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Asian Food Market coming soon in Marlboro

I was driving past the old Acme Market on Rte 79 in Marlboro. There's a sign saying that Asian Food Market is coming soon. I'm pretty excited. Saves 40 mins of driving!

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  1. whoa, it's about time.
    so that's the closed Acme across the CVS near Ryan Rd, right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: yCf

      Yes, it is. About time, is right!

      1. re: eleeper

        Not yet; old Acme is still boarded up (at least it was when I drove by earlier today).

        Can't say that I've seen any recognizable signs of life around that store although perhaps they are working inside or during the workweek when I'm not in the neighborhood.

      2. Does anyone know when they may be opening? I am very excited about this! :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: KerrBear01

          Further update: happened to drive by there today around lunchtime, and the "boarded up" front door was open with some trucks parked nearby & signs of life. That is the first time I have seen anything like that. So perhaps they are making progress ? Hope so, anyhow.....

          1. re: bakersma

            Further update to the update :-(

            Since I posted last about a month ago, I have driven by that store location numerous times on weekdays when you would expect to see at least some evidence of ongoing work activity. Not once have I seen anyone in or near the old Acme; it remains totally boarded up with only the same old temporary "Coming Soon" cloth signs mentioning an Asian Food Market.

            So at this point, I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever see it open......

        2. Looks like work started about a week ago, hopefully it opens soon. I hope it is as good as the market on route 1 in Edison.

          Costco is coming too. We have Wegmans. Head whole foods may build near 520 and route 9. There are a few good Italian pork stores. My shopping can now be done within a 5 mile radius

          1 Reply
          1. re: angelo04

            I was THRILLED when I moved to this area and found Wegman's was so close by. I also heard Trader Joe's was thinking of opening a store in the old Pathmark store which recently closed.

            Also, most of the local Foodtown's were bought out and will become Stop N' Shops.

          2. I emailed them the other day regarding their opening and this was their reply. I was getting scared they they abandoned their plans.

            We should start construction end of this month/early June. Shooting for Nov opening. Thanks for your interest.

            11 Replies
            1. re: DonNut

              The way things seem to work, that says to me maybe some time next year,since every place I've seen announcing an opening is off by months. (The only place I expect to open on time is Costco.)

              1. re: DonNut

                Possible progress observed. Monday around noontime when I drove by, the front door was open and the lights were on inside which immediately caught my attention. Also there were some work trucks parked out in front. Curious, I swung through the parking lot past the entrance area to see what I could see. The interior of the store looked totally empty although some of the Acme decor was still on the walls. There was an Asian gentleman standing by the doorway who seemed like he might be the new proprietor overseeing the activity. I was in a bit of a hurry so I didn't stop to chat with him.

                riving past the plaza on Rt 79 this morning, a large construction type of dumpster was now sitting in the parking lot in front of the store.

                So the timeframe DonNut reported previously may prove to be accurate......

                1. re: bakersma

                  Update: We drove by today. It was boarded up, with no signs of any activity, past or present. Don't hold you breath.

                  1. re: eleeper

                    Its Sunday of course no one is working there today. Its an active construction site Mon-Fri will be open in a few more months. I would guess they are 50% done so far.

                    1. re: DonNut

                      Have to agree with DonNut on this one. Whenever I go by during the week in the daytime working hours, the "front door(s)" are open and there is definitely some sort of construction-related activity going on inside the store. I suspect the pace of the renovation is largely driven by the new owner's cash flow but that in no way necessarily means that the project will not be completed.

                      Also I think DonNut's 50% estimate is pretty close, give or take maybe 10-15% either way, based on what I've seen through the doors driving by slowly when they've been open for view. Whole lotta work to do in a job of this type.

                      1. re: bakersma

                        Drove by this morning, and the permanent sign lettering was up over the front entrance-to-be. Also I have seen a lot of work going on when going past it from time to time during the 'work week'. Sorry 'eleeper', it looks like DonNut was on target and this market will be open for business before too long. Hope it is soon now.

                        1. re: bakersma

                          However, the Middle Eastern restaurant on Rt. 9 South just past Union Hill Road doesn't look anywhere near completion. The sign says Opening 2011, but I really doubt that will happen.

                          1. re: MarlboroMan

                            I can't help but think that banner is just an ad for their Edison location.

