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new Hmart in Edison?

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I came upon this little ad on the Hmart website. Unfortunately, I cannot read Korean! It looks like there's going to be a new Hmart opening in Edison on Lincoln Highway. I think it says 1745 Lincoln Highway as the possible new address. Has anyone heard anything regarding this?
http://www.hmart.com/coupon/coupon_ev...

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  1. That location is in the same shopping center as the Chinese supermarket, I think it is called ABC farm. National Wholesale Liquidators just moved out recently. It is often referred to as Tops Plaza. That is the very close to the very busy intersection of Plainfield Ave and Rt 27 (Lincoln Highway). I will check it out the next time driving by. That strech Rt 27 is chock full good places such as Pithari Taverna, Dehli Gardens, Kings Village and Wonder Seafood among others.

    1. YAY!!!!!!!!

      There is an HMart on Old Post Road across from Penangs but it's really small and kind of dingy. Maybe they're moving over there and expanding. More variety!

      5 Replies
      1. re: wench31

        I was by there the other day and could have sworn I saw a new Korean Restaurant in that location.

        1. re: jrd303

          there's a new restaurant across from Penang's? I know that there is a restaurant in there called Keum Ho Jung (?) in there. Do you know the name of it?

          1. re: wench31

            I caught a blue grand opening sign out of the corner of my eye. I know of Keum Ho Jung and I'm pretty sure this is in the mini makret place as I've been in there before.

            Also went by the Tops plaza today and there was nothing going on in any of the vacant buisness spaces.

            1. re: jrd303

              went by again today. there are now three restaurants there and the mini mart is still open. I'm not sure if that's an hmart as the sign is in Korean but it's the same one that's always been there. The place with the grand opening had 'coming soon' signs on the windows upon closer inspection. Keum Ho Jung is still there as is the Korean/Japanese place.

              Not only that but also the place down the road that used to have african food is korean now and the farmer's market/deli is also a new asian place. 'Catering' was the only word I noiced as I drove by and the script on the sign didn't look korean to me. I'm guessing Japanese but it's pure speculation.

              1. re: jrd303

                This is all in the same strip mall? Wow! I got to check that out the next time I'm in the neighborhood! Thanks for letting me know.

      2. oh man...Asian Food Center is going to have some serious competition once that Hmart opens up!

        1 Reply
        1. re: autumnlilacs

          The Asian Food Center moved to Piscataway months ago...

          -----
          Asian Food Markets of Piscataway
          1339 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854

        2. I was told by a friend who keeps a pulse on all things real estate in that area that Tops Plaza was bought by a developer who planned to build co-op or condo apartments. (1) Seems like an odd location for an apartment complex. (2) Developer’s plans may well have changed considering the current housing market. Friend said that as far as she knew, the Asian Food Market was going to stay put (along with the doctors’ offices on the highway side of the building). It’s really hard to believe that a direct competitor would want to move in right next door.

          I’m not familiar with Hmart. Is it indeed a direct competitor? From the look of the floor plan on the link it seems to have more of an emphasis on prepared foods than does the Asian Food Market. Is that true?

          1 Reply
          1. re: JoanN

            Hmart is a Korean supermarket. Asian Food Center (AFC) is a Chinese supermarket. They things they offer are not exactly the same but they are similar. Hmart will definitely have an emphasis on prepared food such as Kim Chi and other Korean-style prepared dishes (think all the small appetizers you get when you sit down at a Korean restaurant). This will definitely affect AFC tremendously especially on the vegetables. The quality of veggies are usually bad in AFC, Hmart usually have better stuff.

          2. Found updated information on the Edison Website:

            1. #P14-08/09 – MCC Realty Investment – (Tops Plaza) Route # 27 and Division Street
            Block 96 Lot 45
            Proposal to upgrade existing Shopping Center and an addition of 1800 sq.ft.

            Variances requested for:

            Disturbance from a gas line 75’

            Free standing ground level to sign – Required 10’ Proposed 3.6’

            Façade sign from ground – Required 20’ Proposed 30.6’

            http://www.edisonnj.org/index.asp?Typ...

            Sounds like they are doing a major upgrade to this shopping center.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jtm297

              http://www.highlandrc.com/index.php?p...

              . . . and scroll down to the second transaction. I had heard that the developer was planning an apartment complex. Seemed like an odd location for one, and evidently my source was mistaken. "Asian themed" sounds promising.

            2. Passed by here recently and was amazed how much progress is being made!!

              33 Replies
              1. re: shabbystorm

                just heard a rumor from one of the strip mall tenants that a Minado would also be opening in this strip mall.

                1. re: shabbystorm

                  Anybody have any recent info on what's going on here. Seems to me as though all work at Tops Plaza stopped dead in it's tracks just about the time you posted, shabbystorm. I've been going out to Asian Food Center's new location, but it's a bit of a trek for me. I'd been hoping that HMart would open sometime soon. Sure doesn't look promising.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    I thought it was stalled for a while too but after driving by last week it seems all the outside facing is almost done now.

                    1. re: jrd303

                      Does anybody know when Hmart is opening? Also, is the rumor true about Minado opening in that mall?

                      1. re: wench31

                        Drove by yesterday, and although there does seem to have been some minor progress in the past three months, I'm not holding my breath. I'll believe it all when I see the "Grand Opening" sign.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Hello All:
                          After bugging customer service on the Hmart website, I finally got a reply with a date! Looks like we'll all have a while to wait:

                          Dear Valued Customer,

                          First of all, thank you for your interest in H Mart. Now, we are planning to open new branch in Edison, NJ around April 2010. However, I regret that I cannot comment on any specific details of opening date at this time. New H Mart will provide you comfortable surroundings and convenient shopping. For your good shopping experience, We will put all our effort for your satisfaction. All our employees are looking forward to seeing you and future customers. If you have any questions or concern, feel free to contact our H Mart Customer Service Center at any time. Thank you.

