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Picnic Garden in Edison - Korean BBQ all you can eat

Does anybody know when Picnic Garden in Edison is going to open?

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  1. I also anxiously awaiting the opening. Dunno if i should give them some time to work out the kinks or not though :-P

    1. I don't know, but the H-MART sign has gone up next door. If the Picnic Garden is waiting for their grand opening, then the H-Mart construction activity is a good sign.

      1. Coincidentally, I called them (in Flushing) earlier this week. They claimed beginning of Oct and they said Hmart would open end of Oct. They said dinner price ~$25 during the week and a few dollars more then the flushing place for lunch (I estimate ~$15). I also asked them to put up signs above the meats, since Flushing doesn't have it and it is difficult to figure out what raw meet to pick. I hope its cleaner then Flushing :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: junkliss

          Well, if you're not flushing, how clean could it possibly be?

          (groan)

        2. Does anyone know if theybbq with charcoal? And the adress

          1 Reply
          1. re: el gaucho

            So their store in Flushing Queens seemed to use natural gas, no charcoal. The address, the old TOPS shopping plaza right next door to where H Mart is opening. The placein Flushing was somewhat dirty and disgusting, when I was there and not at all as nice looking as what appears they are building in Edison. And in response to cantkick, the bathrooms in Flushing were disgusting. Surprising, since Koreans seemed to have embraced bidets for cleanliness (I have two Korean bidets in my house) and so for the rest rooms to be so disgusting .....

          2. Oh man oh man oh man I can't wait for this place to open!!!!!

            In LA they have full table service all you can eat Q for 20 bucks...but this will be the next best thing for sure :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: joonjoon

              Oh man have I mentioned I can't wait for this place????

            2. I called them - 732 650 1000 (phone # from memory) - they said they should open end of Oct. Shooting for Oct 25 but may be delayed.

              6 Replies
              1. re: blorgo

                I saw a coupon floating around the internet, and called them today.

                Guy on the phone said they will be open on Monday at 11:30am.

                1. re: coldsolderjoint

                  Would you mind sharing a link to the coupon with us?

                    1. re: PanicKing

                      Will the prices be the same in NJ as it is in Flushing?

                      1. re: BigGeorge

                        Someone posted a photo of the price list on the Hmart thread:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5725...

                2. has anyone gone and tried this place yet?

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: azkaevolution

                    I believe that coldsolderjoint posted on Wednesday 3'rd that they will be opening on Monday 8'th so I doubt that anyone has eaten there yet.

                    1. re: Duppie

                      I definitely plan on being there some time next week...better start fasting now!

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        So will I,also can't wait for the HMart so I don't have to settle for shopping at the small Han Ah Reum for my pogi kimchi and meat cuts. We ate at Chung Sol Garden last night and the soft tofu with seafood was great as usual.

                        1. re: Duppie

                          I saw thew grand opening banners on the restaurant yesterday.

                          1. re: BigGeorge

                            I drove there yesterday only to find they weren't open yet!!! The guy said they'll be opening next Thursday or something. :(

                            But Chung Sol Bat was delicious :)

                            1. re: joonjoon

                              Just a quick FYI i think the restaurant's open now. My friend just told me that he went there for lunch. Apparently the pictures were right; lunch 15 dinner 25

                              1. re: wherethetreefalls

                                Do you know what they serve at lunch and dinner for the prices to be so different?

                                  1. re: FoodDude2

                                    Somebody has, There's 2 reviews on Yelp but apparently the Chowhounders either haven't as yet or are just too full to type....

                                    1. re: FoodDude2

                                      I went last Thursday. I am no expert on Korean bbq, so I'll have to take my korean friend's word when he says that it was worth the price we paid (25/person for dinner). The major difference is that there is no kaibi during lunch.
                                      If you enjoy korean meat, then you'll like the restaurant. There's a variety of proteins to choose from (pre-marinated and non-marinated) as well as a few cooked items. Seeing as I am a college guy, I mainly went for the kaibi. Actually, that ended up being about 95% of my food intake during the night. Other things that were there were: a couple of soups, rice (white and purple), fried fish, fried crabs, candied yams, boiled corn, dumplings, and mostly things that you would add with the bbq (cloves of garlic, cucumber, picked daikon, kimchi, soybean paste, ect ect.)
                                      Note: they do not have tongs and scissors for each table...apparently people were breaking them or something. Also, there is no desert except for the candied yams.

                    2. Well we finally made it to Picnic Garden tonight and there are many pluses and a few minuses.
                      We got there at 5.45pm and there was already a line of about 40 people and many more still waiting in their cars. The sign on the door said they open at 6pm but starting next week lunch will start at 11.30am and dinner at 5.30pm.
                      The door didn't actually open till 6.12pm and by that time we numbered about 70 and the hostess was overwhelmed so we finally were seated at 6.30.
                      The main dining room is large with another doored banquet room on the left that they only opened up when it became apparent that it was going to be a full seating.
                      There is only one central serving island and from the start you know it's not big enough for the amount of volume this place will initially draw so a huge traffic jam ensues while every one figures out that the plates are too small,the bowl are too big for the numerous condiments,ban chan and sauces that you will eventually need.You will need to make a few trips.
                      White rice,red rice and soups start the buffet line then the salads and a few cooked offerings like fried fish,chicken, mussels,corn and noodles but then it gets interesting. Huge bins of marinated pork belly,rib and loin, chicken,squid,beef shank,rib,flank steak,fatty ribeye appear and it's game on.
                      Choose your meats first and place them on your table so that the wait staff can begin cooking and cutting them up on your grill while you browse the buffet for your fixings.
                      When finally seated ask for you lettuce which is not on the buffet and a chilled basket will be brought to you.
                      Everything we ate was very fresh if not very well seasoned and the cuts were lush and fatty, there was only pogi kimchi available and while my favorite, I would have liked a wider selection.
                      All in all it was very good and even at $24.95 a person for dinner,quite a deal for dedicated carnivores.
                      I can't wait to eventually read JoonJoon's take on this restaurant, but I believe it will be positive.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Duppie