                            1. re: yCf

                              If this is similar to the Edison market on RT 1 by Ray Catena we are in for a treat. That is my favorite Asian market and the best in the area IMHO. Hurry and open already!

                              1. re: angelo04

                                The one on Route 1 by Ray Catena is Kam Man, but similar concept.

                            2. re: MarlboroMan

                              As mentioned on another thread... I saw this place lit up one night.. very pretty. Every few months, there'd be a hint of construction. My guess was they'd get some more money, and move forward.

                              Latest effort was mowing the tall grass out front. I guess so interested parties could view it, because there is now a for sale sign prominently posted out front. They've been working on this since 2009, I believe!

                              Going all out on the outside decorations was a bad idea when you can't get the initial restaurant up and running.

                2. From the sign they were supposed to open yesterday.

                  Anyone know if they did?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: seal

                    Will they have a restaurant inside the store also like the one I go to in Levittown, PA ( H-Mart) have?


                    1. re: Tapas52

                      From what I can recall when I last visited their somewhat new Piscataway store this past summer, they had a small seating area with a few tables (three or four at most) near the hot and prepared foods. They'll probably do the same in Marlboro.

                    2. re: seal

                      Where did you see the sign?

                      I'm assuming they'll open in a couple of weeks. Drove by there not too long ago and the front facade signage was up, but the windows/doors were still boarded. Plus, I checked their website and it doesn't even mention the Marlboro store. http://asianfoodmarkets.com/

                      1. re: cruiserchris

                        I went to their website and they actually do have a mention of the Marlboro store. Click on "specials" and on the top of that page you will see a map of the Marlboro location and that they are looking to hire folks. I must admit it was a strange placement within the website and I actually went to the link to see what specials they were featuring. I am looking forward to going to the store once it opens.

                    3. Yes they do have a large banner add under special, looking to hire for the new store in Marlboro. I called and asked when they plan to open and the response was probably the end of December. So all you Asian store food buffs will have to hold your horses for a bit longer ...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JerzeyShore

                        JerzeyShore, I followed your lead and called. Opening is now the begining of January... coming soon, I hope!

                      2. Grand opening this weekend. Can't wait!

                        1. It opened this morning and I was there. Everything looks great and the the fresh produce prices are great. Huge selection with bakery, take out foods, fresh meats and fish.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: HowellGirl

                            Where is the location again?

                            I may go there on Monday.

                            Was it packed today?

                            1. re: ieee488

                              It was getting really busy by the time I was finished shopping. It is on rt 79 and Ryan road opposite the CVS.

                              1. re: HowellGirl


                                It looks like it is slightly further from me than the Asian Market in Plainsboro.

                          2. It was packed this morning. Everything from dumpling skins, to barbecued duck, to a great selection of produce and fish

                            In fact, the fresh whole fish selection and the meats were the most exciting. Snails, salmon head, offal, cuttlefish ; some unique selections that warrant the once a month trip up to Mitsuwa almost unnecessary....except...

                            Hot food selection looks pretty limited and unexciting (except for the assortment of barbecued birds) - and a quick once over didn't turn up any sashimi quality fish. Could be behind the seafood counter, but we'll see

                            Definitely will make this a weekly stop

                            1. went twice since the opening; it was relatively quiet yesterday afternoon. Super excited about the produce section - such a great selection and everything is so fresh - just hope they will get enough traffic to sustain this kind of quality and selection.

                              1. Went this morning and the short of it is, I am impressed. In scope alone they compare well with the biggest and the best. I found a package of korean rice cakes that I paired with some dried fungus and black mushrooms, about a pound of their house roast pork and some thick black soy, garlic, and ginger. My family is enjoying them as I type.

                                Also impressive is their steam table. I got some fried fish filet in salt, garlic and hot pepper and I think it is as good as either of the Matawan places I usually get that dish. Also got a 3 lb bag of teeny mandarins for only about $4 and the one I tried was perfect.

                                They had so many varieties of ready to cook buns in the refrigerated section as well as many kinds of noodles in plastic as well as those rice cakes. The meat and seafood looked nice and well set up with many asian favorites. Next time I get the fish balls.

                                This looks like a very good thing.