                          1. re: eriko

                            Good for you and your persistence--although I'm not very happy with the answer. Seems as though it's taking an awfully long time, especially since the basic building was already there.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              Well at least we have an approximate date! But I agree with you Joan, there's no reason it should take that long when they're not even building the place from scratch, especially for an asian construction job! (Koreans are notorious for building ridiculous stuff overnight :)

                              1. re: joonjoon

                                Any updates on the new HMart? It's April now!

                                1. re: autumnlilacs

                                  Been driving by every four or five days, and although there's a moderate amount of construction going on in the complex, not much at all seems to be happening at the potential HMart space. If it's going to happen, and I'm no longer as sure as I once was that it will, it seems highly unlikely to me that it will be any time soon--certainly not this month.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    The exterior of the parking lot has been a mess for the last 6 months. It is difficult to tell how much interior work has been done. I believe that it would take at least 3 months to finish.

                                    1. re: BigGeorge

                                      Earlier this week I actually drove into the parking lot and pulled up right in front of the old market to see what I could see. It didn't look as though anything at all was happening inside--no lights, no workmen, nothing. And it didn't look as though anything had happened inside the building in a good, long time. I've stopped holding my breath. Wouldn't be the least surprised to hear that all these plans for an Asian-centered mall made during the height of the real estate boom are now somewhere between dreamland and the courts.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Drove by and into the parking lot on Friday night (April 9)l It seemed to me that they had been working on the interior. Walls and spaces are being assembled (but I haven't driven by in a month), but I do see progress. The inside dividing reminded me of other hmarts (e.g. in Virginia), but I do agree, progress is very slow. The parking lot also seems to be improved compared to a month ago - Joe K. this ones for you :)
                                        Junkliss

                                        1. re: junkliss

                                          Hello All:
                                          I've been bugging their customer service and just go this email back a few minutes ago:
                                          **Thank you for requesting for our new branch , Edison.
                                          The plan which was supposed to open on April was delayed to August.
                                          We are very sorry for waiting for a long time.
                                          We will do our best to open as soon as possible.
                                          Thank you.**

                                          So, BigGeorge, you're pretty close to the mark as far as when they'll be open. I'll just have to keep making my kimchi at home.....

                                          1. re: eriko

                                            For anyone who hasn't passed by lately, there's a new Korean "BBQ Buffet" sign for the space adjacent to the Hmart storefront. Not quite Minado, but it's a promising sign (literally). Also, just noticed that the company timeline now has the Edison Hmart listed (Fall 2010):

                                            http://company.hmart.com/eng/company_...

                                            1. re: PanicKing

                                              Korean BBQ Buffet? That is great news! Been to one of them in Annandale, VA and enjoyed it! Couldn't find any out here. Hope it's true!
                                              Thanks for posting this. By the way, love your name!

                                              1. re: wench31

                                                as much as I am interested in the new Hmart, I am really interested in this Korean BBQ Buffet place, anybody got any updates or well, any information on it?

                                                1. re: wench31

                                                  :-) Spoke with a Korean friend last night and asked about Hmart. Her friend actually called Hmart HQ a couple weeks ago and was told it would open in August. (Since it's already the first week of August, I don't think that's likely anymore.)

                                                  My friend heard there will be a fried chicken place in the food court. That made my day, seriously. Mmm... Korean fried chicken.

                                                  1. re: PanicKing

                                                    Hopefully a Bon Chon.

                                                    1. re: Duppie

                                                      Drove through the strip mall today. Peeking in the window of the Korean BBQ Buffet place, it looks nice and is quite mature. Looks like it should open soon. Workers were working on hmart. Peeked in too. I can see "slow" progress, but progress. I had heard that progress has always been slow due to legal reasons. Can anyone shed light ?
                                                      Thanks -
                                                      BTW - other HMART have Korean chicken in their food courts, but not Bon Chon. Its called ToreOre - and if you can translate http://www.toreore.com/, I'd appreciate it.

                                                      1. re: junkliss

                                                        I can't believe that this location has been in the works since 2008,however another few months will hopefully be worth it.

                                                        1. re: junkliss

                                                          It says the site has been shut down because they exceeded their alotted data plan. ha!

                                                          1. re: junkliss

                                                            So in anticipation of the Picnic Garden in Edison, my buddies and I happened to be on a business trip in LI. On the way home we tried Picnic Garden in Flushing. The waitress said the one in Edison should be opening soon. Flushing's was not the cleanest place around, but it definately was fun and the food was good. Lunch was $13.99, I suspect the prices in Edison will be higher ?. The buffet long table had lots of marinated unlabeled meats (pork, chicken, beef, octopus, and unrecognized parts). You take what you want and cook it on the table (waitress helps). Lots of veggies too, some hot foods as well, different rices, bean noodles, dumplings, korean pancakes, different spiced cabbages, lots of sliced moo (turnip), different sauces, and soups, etc. I was told the evening buffet (higher price) had better cuts of meat and shrimp, etc. Waitress brought out wrapping lettuce. Certainly better then any China Buffet I've been too. The loud music was annoying. Service was great. Hopefully Edison will be cleaner.

                                                            -----
                                                            Wang Kalbi
                                                            147-42 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

                                                            1. re: junkliss

                                                              OMG that sounds awesome! I can't wait for this place to open!

