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May 8, 2007 05:01 AM

Good Korean in Middlesex/Monmouth Counties, NJ

Born & raised, in Sayreville, NJ (a great place to be from), left 40 yrs ago, now living in N. Maine, not much food diversity here. We drive down frequently to visit my mom and revel in going out, often 3-4 times a day, and finding great "hole in the wall" places w/ great, cheap ethnic food. Korean food does not exist here, our son lives in Seoul and we have developed a"yen" for Korean food; any recommendations?
ps There is a kim chi museum in Seoul!

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  1. I've heard (from the Korean-born woman who does my nails) that there is a wonderful
    Korean restaurant in the Middlesex mall (right next to the Motor Vehicle office). I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sasiegel

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

      We haven't been there in awhile. It was good.

      1. re: sasiegel

        Where is the Middlesex Mall please?

        1. re: ambrose

          The following address is at Middlesex Mall. It's very close to Rt 287 -- Durham Rd exit. Put the address in Mapquest and you'll get directions.

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

          1. re: val ann c

            i've been there many years ago and the food there was great! Haven't been back for ages and been meaning to try it again.

      2. I don't know the name of the place and have never been...(I know, why post?) anyway...the place is located on Route 1 South in Edison...past the BMW dealer. I don't know the name of it, but someone once told me the Korean BBQ was very good here.

        Good luck!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Angelina

          Could you be thinking of Woo Jeon? We had the bbq there twice, and I came to the conclusion that it's just o.k. I recall having a delicious dumpling appetizer (fried?), so maybe the regular food is better.

          In my restaurant files, I came across a 2004 "NY Times" review for Keum Ho Jung, in Edison. We've not tried it. It received a "Very Good" from Karla Cook. But given how I feel about her reviews, if I were to go, I'd keep my expectations severely in check.

          Note: I searched the "NYTimes" site and found the review:

          1. re: RGR

            Keum Ho is my personal favorite Korean in Edison. Woo jeon is a small step down but also fine.

            I haven't been to Kimchi Hana in YEARS, (1999?) but back then they were terrible. I hear they're much better now.

            1. re: joonjoon

              You should try Kimchi Hana. They're great! I went there a couple of days ago. We had the gopdol bibimbap and the spicy pork with kim chi. MMMMMMM!!!!!!!
              The gopdol bibimbap is my must have at every Korean restaurant to see if they're good and they're great. We also had the hwe du bob (?). It's raw fish with lettuce and rice in a bowl. Definitely better than Maru's and Nassau Bagel in Princeton.
              Keum Ho WAS a favorite of mine also until they did something that I didn't like to our party of 8. We made reservations for a party of 8 and was led to this private room. There was a pretty large table and a smaller table. The waitress told us to sit in the smaller table and crammed us in because they're "expecting" a larger party. We were there for 2 hours and nobody came. After that, we never went back. There are better Korean restaurants out there.

            2. re: RGR

              Three times at WooJeon. Food mediocre but horrible service each time. Maybe they don't like individual patrons and only consider large parties to check on, to serve water, to give basic service to, but they ignored me in minor, polite requests each time. Won't return.

              1. re: MoxieBoy

                Not a big fan of WooJeon either. I like Maru on Route 18 better.
                Maru Restaurant
                415 Rte 18S
                East Brunswick, NJ 08816

          2. Wow, there's a lot of bad service comments about Korean restaurants! Actually this is not surprising at all since Korean restaurant service works a little differently from typical American ones.

            Here's a tip for any of you willing to try it :) The next time you're at a Korean restaurant and need someone at the table, don't wait - lift your hand towards the nearest wait staff and yell (nicely) "Yuh gee yoh!" (translation: Here!) This is not considered rude in korean culture and is one of my favorite things about korean dining - you don't have to wait for your waiter!

            1 Reply
            1. re: joonjoon

              Thank you. is "yuh gee yoh" prounounced with yuh as in "uh-huh" or like "you"? gee like "jeep or like "girl"? Is it one word or is there a pause in between each syllable?

              And also is kim chee pretty much standard wherever one goes or are there many variations?

            2. Had the opportunity to have lunch at Maru East Brunswick NJ today.
              Seafood Pancake - good
              Tkok Mandu Kuk - dumpling, sliced rice cake, beef broth - good
              Will return to try other dishes - cozy restaurant with several traditional Korean BBQ tables.

              Have also dined at
              Woojeon Edison NJ
              Bindaeduk - Mung Bean Pancake - Very Good
              Seafood Pancake - Very Good
              Sushi - Good

              Edison Noodle House - Good

              Kimchi Hana
              Had take out for a business dinner with colleagues and everything we shared was very good.

              Favorite place to date is the Organic Tofu House Ridgewood NJ, that was great food and a memorable dining experience.

              2 Replies
              1. re: shabbystorm

                We recently started going to Chung Sol Bat for Korean. Try their chap chae (noodle dish) and je yuk bokum. (spicy pork skillet) Awesome.

                1. re: joonjoon


                  Chung Sol Bat
                  560 Old Post Rd
                  Edison, NJ 08817

                  (732) 287-1234

                  And another thread, just found this.

              2. Thanks all. I haven't been back to Middlesex county since mom died in October, But we are going to Seoul for a month in June to see my new American'Korean grandson and chow down. We plan to hit the kim chee museum too!