                                1. OOH!!! I want to go too! I am still learning the area and don't know where to go! Rte 79 in Marlboro, any other info would be most helpful please. I am so thrilled this place has opened, now to get there! I am located on route 33 thanks!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: EL7

                                    The market is located at the intersection of Route 79 and Ryan Road. The address is 79 South Main St. Route 33 covers a whole lot of territory, so how you get there depends on exactly where you're located. For specific directions, use Mapquest or Google maps.


                                  2. http://asianfoodmarkets.com/documents...

                                    Current grand opening specials and store event Jan 7th.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      AFM has several stores around NJ and all of them are great. As far as I'm concerned, they rival ANY market in Chinatown NYC.
                                      Since I started shopping at the Edison store many years ago (and the store moved to Piscataway a year or two ago) I've rarely bought meat at regular supermarkets anymore. AFM's meats are much fresher and better quality, and the pork products are especially good since they are not brined like most supermarket pork seems to be. In addition to the top notch meats and vegetables, the takeout food is really good _authentic_ Chinese fare, and the roasted/bbq'd meats are great. The bakery stuff is also excellent.
                                      The large Asian population is definitely one of the perks of living in NJ.

                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        Couldn't agree more TP! Best buy on short ribs around, pork belly, shrimp also good. Last time I bought a few packages of scallion pancakes to serve with fried eggs and dried shrimp for 12 brunch guests and they all wanted "the recipe!" It's also nice for this side of monmouth county. I know Middletown was a hike for many CH's.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Thanks RGR! I look forward to finding my way there soon. Sounds really great! I have been to the market in Staten Island and it was excellent!

                                    2. Since I am in Morganville anyway today, I checked the Market out this morning!
                                      Really nice!!!! I picked up a very delicious Duck with Plum sauce, just as the fellow was going to hang it into the display case. I would certainly give it a good thumbs up!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: RUK

                                        i got the roast pork (the one with the golden crispy skin) yesterday right after the guy took it out of the oven; i was in heaven after a bite.

                                      2. I stopped there this morning. I think I am in LOVE lol!!! It was like Disneyland to me!!! First of all the place is BIG and CLEAN! They have everything you could possibly be looking for and more. I was impressed with their hot food section. I didn't try it, but it looked good. The roasted ducks that were hanging looked very yummy! I ended up getting a bunch of hoisin sauce which was on sale (and a preferred brand), oyster sauce, rice wine, rice noodles, dumpling wrappers and green bean ice cream pops. There are SO many times I want to make something with hard to find ingredients and now I will have no problem! :)

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: KerrBear01

                                          DITTO!!! We just returned with an assortment of hot dishes. Fish, pork belly, noodles and veggies. All quite good! The roast pork buns were good but... I like them better with sauce, I think it is hoisin. The bread was perfect, the meat was good all that was missing was the sauce. However, that may be just my preference. We used to go to Chinatown Mei Mei on Pell street when it was merely a factory. John and Alex would work 23 hours a day churning out the best pork buns ever! They spoiled me for any others. This was all many many many moons ago! The scallion and ham bun was delicious. The meats and seafood very fresh and the vegetables and fruits looked excellent. The place was spotless and there were even helpful employees. Quite a nice experience! We will be back!

                                          1. re: EL7

                                            Glad to see you were able to find the market, EL7. :) I haven't been there yet but am looking forward to going very soon.


                                        2. Trying to decide if their Middletown location (which is listed on the website) may be closer to me than the Marlboro store (which is not listed)...


                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: equal_Mark

                                            Middletown location is much smaller.

                                            1. re: equal_Mark

                                              I have been a customer at the Middletown AFM for many years. The new supermarket in Marlboro is far superior in every aspect. It is like comparing a Wawa to Wegmans. Don't
                                              get me wrong, I appreciated the Middletown store since it was nearby and didn't have to travel
                                              too far as in Edison or Cherry Hill.

                                              1. re: fishnut

                                                RGR, I appreciate your kindness. I have no sense of direction, and am new to living in NJ which makes it even funnier for everyone but me! My family's favorite story is of me getting lost anywhere! For good food, however, I am willing to get lost!

