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Jul 12, 2011 09:00 AM

Kimchi & Sushi, Lincroft

Ok guys, I hadn't been back to K&S since they first opened...I gave the place a big "MEH" in the beginning but my meal yesterday has changed my mind.

Forget the sushi, go there for the Korean fare. Everything they served up was delicious and priced right. Their Soft Tofu is nearly as good as that at the famed So Kong Dong and only 7 bucks. They have a big selection of stone bowl bibimbaps that are totally legit and creative. Bulgogi and cheese bibimbap? Sounds insane but delicious. I got the Hwe Dup Bap which was also quite tasty.

They're open even on Mondays and when I went yesterday the place was jumpin'. Banchan was also pretty good.

Their rolls still look and taste like they were made by Koreans though: lacking elegance and finess, and a bit obtuse. Whatever, I'm going there to get my Kimchi and Korean food fix anyway.

If you're ever in the mood for basic Korean fare, give this place a try.

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  1. I pretty much agree. I'd be just as happy with the place if they just ditched the sushi thing (even the whole Japanese side of the menu).

    1. I hadn't considered Kimchi and Sushi based on previous reviews but based on this updat, will do so. We just don't make it up to Keum Ho Jung often enough. Our last outing was Mother's Day (my pick) and we're making a run to HMart and for dinner Thursday as part of our stay-at-home vacation. When we're jonesing for Korean fare Lincroft is certainly easier to manage than a trek to Edison.

      Do they have Yook Hwae (the Sprout's new favorite) at Kimchi and Sushi?


      Keum Ho Jung Restaurant
      518 Old Post Rd Ste 12, Edison, NJ 08817

      6 Replies
      1. re: missybean

        Hey Missybean, K&S doesn't have a whole lot of Korean stuff on the menu. Unfortunately there's no yook hwae on the menu. Man do I love that stuff! Their entire korean menu is limited to a few soups, some meat dishes and a bunch of different bibim baps. I would stick with simple stuff like tofu soup or stone bowl bibim baps.

        1. re: joonjoon

          Not a whole lot of Korean stuff on the menu is putting it charitably. They don't even have kimchi on the menu...


            1. re: MGZ

              It is indeed always served as a condiment there. But for a place that has kimchi on their menu it's strange that they don't have more kimchi dishes available. How bout some basics like kimchi soup, kimchi pancakes, and, since it's a sushi place - some kimchi rolls? That would be really awesome.

              1. re: MGZ

                OK, I'm gonna open a combo Italian/Burger place and name it "Pasta & Catsup" :-)

          1. re: missybean

            As joon implies, the place would be just another mediocre Japanese steakhouse/sushi restaurant (the other 40 in the county apparently were not enough), but for the fact that they have some solid Korean dishes hidden on the menu.

          2. Thanks for the heads up on the menu. I'll plan on keeping it simple when/if we make it to Kimchi and Sushi and continue to travel to Edison for Yook Hwae. Do they serve banchan?

            I'd be interested in trying a variation of Bibim Bap. I recently bought one of the stone bowls and the Sprout has been experimenting with her own variations. The first were OK but we had some trouble getting the right crust on the rice. Later versions have been more successful.

            MGZ - Know what you mean about mediocre Japanese in the area as Japanese. Ugh. Luckily, Mr. Bean has had some success fishing these days and I am getting fairly adept at rolling my own maki. Last week a friend gave us some tuna he caught which we ate at the dock. Best sashimi ever.


