana Sushi, Dumpling King, Egg Puffs (aka The Egg Puff Man), Avana Express, and Hot Eastern. It’s difficult to review one without the others, as any visit here tends to end with purchases from at least two of these cramped vendors. Don’t worry though – it’s almost impossible to go wrong.
How To Do It
Avana Sushi is the dominant force in the marketplace, and you’re going to want to order from here if you want to sit; all but two tables are reserved for sushi customers. That being said, you could order just one roll before taking the walk-around for your inevitable dumplings and bubble tea… but, good luck with that. Avana’s sushi is the real deal, despite (or in my opinion, enhanced by) its humble setting, and you’re going to want to stuff your face. Theirs is some of the freshest tasting fish I’ve had in Boston, served on paper or plastic. No frills, only flavor.
The thing is, the presence of piping hot potsticker style dumplings about 4 feet away makes the decision on what to stuff your face with a difficult one. Dumpling King does one thing, two ways: dumpling, fried or boiled. Either is wonderful. And at 10 for $5, you’re not going to find a better dumpling deal in this city. Rarely even a better dumpling.
As for the other purveyors, they fill niches: for dessert the Egg Puff Man will hand you a bag of glorious, sweet, waffley bites for $3 if you’re somehow still hungry after sushi-dumps, or Avana Express will do you very nicely with a cool bubble tea. Hot Eastern is new to the room, and is good, but think standard Chinese takeout and you’ve pretty much got the whole picture.
Altogether Avana Marketplace is simply a cozy, welcoming hole-in-the-wall that turns out mostly great food from all five restaurants within. Come for the sushi, stay for the everything else.
Hey look, another reason Chinatown (and now DTX) rocks! Go figure.
Got a marketplace better than this one? BS, but go on, let's hear it below. I'm listening.