                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                I forgot to mention the fried chicken. Not quite like Bon Chon, more like the spicy fried chicken that I anticipate will be sold in hmart. It was quite good. In Flushing, on Northern Blvd, there seemed to be many such buffets, so lots of competition. W/O competition in Edison, who knows.

                                                                1. re: junkliss

                                                                  does anyone have an update on the new hmart in edison?

                                                                  1. re: ssynn

                                                                    Passed by today, still under construction - v e r y v e r y sloooooooooooow
                                                                    Sign up, doesn't look like they are stocking items yet, French style bakery dept on left side .....

                                                                    It looked like only 2 or 3 people were working. Also working on Picnic Garden

                                                                    1. re: junkliss

                                                                      Yes, I pass there every day and the Hmart sign is finally up. Every Korean I know can't wait for the complex to open. Like has been posted, the small Han ah Reum on Old Post Rd is pretty awful. If this place is anything like Ridgefield it will be awesome and probably become a major Korean social hub in the area.

                                                                      1. re: Jonah Giacalone

                                                                        Hi Everyone
                                                                        Like others i have been sadly waiting (now a few years) for the new H Mart to open. I also have been doing weekly paring lot drive through. I had heard a Korean sauna was also coming to the shopping center ? Also a new Korean Seafood restaurant just open up about 1 mile up rt 27 towards New Brunswick same side of the street as H Mart
                                                                        I don't know the name of it because i cant read Korean but i was told its a live fish restaurant. Sea cucumber ,abalone, moon snails. I will eat there and report back very soon.

                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: dleehall

                                                                          HI dleehall:
                                                                          Where did you hear about the Korean sauna coming to this shopping center? I had never heard of such a thing until I saw your post. I googled what they are and man, oh, man! If this is true, I am so excited! :-)
                                                                          Thanks,
                                                                          Eriko

                                                                          1. re: eriko

                                                                            Picnic Garden restaurant is supposed to open end of Oct 2010, per the phone call I just made to them.

                                                                            1. re: eriko

                                                                              Eriko I'm excited as well. The super H mart and BBQ buffet will be assume.
                                                                              You asked about the Korean sauna. I was told by a waitress in a local Korean restaurant about 2 years ago. Since then a bit of chatter from other customers at the same restaurant. Hopefully it is true.
                                                                              I am not Korean but i have been to King Sauna a doz times.It is something everybody should try at least once. so even if its just a roomer (ill be pissed) but we can still make the trip Palisades Park .
                                                                              Kimchi Love
                                                                              David

                                                                              -----
                                                                              King Sauna
                                                                              321 Commercial Ave, Palisades Park, NJ

                                                                              1. re: dleehall

                                                                                Wow, I never thought I'd run into people who've been to King sauna! You're right dlee - everyone needs to try that place at least once. It's fantastic.

                        2. There's a new notice on the HMart website that they are now hiring. Deadline for applications is November 10th...I guess they won't open before then?? Oy......

                          http://www.hmart.com/company_new/shop...

                          Edited to add: yes, i just called them and they said "sometime in November"
                          Arrrgh!

                          20 Replies
                          1. re: eriko

                            Sup peps … I got an update. I stopped by the h mart shopping center to check on the progress, it look to me that Hmart still has a few weeks to go but it’s getting there. I walk up and down the walk way checking out all the store fronts. I spoke with a man who is opening a store / restaurant called “Soft Tofu”. I ask a bunch of questions as I petted his cute little dog. I asked about his store and he was not sure of the exact menu yet. I’m just making the store he said and paying the bills I added. I could tell by the way he was dressed he is not just a worker but the boss. I next ask about the sauna he said yes the sauna is coming and they just started working on it. He said it will not be a small sauna but a big like King Sauna, the end of the building he pointed down towards Picnic Gardens. I was so happy, the first thing I thought about that I have something to post …. I wished the nice man success and said good bye to his puppy and headed down the walk to Picnic Gardens
                            As always
                            Kimchi Love
                            David Lee

                            -----
                            King Sauna
                            321 Commercial Ave, Palisades Park, NJ

                             
                             
                             
                             
                            1. re: dleehall

                              I can't wait for Soft Tofu and Picnic Garden to open! As a matter of fact, I can't wait for the whole mall to open! Did you ever go to that Korean live seafood restaurant? What is the name of it?

                              1. re: wench31

                                The name of the Korean Sashimi restuarant is "Badasori" Shasimi. I've been there twice and it was decent.

                                1. re: wench31

                                  I did try the new seafood restaurant I had written about. I still don’t know the name but I took some pics of the biz card. As for the review Im thinking I was the first white boy in the joint. I had previously discussed going to this restaurant by myself (or without my Korean pals) Mr. Hong my friend who is a sushi chef said just say sashimi” so that’s what I did.
                                  (This is only my opinion)This place is really not for people who want a California roll or a spicy tuna roll. This is a hard core Korean 4 or 6 tanks with live fish mainly fluke and some kind of shell fish that I have yet to identify. I was seated and given a menu. And like 1 min later the waitress ask for my order so I said “sashimi” ok thank you she said. She went and told the sushi man he yell to me hey you want fresh fishy pointing towards the tanks I side “good” He walked to the tanks with a small net a pick out a spunky one.
                                  Minutes later 4 or 5 side dishes were brought to my table. Vegetables, small battered whole fish, Kimchi ect.
                                  The waitress then brought a large plate (and this is the strange part) on the plate was shaded radish but then it was covered with plastic wrap tight to the plate. I thought the radish was not to be eaten but just to be admired but I really don’t know ...So the very thin slices of fluke were placed on top of the plastic wrap in the center of the wrap was what I think was moon snail. I was also given some slightly spicy red sauce for the fish. I
                                  The fish was very mild in flavor but I really liked the mouth feel of super fresh fish. I will defiantly go back but next time I need to bring someone who speaks Korean
                                  PS. I’m thinking the bill was about 30 bucks + 10 tip Education is expensive
                                  If anyone wants to go let me know Making new friends and food is one of the best parts of life.
                                  David Lee

                                   
                                   
                                  1. re: dleehall

                                    A proper korean "Hwe (pronounced like whey with a strong H) Jip" is an awesome culinary adventure and one of the closest experiences you can get to a "Fear Factor" type experience. If you haven't tried it, 'hounds, you should...

