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Korean Restaurants in Central Jersey

Over on the now sizable "Thai Restaurants in Central Jersey" topic, someone just asked about Korean restaurants in the area. Thought it worth it's own topic.

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  1. The only Korean restaurant in NJ that we've been to is Woo Jeon, on Route 1, in Edison. We were there twice and did the Korean barbecue both times. It was just o.k. No comparison to the far superior one we had at Kang Suh, in NYC. We did order one appetizer off Woo Jeon's regular menu, fried dumplings, which were very good.

    1. Thanks for reposting that. I've only been to Keum Ho Jung on Old Post Road in Edison. I ordered wrong- wanted cold noodles and ordered cold noodle soup which i think is meant to be a side dish- so I can't really judge it yet.

      I'm not that interested in a big bbq dinner. I'd like to find a place like Han Bat in NY which seems to me to be a different kind of Korean restaurant than the bbq places.

      1. Keum Ho Jung is not so great, in my opinion. I haven't eaten at Han Bat but my and my mom's (we're korean) fav. places to go out for korean food in this area are Kimchi Hana at Middlesex Mall for most of its menu plus wonderful 'banchan' and the Edison Noodle House off of Route 1 at the Shoprite complex for noodles and bibimbap.

        2 Replies
        1. re: elliejc

          Does the Edison Noodle House have dolsot bibimbap? Seafood? Guess I'm looking to replicate the Han Bat experience, too.

          1. re: JoanN

            Yep they do. So does kimchi hana. In fact, all the korean restaurants I've been to in the area have this dish. I wouldn't go to Edison Noodle for seafood though.

        2. I really like Woo Jean. Their appetizers (sorry, I forgot the Korean name for the small dishes they bring before the meal) are always exceptional. I've eaten in Edison Noodle House, it's good, but the menu is limited. Elliejc has made me curious about Kimchi Hana. In Manhattan we enjoy going to Woo Lae Oak in Soho for special meals. We've also explored some of the Korean restaurants around 35th Street in Manhattan--I can't remember the name of it, but there is one that specializes in different types of tofu (dobu).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gabbeh

            I've had three BAD experiences at WooJean. I went after work (around 5:30pm) on Thursday afternoons each time. After placing my order and my appetizers and main course came, on EACH OCCASION, I was totally ignored. No refill of water, no response after I flagged a waiter when I wanted another napkin. NOTHING. As if it was on purpose. I complained to the cashier the last time and was not even given a "Sorry." Of course, they never cleaned the table of the finished appetizer dishes nor empty plates.

            I even had my orange slices (which accompanies the bill) waiting on the waiter's tray (I stared and TIMED it...it was there over TEN MINUTES), awaiting my check; the waiters didn't even bother to give them to me until I just walked away from the table to the cashier to complain and straighten out my bill. As I was paying the bill, the idiot cashier asked if I wanted the oranges as I was standing there. Not that I'm rude or some other reason for them to dis me. I just came to eat and be served like any other patron.

            Seems if I eat alone even before the main dinner hour, I'm not important enough for checking on like in any other restaurant and to not get the bill. If not that the food was good, I wouldn't have returned.

            Now I definitely will not return, out of principle alone.

            Once, I can assume was a bad day. Twice tells me it's a possible problem. Three times, it's either personal, or just lousy regular service.

            If only the food wasn't as good as it is.......

          2. Thanks to elliejc for the Kimchi Hana rec. We went yesterday and really liked it- excellent fresh banchan, spicy silken tofu and seafood soup/casserore, chop chae (sp?) and bulgogi. I liked it better that my one experience at Keum Ho Jung and thought that the menu was more interesting too with many things that I want to go back to try. As for Edison Noodle House, I had a really bad meal there once but since a couple of people seem to like it, I may give it another try.

            1. Feeling a desire for Korean food, but not wanting to eat out, my husband went to HanAhReum, 518-14 Old Post Road and picked up assorted treats. They have containers of the kind of food that is served as appetizers at local Korean restaurants. The food is not fabulous, but quite tasty and a nice inexpensive meal.

              1. Ditto on Kimchi Hana recommendation. We went last night, and it was wonderful. Ordered too much food, and then stared so hard at the giant vat of simmering soup at the next table, that the owners insisted on giving us a taste. Service was a bit spotty, as it was packed, but it was worth the wait.

                1. Thanks all, for recommending Kimchi Hana. The food markedly better than other Korean restaurants that I've tried in Central Jersey.
                  We went for lunch. The banchan were well-prepared and very fresh. Hot pot was delicious.

                  Kimchi Hana, 6101 Hadley Rd. S. Plainfield,, 908-755-0777

                  1. There is a Korean restaurant in East Brunswick on Rte 18.

                    Maru Restaurant
                    415 Rte 18S
                    East Brunswick, NJ 08816

                    Great restaurant! That's the place to go. Have to get there early on weekends otherwise there's a wait. It's a small restaurant. No vestibule.

                    In that strip mall is also a sushi buffet called Makkoli's. If you don't want to wait at Maru's hope on to Makkoli's. Buffet there's great!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: wench31

                      I posted on the sushi thread about this. We tried Makkoli's last night, and I noticed the Korean BBQ restaurant, Maru. It's certainly on our "to-go" list now. I wish they had a website, though, so I could peruse the menu. I noticed they also do Japanese cuisine. So I am going to assume you can get sushi along with Korean specialties?

                      1. re: DJMarilyn

                        Yes, you can get sushi there. My husband and I love this place! They do a pretty decent job with sushi. We usually get the Hwe Do Bap (?). It's sashimi on top of rice with chopped lettuce with a slightly sweetened hot sauce. He usually gets the sashimi order when we're with friends! You get around!

                        1. re: wench31

                          Great! Maybe we'll try this next week. We're always excited to try new restaurants, and I don't mind driving. East Brunswick really isn't that far from us. In any case, finding a decent Korean restaurant has been on our list for quite a while. There is a dearth of Korean food in Monmouth County, unfortunately. Thanks for your vote of confidence for Maru! :) I'll be sure to report when we've tried it.

                      2. re: wench31

                        I agree! For the Middlesex County area, this place is great. Kimchi Hana is good too, but it's a little too far for my family (we live in S. Bruns). In the winter, my favorite dish is the Kalbi Tang (beef shortribs in broth). For the summer, their Naeng Myun isn't too bad - the soup is practically an icy slush which is nice when it's 100 deg out - but the noodles could be better. That being said, Koreans are probably the most particular about Naeng Myun - it's really difficult to get GREAT Naeng Myun outside of... Korea.

                        Soon Tofu is decent, as well as the other "casserole/stews" (jji gae).
                        Ban chan (appetizers) are run of the mill, but that's ok with me.

                      3. Since there are many reviews on Kimchi Hana, I'll mention some others that don't seem to be reviewed, surprisingly.

                        Chung Sol Bat on Old Post Rd. in Edison is in the opposite direction of Keum Ho Jung (I think KHJ is very good, especially the bbq dishes). I've had seollungtang and haemul jjigae at Chung Sol Bat and they were delicious. The staff is friendly, and as in many Korean restaurants, you usually ask when you need something. I haven't had a problem there, and the quality of the food is very good.

                        There is a smaller restaurant around Route 1 and Stelton, though not on those main roads, whose name I don't remember. Haven't been there yet, but if anyone knows where I'm talking about, I'm curious to know what you think.

                        Route 1, Route 27, and Old Post Road have a good concentration of Korean restaurants and businesses, so good food shouldn't be to difficult to find.