                                                1. re: EL7

                                                  Don't feel bad about not knowing your way around here yet, EL7. We've been living in our house in Marlboro for more than 40 years, and when I told my husband that the Asian market is at the corner of 79 and Ryan Road, he hadn't a clue where that is. lol


                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                    Thanks RGR! I appreciate the anecdote about your husband. I have a feeling I am going to just have to learn my way to the Asian market! I will keep practicing till I perfect that trip!

                                                    Mark thank you for th google maps. I am equally bad with computers as I am with directions! Chowhound is truly a great place!

                                                    1. re: EL7

                                                      The Asian market appears to be very close to where Rt. 18 crosses 79. Should make it very easy to access from the north as well as shore areas...

                                                      1. re: equal_Mark

                                                        True. It's about a 1/4 mile from the Route 79 exit (head towards Freehold) on Route 18. At the first light, it's a left turn into the shopping center. (There is no jughandle.)


                                              2. Visited this new location recently and it was well worth the trip. The selection of frozen dumplings alone had to number a few dozen different varieties. But the real treat was the Florida navel oranges which were as sweet as honey. This new AFM location is huge and even includes a Latin grocery section along with tons of Asian products.

                                                1. Mr. R. and I went late this afternoon. I was particularly interested in checking out the fish counter. Color me very disappointed. There was an overwhelming fishy smell. It hit us even before we got near the counter. Ugh! Totally off-putting. At Wegmans' fish counter, there isn't even the whiff of an odor. And while the variety of fish at this market is much wider than at Wegman's, none of it looked anywhere near as pristine and inviting.

                                                  The fresh meats didn't look that great to me either.

                                                  Two whole ducks hanging in the rotisserie looked fresh and juicy. However, many of the items on the steam table appeared to have been sitting around too long.

                                                  I spotted two bargains in the produce section: 6 limes for 99¢ and 5 lemons for $2. Earlier, I paid 66¢ for one lemon at ShopRite. We bought three limes and two lemon. That's it.

                                                  We somehow missed the refrigerated section with the buns, so I'll probably go back to check them out.

                                                  Overall, I wasn't impressed.


                                                  12 Replies
                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                    I went on Saturday, roughly 11 am. My experience was quite the opposite. I thought the fish looked great. There was no foul smell whatsoever. I will probably never make it there during the week to properly compare but I will keep your trusted observations in mind on my next visit.

                                                    I thought the produce looked great and there were some great prices too. I got some awesome bok choy, Chinese broccoli, asparagus, and string beans for roughly $6. So far so good.

                                                    1. re: angelo04

                                                      To be clear, I didn't say foul smell, I said "fishy." There's a difference.... I should add that Mr. R. agreed with me both about the odor and about the way the fish looked.

                                                      We went to Wegmans around 7 p.m. Even at that hour, the fish looked fresh and appealing. We bought haddock, salmon, shrimp, scallops, and clams for a new chowder recipe I wanted to try. Turned out great.

                                                      Fish Chowder: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...


                                                      1. re: RGR

                                                        I agree RGR, when I approached the rear of the Asian Market looking forward to seeing the fish department, I was appalled by the extremely fishy odor. Fresh fish should not have a fishy odor and I literally gagged. Quickly passing the fish department, I was even more turned off by the look of the meat counter. My feeling is that the buy at Asian Market is the produce, if they keep the prices down and specialty Asian groceries if you need them. I bought a large bunch of Shanghai Bok Choy and a bag of peanuts in the shell. Total...$3.52, then I headed to Wegmans.

                                                      2. re: angelo04

                                                        Of course Saturday was their opening day, and the fish counter was likely freshly stocked in the AM. Three days later I figure the fish was probably not going to fare so well...

                                                      3. re: RGR

                                                        I think it is a better bet to go on weekend or earlier in the day. I went on Sunday morning around 11 am and the steam table and the rotisserie were both well stocked. I ordered a their $5.25 lunch special with mixed seafood & kung pao chicken and they were decent.
                                                        The previous week I bought ground pork and beef short rib from the meat department and they were both good and cheap.

                                                        I think it is typical of these Asian market that there are time in the week where you will found produce, meat, seafood departments lacking. It is the same way in Hong Kong Supermarket in E. Brunswick. These Asian markets don't get the same traffic as a Wegman so it will be hard for them to keep everything constantly fresh and well stocked.