                                    The meal starts with something called "tsukidashi" (which is sort of like the Japanese word for banchan/appetizer/amuse) - which is like the banchan served at most korean restaurants, but it's much more substantial stuff - staples are things like abalone porridge, clam soup, head on-grilled shrimp, and so on all with a heavy seafood bias. The tsukidashi alone would make a meal at most places.

                                    Following that you get the main course, which is thinly sliced sashimi of the fish of your choice - the same fish that was swimming in a tank just minutes ago. This is NOT like the sashimi most of us are used to - the japanese prefer a softer texture to their fish, Koreans like it chewy. If you've never had raw fish minutes after it's been sliced, you'll be surprised at how tough and chewy it is, but that's how Koreans like it. The fish can be consumed straight up, or wrapped up in lettuce/sesame leaves with garlic and pepper, BBQ style. A korean spicy vinegar pepper sauce will be offered in addition to wasabi/soy and ssam jang. The fish, by the way, is usually fluke or blackfish.

                                    Depending on availability, one or more may be offered to you separately or as a part of a meal package:

                                    Sea Cucumber
                                    Sea Squirt
                                    Octopus
                                    Abalone
                                    Lobster
                                    Uni

                                    All live, of course. The cuke and squirt are staples of the Korean whe-jip experience, but are DEFINITELY acquired tastes. They WILL make most people gag. And some of my friends almost threw up trying to down the Abalone guts. LOTS of soju is recommended. :) (I personally LOVE sea squirts with soju but don't really care for them on their own.)

                                    But wait, there's more! After you're done with your fish, you'll get a bowl of Al-bap, rice with fish roe and other goodies. I LOVE a good Al-bap. In addition they'll take the carcass of the fish they just fileted and make a delicious maeoontang out of it - spicy fish soup. The quality of the fish broth on a properly made fresh maeoontang is just incomparable.

                                    The problem with these Korean whe jip joints is quality - if you go on the right day to the right place you'll get all of the above at its freshest and tastiest...but I've been to places where the taste was close to harrowing...I hope the place in Edison can keep its quality under control.

                                    Dave - I'm down to check this place out with you if you're interested!

                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                      Sure Joon it will be fun... But what do you think about a bunch of us (people that have posted here) going and checking out the new Picnic Gardens together. i think it will be open this weekend or we might want give them a few nights to get the kinks out any way ....drop me a line and we can make a plan. davidleehall2@gmail.com

                                      Dave

                                      1. re: dleehall

                                        Just a FYI .... Just got off the phone with Picnic Gardens Edison (732 650 1000)
                                        new open date is This coming Tuesday the !6th....

                                    2. re: dleehall

                                      I'm drooling.

                                      I think I'll ask my family to take me to a Korean Hwe Jip when I visit them for the holidays... Though, last time I was there (in Atlanta) the one my folks went to often had closed down.

                                      Good to know there's one in NJ I can goto, if I feel like convincing/educating enough people to go. Though I mostly don't feel like spending the entire meal explaining the difference between Korean/Japanese raw seafood experience.

                                      1. re: copyingerror

                                        Hey error, not sure where you live but there are plenty of hwe jips in the Fort Lee/Pal Park area if you're closer to that part.

                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                          The last time we ate at the palisades location we were rushed through the meal and the ban chan was rather sparse. I also asked for some more kimchi that eventually showed up towards the end. Not really impressed with my last two visits, good thing Bon Chon was quite close, so we didn't go hungry.

                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                            Joon,

                                            Can you give me the names of the good places for hwe jip or live sashimi in fort lee or palisades park?

                                            Thanks.

                                            1. re: Richie4444

                                              Unfortunately I don't know where the good hwe jips are any more. Since it's sort of a 'special occasion' place, I can't go often and the places I used to really like have all closed. I can tell you where not to go though, Donghae Susan on Grand Ave. The last two times I went to a hwe jip and both of my experiences there were terrible.

                                        2. re: dleehall

                                          i cant read Korean..... anyone ?

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: dleehall

                                            Sounds tasty! Here's the translation.

                                            Assorted Sashimi
                                            BadaSori A 49.95
                                            BadaSort B 74.95
                                            ...etc

                                            Live Fish
                                            Fluke, Blackfish (per order) $25
                                            Sea Cucumber, Sea Squirt, $25
                                            Sea Cuke, Squirt, Abalone $25
                                            Salted Grilled Eel
                                            Marinated Grilled Eel.

                                            BadaSort Set Meal
                                            Ton Katsu (fried pork cutlet)
                                            Jang Uh Dup Bap (Eel over rice)
                                            Hwe Dup Bap (Sashimi bibimbap)
                                            DaeGu Maewoon Tang (Spicy Cod soup)
                                            SangTae Maewoon Tang (Spicy Pollock soup)
                                            HaeMul Jungol (Big pot of fish stew)
                                            Jok Bal (Pig foot)
                                            Soon Dae (blood sausage)
                                            HaeMool Pa Jun (Seafood scallion pancake)
                                            GamJaTang Jungol (Spicy pork and potato stew)
                                            Heuk YumSo Jungol (Big spicy lamb stew *needs prior arrangement, straight from farm)
                                            Tojong Dak Baksook Special Korean Chicken Soup
                                            Tojong Dak Doritang Special Korean Spicy Chicken stew

                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                              What is "Set Meal"?