                        Thanks Duppie. I can't wait to check it out! As long as the kinks are worked out I don't see how it would be possible for me to love all you can eat Korean BBQ. :)

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          After reading this thread, I drove by the Hmart shopping center yesterday. We were too early for the BBQ so we ended up at Kimchi Hana. The food was great but the smoke from the grill was overwhelming. There was some kind of draft that sent all the smoke my way. I noticed that the Korean tables had their food cooked at an empty table and brought to them. Considering my smoky experience, I think I will opt for that next time. Does anyone know if you just ask them to do this directly? I guess it is contingent upon having an open grill table.

                          -----
                          Kimchi Hana
                          6101 Middlesex Mall, South Plainfield, NJ 07080

                            1. re: joonjoon

                              I got the impression that this is a little more than a soft opening, and they still have to come to grips with the enthusiastic response and volume they have seen. The hard ware and serving stations still have to be worked out as well as the POS terminals home. I do believe that another buffet station is necessary at least at dinner and weekends because of the endless logjam I witnessed. Finally the seasoning of the meats and accompaniments will have to be fine tuned before the discerning Korean crowd will finally be content.

                              1. re: Duppie

                                I think you are 100% correct. I went there for lunch Wednesday before Thanksgiving and that is the exact impression I got.
                                The hostess has no idea how to handle a crowd. The waiter sort of just run around and never even asked us if water is needed.
                                The meat are fresh but definitely under seasoned.

                                Another comment i would like to make is that the booth is totally unsafe for little kids to sit in because there is a huge gap between the table and the seat. If you are bringing kids with you make sure you try to get a table and not a booth.

                                All in all, if you love meat you can't really go wrong with this place. For a $15 lunch, I was totally stuffed and had to skip dinner.

                          1. OK - so I took my sons there for lunch today. VERY VERY VERY CLEAN compared to their place in Flushing. $15.00/person, meats were under seasoned. Cooked food was good. Needed to ask for lettuce. Very good, we ate a lot and will probably NOT go for dinner given the price differential. The waiters/waitress was very attentive. HMART not opened yet, shelves being stocked.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: junkliss

                              Went day after Thanksgiving - paid highest price $28 b/f tax and tips. If you are a meat eater, it probably is the place for you, otherwise, read my comments & be your own judge. Place - clean and huge. Gas for BBQ. Ventilation good. Lots of meat - even Cow's heart! About 10 to 12 trays of mixed Korean/Asian style cooked side dishes, average quality. Soups/rice porridge/white rice & purple rice & a few kind of hot sauces. Fresh lettuce are brought to the table. Waiters will randomly come and cook meat for you and sometimes cut them up to very little pieces (which is not totally necessary), also lots of garlic/scallions. Other than that, the only dessert is orange only, no free soda nor ice cream for that price. I asked the owner, where are the traditional little side dishes to Korean BBQ, he just waved his hands and said we are different. I said you will not attract people with young kids, nothing to entice them nor an adult like me - for that reason, will never go again! It is not totally authentic Korean nor are they doing anything to please American families of all ages. Once is enough.

                              1. re: mom2sfs

                                While I am not 100% satisfied with my visit to Picnic Garden, I don't agree with the statement that the place is "not totally authentic Korean nor are they doing anything to please American families of all ages".

                                I see enough Korean customers there to suggest the experience is pretty authentic. It may not be authentic in the sense of a Korean sit down BBQ dinner like other Korean restaurants but i think it is an authentic Korean BBQ buffet experience.

                                And I certainly don't think the place is turning away American family just because they don't have desserts and ice cream. I have small children and I understand the place might not have enough offering for typical American kids but I don't think every single buffet restaurant need to have fries, chicken nuggets and ice cream for kids. There are enough places like that in NJ for that.

                                1. re: yCf

                                  At the risk of appearing crass,I for one am glad that Picnic Gardens has not gone out of their way to ultimately appeal to the typical American family and their offspring,To expand,all too many times when a ethnic restaurant {Forgive me Thew} tries to woo an American customer the food suffers and eventually we read and post about their decline and regulation to restaurant purgatory.
                                  Additionally, overindulgent parents and under supervised kids near an open flame and hot grill is a recipe for disaster and a windfall for lawyers. Now if only they will season their meats to appeal to a Korean clientele...

                            2. Went there on Thanksgiving Day - pretty much you can count on most Asian places being open on major holidays. Now, I love the Picnic Garden in Flushing, but can't always get to it because of the long drive, so having one an hour closer to me is a BIG deal. Decided to try the Edison one out with the BF. Almost $30 a person, but I was willing to pay for AYCE kbbq.

                              Couple of pros and cons. Really, who doesn't love the idea of AYCE kbbq? There was a varied selection of meats - not as much as their NY location, but decent. The cooked foods selection was sparse though. No vermicelli noodles when I was there, although they did have the fried crabs (my fave). The location of some of the foods was weird - I mean, you had the pickled daikons smack dab in the midst of raw meats.

                              I didn't mean to, but I did end up comparing them to their NY location. Can't help it. The NY location has more variety and more of everything. However, to save an hour's drive, I can deal with the NJ location.