                                                        1. re: yCf

                                                          I suspect that the AFM in Marlboro will get more business than other Asian markets, just because there are no other supermarkets really close to that area. I saw a lot of people in the AFM who did not seem like the sort of people looking for Asian foods, but just for staples like coffee or soup or produce. The fact that they carry a whole line of Goya, as well as general "American" foods will probably draw in more people.

                                                          (We went about 12:30 Sunday--it was mobbed!)

                                                          1. re: yCf


                                                            The fish counter was very well stocked. If they are not getting a high volume of traffic, then I'd say they were over-stocked. It's hard to know if the problem with the fish not looking fresh was caused by it having been sitting around too long, or that they are not purchasing the best quality to begin with. If it is good quality but is sitting around to long, then that's a management problem.

                                                            When it comes to the seafood and fresh meat counters, they are competing with Wegmans. Based on what I saw (and smelled), they lose.

                                                            As far as the produce section goes, while I did get a couple of bargains, I also saw instances where the prices were very good, but the produce was not. For example, green peppers were 99¢/lb, but they were awful. Same goes for the eggplants at that price.

                                                            I'll probably include the market as an occasional shopping stop for a while to see how things shake out.


                                                            1. re: RGR

                                                              If you are looking for high quality meat and seafood I would have to agree Asian market in general isn't the place to look. I buy in Asian market for their low price and for specific things that are not carried in American supermarkets.
                                                              if i want good quality seafood and meat, I would go to Whole Foods & Wegman.
                                                              For seafood, i usually go for live fish, crabs, etc.
                                                              For meat, i would look for pork neck bones, beef briskets, etc.
                                                              Same goes for produces.

                                                              1. re: yCf

                                                                Interesting. My view of it is exactly the opposite.
                                                                I shop the AFM market in Piscataway regularly (at least 2-3 times a week). It's the only place I will buy meats anymore (except perhaps the steaks at Wegman's)...AFM's meat is a lot fresher, not 'brined' or otherwise treated, and in general miles above what ShopRite, Stop & Shop, and similar stores offer.

                                                                1. re: yCf


                                                                  I agree with you about buying specific items not carried in American supermarkets. To be honest, though, I don't cook much Asian-style food. I am, of course, happy to pay less for produce that I regularly use as I did with the limes and lemons.

                                                                  The Professor,

                                                                  While I no longer keep kosher, I still buy kosher poultry as well as some meat items. My kosher butcher retired, so I buy them at the Marlboro ShopRite, which has a large kosher section (one whole aisle). The reasons I continue to buy kosher meat, and especially poultry, are (a) their high quality and (b) the koshering process (salting and soaking) adds to the flavor. (Note: When I cook with kosher poultry and meat, I never use any additional salt. ) I've never bought any non-kosher poultry or meat at Shop-Rite.

                                                                  The Stop & Shop in Manalapan bought out Foodtown. I particularly liked Foodtown's special meat counter where the quality was always excellent. Stop & Shop retained the same butcher, and though they are no longer carrying certain items (for example, no more ground lamb *sniff*), their steaks are still Angus beef. I bought some filet mignons recently, and they were superb.

                                                                  The meat I saw at the Asian market didn't look anywhere near as fresh as the meat at the Manalapan Stop&Shop or at Wegmans, where I regularly buy skirt steaks and freshly ground beef.


                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                    Long time lurker first time poster. I couldn't wait until this place opened. I like to cook with miso paste and no longer have to make the trek to east brunswick to get it. I was only there for a brief time, but I liked what I saw. Everything looked very clean and fresh. I only bought the miso paste, frozen edaname and some pudding that my daughter wanted to try.

                                                                    I'm pretty fussy and picky about where I buy my meat,poultry and fish. I browsed rather quickly by the meat and fish counters when I was there and didn't really see anything that I was dying to have.

                                                                    Like RGR, my go to places are Wegman's, Stop & Shop and Trader Joe's for meat , poultry and fish. For special occasions, I go to John's meats in Fanwood,NJ. It's the best!

                                                                    1. re: toonik

                                                                      I buy my frozen endemame at ShopRite. Most of the ones you see in the stores are from China. The Picsweet Endamame in the bright orange-red bags are made in USA. My co-worker joked that they were probably grown by Korean or Japanese farmers in California.

                                                          2. they have green tea ice cream!