                                              And do they have hwe jip? I'm going to try for the live fluke/blackfish tomorrow but don't want abalone guts.

                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                I just had the live blackfish at Badasori, really enjoyable. Thanks, Joonjoon, for making it possible via your translation. For $25, I got:

                                                steamed egg whites (?)
                                                sizzling mushrooms with whole garlic
                                                potato/apple salad (?)
                                                spicy baby octopus with kimchi
                                                two large crab claws
                                                steamed clams
                                                whole fried medium-small fish (great)
                                                lettuce for wrapping with raw garlic, hot peppers and a different hot sauce
                                                a large plate covered with recently living sashimi

                                                Mild and chewy, but ultra-fresh

                                                Two thumbs up.

                                                1. re: chuck98

                                                  That sounds like quite a deal chuck! The cripsy fried little whole fish is probably my favorite part of the experience...actually one of my favorite things ever! I believe it's some kind of smelt but i could be wrong...

                                                  Oh and to answer your other question I'm not sure what the "set meal" is supposed to be...but looks like you got the right thing.

                                                  BTW, did you get the fish soup after the sashimi course? That's my favorite part...

                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                    No, no soup. You're right about the fried fish, that was fantastic.

                                                    Found this for set meal:

                                                    http://www.koreafoods.co.uk/en/cultur...

                                                    If that's what it is, then I'm going back for it in January.

                                                    1. re: chuck98

                                                      Hmm...either this place is skimping on the fish soup or they didn't serve it to you...either way that's a little disappointing - there's nothing quite like a good fish soup made with a minutes-dead fish carcass. It's soooo clean and tasty. But then again for 25$ maybe they can't include it in the pricing.

                                                      As for the link you provided, I don't think that's what you'll get...for 15 bucks it would seem too good to be true! (Plus the seafood place isn't really a place where they would serve hanjungsik.)

                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                        This place might be closed. They were closed today, with a sign on the door in a language I don't read. All the furniture was still there (good sign) but the fish tanks were empty (bad sign). If anyone is going near there or to Sichuan Spring next door, please let me know what the sign says.

                                    3. Actually walked by and peeked into the windows of the H Mart this past Friday (Nov. 26) and there were workers in there stocking the shelves! So it should be open quite soon. Was going to try the new Korean BBQ place, but the parents deemed it way too expensive and were busy mourning the loss of China Bowl. Oh well. Next time.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: yfunk3

                                        China Bowl is allegedly moving down the street a ways, but isn't open yet. I think it'll be the tavern-looking place on the left side. Picnic Garden was pretty good for lunch, worth the price.

                                        Is there a different menu at Badasori? I was given the sushi-only menu. I'd like to try the other stuff but don't speak Korean and don't want to risk mackerel innards.

                                        1. re: chuck98

                                          I passed HMART today, big signs saying grand opening is 12/9 at 10:00 AM. I peeked in a shelves still needed stocking and some walls still needed painting. Also tried Picnic Garden for lunch the other day. You HAVE to ask for lettuce. At least the raw food has labels. The waitress was a beautiful as the food was good. The place is much cleaner then the one in Flushing. Lunch was worth $15, not sure dinner would be worth twice the price. For twice the price, give me Minado.

                                          -----
                                          Minado Restaurant
                                          1 Bergen Tpke, Little Ferry, NJ 07643

                                          1. re: junkliss

                                            I saw lots of cars and vans parked in front of Hmart this morning, so I did a loop around the parking lot to peek at the last minute prep. They've done an amazing amount of work in the past couple of weeks after so many months of near inactivity. I can't make the grand opening on Thursday morning, but I plan on checking it out on Friday!

                                            1. re: PanicKing

                                              Hi- did the maiden voyage of new HMart this am (it opened yesterday). Wow. Big beautiful lively and clean. Hmart employees everywhere, sample stations every 10 feet, very well organized and clean. Reminds me of the Hmart, Assi and Lotte Plazas in DC Metro and LA- big, everything under one roof. If you are going this weekend and not really planning on shopping, don't bring a cart, it will only slow you down from jumping from one sample station to another. I attacked the cookie plates, fruit samples, grilled kalbi and udon soup. I noticed some really good prices: gallon of kikoman soy $9.99, Kadoya sesame oil (11.99?) large 6.6 lb of Haioreum hot pepper paste $7.99, choco pie 12 ct 1.69, etc.
                                              This is Korean drama at it's best so bring your patience!! Van of Korean seniors doing their shopping, Korean drivers all fighting for the same parking spot. If really lucky, you can witness a 16-point turn, where a Merc s is determined to fit into a tiny spot. Plus, Koreans using those toothpicks to stab to death samples. In case your wondering, the free gift is some sort of pastel dish towels. I outdid myself again and gorged on samples so couldn't make it next door to Picnic Buffet. Enjoy the Hmart shopping adventure!

                                              1. re: chettad

                                                Went there on Saturday and got the same impression. The place is clean, organized, and well staffed; I was very happy with my experience. If you compare this with the Super Hmart near Edgewater, I would still say the one in Edgewater is still bigger and carry more products (e.go. bigger prepared food section). However, this is still a very nice store. Definitely the best Asian grocery store in Central Jersey.

                                                Besides the grocery, there is a small food court with a Japanese place, a Korean fried chicken place, a Korean tofu pot / bulgogi with rice place, and a Chinese place. Try a few things from the various places (ramen, fried chicken, and tofu pot) They are okay. The fried chicken is the best amongst all the things i tried. It is no where near the quality of food at Mitsuwa market. However, this is the opening weekend and they are super busy so I hope they will improve. All the items are around ($8 - $14). Portion size are reasonable so they are still worth trying.

                                                There is also a Korean bakery with some fantastic looking cakes and pastries. Will hit them up next time.

                                      2. This is a great store, and a tremendous addition to central NJ. I agree with yCf’s comparison above to the Hmart in Ridgefield regarding its size and the overall number of products carried, but don’t think either of those is going to be much-noticed for +99% of shoppers.

                                        And now I know where I’m going to get my eels for Christmas Eve since they will clean and gut live eels right out of the tank for me!

                                        I suspect there may be particular items and prices where the Asian Food Market in Piscataway will hold an advantage, but my visit to the new Hmart this time was too brief to identify any. One item I didn’t see there that may still require a trip to Mitsuwa is yuzu (well, in addition to shochu and certain Japanese beers).

                                        1. I stopped into HMart this afternoon and was beyond pleasantly surprised. it was pretty crowded and there was a mixed crowd -- Asian and Caucasian which can't be said of the other ethnic grocery stores that i frequent.

                                          There were demo stations set up all over the store, as a vegetarian i only tried a few things they were offering, which were all pretty good. One of the oddest demo stations was a woman with a whole pig - bigger than me with hooves and skin still on. It seems they're having a pork fest coming up and that is their promo for it. Their prepared food section was very nice, not too many veggie options, but i didn't really expect that. There was also a woman at a station making fresh kimchi which was impressive. The produce section is also very spacious and everything is very fresh looking. I didn't get too close a look at the meat or seafood sections, as they're not things i eat, but it didn't smell fishy like the Asian Food Center in Piscataway does.

                                          I only picked up a few groceries - some ramen, sone spicy dumplings, some marinated tofu, a bunch of different vegetable and some tea as I was only really there to explore, but I must say I've lived in Edison my whole life and have shopped at AFC and Hong Kong Supermarket before it closed a few years ago, and this new HMart blows them both out of the water.I am very excited about it moving into the neighborhood, and cant wait to go back.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Antigone

                                            Amen! The single first thing I care about a fish market is freshness, and the second thing is selection. When I consider fish markets in central New Jersey, the Hmart is the first place that didn't smell fishy, had fish with clear eyes (or fresh swimming fish), and a wide selection. I'd love to learn of another.

                                            I grew up in the pacific northwest, and we have markets where the fish on the ice came in at 5am, and you know exactly what you are getting.

                                            The only catch (no pun intended) with Hmart (among 50 types of fish), was the kind labelled Wild Salmon. I'm pretty damn sure it is not. I'm sure it was bought as wild king salmon but the color was all wrong. The country of origin was Canada where there is a lot of Salmon farming, including a bit of farmed Pacific (king variety) fish. But, the color and size and texture didn't look right to me. If you doubt my scepticism just check the last nytimes genetic tests of salmon up for sale as 'wild'. I don't blame hmart directly, although I wish they would spot it, but the distributors around here are apparently taking advantage of any outlet they can. (I've seen it all over central NJ.)

                                            -T

                                          2. Only had a few minutes to do a very quick walk-through the other day, but was definitely impressed--especially with the quality and prices of the fish and shellfish. The one thing that disappointed me was that AFS was always one-stop shopping for me for all my Asian ingredients--including Thai and Indonesian. That seemed not to be so for HMart. They did have an Indian section, but it didn't have anything I can't find in my local Food Emporium.

                                            Do those of you who are familiar with other HMarts know if this is typical? or might I hope that they may eventually expand their selections and carry more ingredients from other Asian countries?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              HMart will have some non-korean stuff, but they are definitely more Korean-centric than pan-asian.

                                            2. I was there today. There doesn't seem to be enough focus on customer comfort. The aisles are too narrow for the volume of customers. The men's room only had two urinals and two stalls which are not nearly enough for a store this size. Furthermore, the stalls were occupied by store employees!!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: walter_shields

                                                Walter.
                                                Are you going there to shop or just to critique the facilities?

                                              2. Went to it today early thankful because it gets crowded real fast. Overall I like, the produce is pretty good and they got some specials. Bought a link of the Soondae, the Korean blood sausage at the one place where they sell fried chicken at the food court. Dude gave me some chicken while wait, gotta say its pretty good, unfortunately not BonChon good but I would mos def get chicken there.

                                                Actually on impluse tried the soft tofu place which i believe opened today. I will paying that place a visit again, the tofu was great and they have just a bowl of eggs sitting on the side of the table so you can crack 1 or 2 eggs into that soft tofu. Also got tried the seafood pancake and the kalbi. Seafood pancake was good and the bbq was good too, only criticism is that I think the portion of the bbq was a bit small. Still working out the service kinks because they just opened but overall good. However I will say, they have the thinnest pair of chopsticks I have ever used in my life. I grew up using chopsticks and I had a bit of trouble with them!@

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: jester99

                                                  I also stumbled into the new tofu place (Tofu House?) to the left of hmart, and I was really impressed.

                                                  I can't speak to the authenticity, b/c I am new to the cuisine. I mean, I've had Korean before, but not enough to judge at that level. Having said that, we were the only two non-asian people there during our stay (not a basis for judgement in itself) and the rumbling I overheard from others there seemed positive.

                                                  I thought the self-described traditional pancake (with soy dipping sauce, and lots of scallions) was great, and the texture very pleasing. It was also generous in proportion!

                                                  There were two of us and I got the seafood tofu soup and my wife got the mushroom tofu soup and we were thrilled. They tentatively asked if we really wanted mild, and when we politely insisted that we loved spicy foods they delivered(*). They also delivered other complimentary appetizers: kimchi (which I enjoyed, but due to my cabbage allergy I could only have one peice); cucumber in a vinegar/red pepper sauce (almost quick pickled?); bean sprouts w/ sesame oil and salt, and iceberg lettuce salad with a little creamy peanut dressing. The soups were very hearty with lots of tofu, in my case mussels, clams, and shrimp with head and shells on, and in my wife's case at least three types of mushrooms, including oyster mushroom. It was spicy, but balanced, with the broth taking the underlying characteristics of the accompanying ingredient. [This opposed to spicy thai soup which can also be very balanced but is much more about spice/sour/salt(fish sauce)/sweet in significant proportion.] After you-tubing the dish, I now know it is customary for this to come out boiling in the traditional ceramic container, and this experience was completely in line with that.

                                                  Thanks to Jester99 I now know why the eggs were sitting there and I may use them next time.

                                                  The décor is really pleasant. A lot of light wood, with several booths in the middle separated by spiralling planks of wood. It seems setup for family meals, group meals, as well as couples on the 'left' side and front of the room. Hate to have to mention this, but since it often isn't the case, the bathrooms are very nicely designed and cleaned *including* the men's room.

                                                  I found the service to be a little green, however, everyone was incredibly nice, and we had three different people ask us, when they had a moment, if everything was OK and if we liked our food. Very eager in a good way. They don't yet have the credit card machine setup, so if you go *bring cash*, for now. As for service, the ambiance is, after all, family oriented, *good* casual food, and not fine dining. I don't expect some kid to fill my water whenever it's down to 2/3 a glass, etc.. What makes it complicated is that they are using a multi-teaming strategy, so you don't really have one person who is responsible for you. Good and bad. Overall, the level of concern for our happiness won me over, and any glitches are easily overlooked.

                                                  I feel pretty confident with chopsticks, and did fine with the thin metal ones provided, but I am relieved to hear that I'm not an idiot in admitting that it took a little more attention to manoeuvre than I'm used to, but I actually am very re-assured by the metal that they are seriously and effectively sanitized. I'm happy to accept that over disposable, etc..
                                                  Anyway, I'd encourage you to check out the Tofu House and post an update about what you think!

                                                  -T

                                                  (*) I love Thai food and often find that we are victim to the assumption that the white couple that says that want spicy food doesn't really mean it, and we get the bland dumbed down version. Sometimes if you stick it out as a regular you get what you're looking for, but that's a drag. On the other hand, some other places (cough, 10 yrs ago at Pad Thai, Highland Park) places drop the nuclear bomb (with grease) to disguise untalented cooking. This place was careful but respectful of our wished. A nice balance. [I do realize that thai restaurants probably get sick of stupid people asking for hot food and sending it back, but it's a shame 'we' have to pay for those peoples' mistakes.]

                                                  1. re: Tiamat

                                                    IIRC, the tofu place that opened is the famous "So Kong Dong" mini-chain. The first location I'm aware of is the one in Fort Lee, and there's another in Pal Park, and maybe a few more across the country. If you've seen the NJ episode of No Reservations you've seen Tony rave about this place.

                                                    They make one of the best Soft Tofu soups on this planet and I'm so excited we're getting one here! The Fort Lee location is so packed all the time (there is literally a line no matter what time of the day you go) that they've resorted to taking your order while waiting for your table...a great example of a restaurant that does only one thing and does it well.

                                                    By the way, many Korean soups come to the table still boiling. Those freaky Koreans just can't enjoy food unless it completely obliterates your mouth... :D

                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                      I didn't make the connection, but on some subconscious level my wife must have: we were deeply enjoying the soup and she said 'you remember when Bourdain did that Korean soup/food thing', and having a generic memory problem I said, 'What?', and she she said, 'That's part of the real reason I wanted to come in here. To try that soup.' Proof I married a good woman! :)

                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                        I suspected that they were somehow related. I have been to the one in fort lee and so far I have to say that this location food and quality is a bit better and also they do have more things on the menu at this one as well.

                                                  2. I finally made it over to HMart yesterday.

                                                    And yea, the new Edison HMart ROCKS!!! What I liked most about it:

                                                    *Immaculately clean
                                                    *SO MANY sample stations!
                                                    *Special events (They did a blue fin tuna cutting show and fresh pig butchering - oh and they gave out SAMPLES of the bluefin!)
                                                    *Korean BBQ station - I think there's nearly 10 different marinaded BBQs available for you to take home....who needs Picnic Garden when you can bring home galbi and deji bulgogi for 2.99-6.99/lb?
                                                    *Definitely the best fish market I've seen in NJ. They have an awesome selection, everything is fresh, and even tons of live fish swimming around. Amazing.
                                                    *Pan asian: The other HMarts are very Korean-centric but this one tries to do a bit more (I guess due to the large ethnic popution in the area), and they have a selection of Chinese, southeast asian, and even Indian goods. It won't replace a real chinese market but it's probably good enough for me!
                                                    *Food Court! Looks like there are great dining options right there in the food court...can't wait to try all of them.

                                                    LOVE the new HMart!

                                                    1. Braved the plow trucks and the H Mart parking lot and finally went shopping this afternoon.
                                                      Spotless and well organized,great prices on basics,vegetables,some meats and seafood.Steaming a monkfish head ($4.99/lb) with ginger, scallions($1.00/6) soy(counted 17 different types) and sake tonight with 6 different ban chan's from the separate prepared foods section.
                                                      The food court has a sushi joint, typical Korean casserole place,Chinese food takeout and to me the most intriguing, The Korean fried chicken place but not because of the chicken but more so for a blood sausage I saw in a steam tray and the fried pigs knuckles. Both of which I'm dying to try next time around.
                                                      Every one was so friendly and helpful which is not always the case with some H Marts I've shopped and I for one will be a fixture here as well as my beloved Hong Kong Supermarket in East Brunswick. Go now and go often.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Duppie

                                                        I'm a regular here now. In the food court I'm a fan of the fried chicken/roast pork/blood sausage place. The soon dae- blood sausage is a different recipe and better quality than most I've had. Give it a try, there are usually samples so eat these while you are waiting for your order. If samples are cleaned out, just ask them. The sushi joint on the far left of the food court looked yummy too- I spied someones order of shrimp tempura and let's just say it was a work of art- fried to a medium shade and the tempura batter just looked so crisp and delicate. I agree about the friendliness of the place- a lot of their staff are young and outgoing. I asked and quite a few are Rutgers students.

                                                        I'm just not quite digging the Picnic Garden buffet. I've walked through it four times now during lunch and each time I just declined to eat there. Good place if you have a protein deficiency and want to gorge yourself with meat, but for the 1/2 price I prefer my local Chinese buffet where I can get a nice hot and sour soup, some sushi, some meat and shrimp dishes, some nice fruit, an ice cream cone and stuff my bag with sesame balls on the way out.

                                                        1. re: chettad

                                                          Hi Chettad,

                                                          Could you please tell us where this Chinese buffet is? Thanks!

                                                          1. re: chettad

                                                            Been traveling so I haven't had the opportunity to get back to H Mart, If you could, what kind of seasonings does the blood sausage contain and what's the texture like. I had a Korean blood sausage that was grilled in the Philippines last week but was not thrilled with the seasoning or the lack there of or the gummy texture.

                                                            1. re: Duppie

                                                              Two chinese buufets I frequent:
                                                              Super Star East Buffet off of Rt 1 Lawrence next to the Sam's Club. Lunch is about $8.25 and there is a 10% coupon online. The quality and cleanliness is better than most. Hot and Sour soup is made fresh daily, food is frequently refreshed and good variety. I also get: various sushi, shrimp shumai, roast pork, and vegs. There is also a mongolian grill where you can pick fresh meat and veg from grill bar and grill guy grills it with these big as* chopsticks for you. good all around value.

                                                              Asia Buffet aka World Buffet in Hamilton on Route 33 in ACE hardware shopping center. Lunch is 6.99. They do a good job, but enforce the 4th inning rule: try to get there after 12:30 for buffet to ensure freshness. Big draw here is peel and eat shrimp and this crab dish where 1/2 crab is deep fried- I've seen people of all skin colors attacking the crab when it is refilled. My faves are: tempura, sushi, grilled squid (whole pieces with a tasty teriyaki sauce) , hot and sour soup and the sweet sticky rice with red bean paste located undercover near dumplings. just about every asian eating there goes to the Taiwan bar- it is a soup bar and I think they have special grilled things too. If you are not adventurous- you can get a chicken broth soup with great noodles and a spicey topping. caveat: these two buffets are good values, but don't expect to fall in love with everything.

                                                              Soon dae at hmart: definitely NOT gummy texture, soft and well seasoned. Can't sufficiently elaborate- but much better than most. The gummy texture comes from overloading the sausage with rice or noodles. get a sample. yum. I get takeout small size 5.99 and I share. gnerous size, but stingy with the salt topping so ask for an extra.

                                                              -----
                                                              Super Star East Buffet
                                                              311 Nassau Park Blvd, Princeton, NJ 08540

                                                              World Buffet
                                                              368 Highway 33, Trenton, NJ 08619

                                                              1. re: Duppie

                                                                Also tried the soon dae from the fried chicken place in the food court, and I'm not a fan of it (in general, not just the version). If you don't like the lack of seasoning or "gummy" rice texture, I wouldn't bother buying it. Maybe ask for a sample to confirm? I found it flavorless, even with the salt seasoning that came with it. Mostly rice, could hardly taste any blood.

                                                                1. re: yfunk3

                                                                  Thank you so much. I guess taste is such a subjective thing. I love blood sausage of all types and cut my teeth of highly seasoned and spiced black pudding and boudin noir so the Korean version I sampled in Manila was quite a let down. Thanks again.

                                                          2. Kicking myself that I have driven by for months and only today finally went into to H Mart. AWESOME selection of fruits and vegetables. They have sliced marinated meats and I made my American attempt at Bulgogi for dinner and it was delicious with the radish kimchi on the side. So clean... Wish I read Korean!

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: bowildhax

                                                              Right on!
                                                              I LOVE this store. Their meats in general are really great, as is their seafood. And as a kimchee lover, I really like the many varieties they offer. Try the 'young cabbage' variety.

                                                              Make sure you check out the bakery too...some really great stuff there as well (especially a walnut & sweet bean 'croissant-like' pastry they make...probably one of my top 3 favorite accompaniments for a cup of tea or coffee)

                                                              1. re: bowildhax

                                                                bowildhax - did you happen to notice if the spa was open yet? i haven't had time to drive by in a month and was wondering what the progress was.
                                                                thanks,
                                                                eriko

                                                                1. re: eriko

                                                                  I was shopping there last week and it still looked like it was closed but having a cheap date with the wife at the H Mart food court tonight so I'll check it out and let you know.

                                                                  1. re: Duppie

                                                                    Thanks a bunch. Wtih winter approaching, I'm looking more and more forward to the whole jimjilbang experience where i will be steamed like a glorious dumpling. :-)

                                                                    1. re: eriko

                                                                      Nope, doesn't appear to be and there's nothing on the door to say when.