            5 Replies
            1. re: missybean

              They do serve banchan, usually about 5 of them. Last time I went it was: Kimchi, pickled daikon, seaweed salad, bean sprouts and salad. The salad was stupid but everything else was pretty good. From my last visit the following were all good:

              Spicy Pork Bibim Bap
              Bulgogi/Bulgogi Cheese Bibim Bap
              Hwe Dup Bap
              Soft Tofu

              It's definitely not ever going to replace a place like Keum Ho Jung. They also have a pizza bulgogi bibim bap which sounded interesting... hope sprout enjoys it! How cute. :)

              Keum Ho Jung Restaurant
              518 Old Post Rd Ste 12, Edison, NJ 08817

              1. re: joonjoon

                The dolsot bibimbaps (served in hot stone bowls) were especially good . We tried the ones with bulgogi and spicy pork as well. The duk mandoo guk (soup with rice cakes and dumplings) was also a hit. The regular bibimbap (cold) was much less impressive though. Clearly this place does a few things very well. It's really a nice find in the area.

              2. re: missybean

                Mmmm . . . Dockside sashimi. If you're going to keep doing it yourself, splurge on some pure wasabi powder (I get it from here: I think they have a free shipping special going on this week.)

                Curious, do you generally freeze the flesh first? Honestly, I don't, but I've had 'hounds on other boards get pretty fired up about how dangerous it is not to do so (parasites).

                I've actually thought that a cool idea for a restaurant would be to offer nothing but local fish for their sushi. Or, at least do so seasonally. No more salmon, but most of what's offered is so flavorless anyway, who would miss it? You would think a good, creative Itamae would welcome the challege. (I know there are lots of possible issues, but it seems pretty cool, doesn't it?)

                1. re: MGZ

                  That's pretty much how Koreans like to roll with their raw fish. They generally don't like sashimi unless they saw it swimming before consumption. Forget dockside sashimi, Koreans do "on-boat" sashimi, they'll filet and eat the fish the moment it's caught. Now that's fresh fish!

                  In terms of wasabi, I prefer the ones in tubes since there's no rehydration needed. There are higher end options now that actually contain real wasabi also.

                  Koreans like to roll with cho-gochujang, vinegared hot pepper paste. I like having both options!


                  1. re: joonjoon

                    I can honestly say I've never never tried to make sashimi while still afloat. I may have to try it with some fluke or blacks this summer. The closest I ever got was back in my lowercase days when a buddy and I would go clamming with a knife and bottle of tobasco in our pockets. Eating clams while standing in thigh high water seemed like the real deal.

              3. Sushi is Korean, as well as Japanese.

                Although I never seem to enjoy it as much at Korean places as I do good sushi restaurants.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tommy

                  Tommy, afaik Sushi is not considered Korean cuisine.

                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Hmm. My understanding has been that Koreans adopted eating raw fish with rice, just as their neighbors across the straight. But some quick googling on korean cuisine has turned nothing up to support that. So i will defer to you on this, as I'm thinking you are more versed in this than am I!

                    1. re: tommy

                      Koreans do eat raw fish with rice, but not in the traditional nigirizushi form. The primary means of consumption seems to be as Hwe (sashimi), and although they're both based on raw fish, a Korean Hwe-Jip and a Sushi-ya are quite different experiences.

                2. MGZ - Thanks for the link for real wasabi. I've always wanted to try it.
                  We don't freeze the tuna. Never even considered it. I think parasites are pretty rare in ocean fish and am willing to take a risk. Mr. Bean catches a lot of fluke (The Sprout caught a 21 incher on Monday) but I never thought to eat it raw. Don't know why. Next time we'll have to try it - what is it like?

                  Would love a place that sold "seasonal" sushi. But besides us, and maybe joonjoon, who else would go if they couldn't get their crab stick, cream cheese and tempura maki cooked on a hibachi with a peeing doll set on fire?

                  joonjoon - The Sprout read your post of Kimchi and Sushi recommendations and immediately wanted to try pizza bibim bap. Since we just had Korean last night she is going to have to wait a couple of days. Unless of course she wants to make it herself which is a definite possibility. She rolled her own tuna maki for dinner tonight.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: missybean

                    To kill parasites in fish, it's recommended to freeze at --4 degrees F or lower. Most domestic freezers don't get low enough. So you're probably right not to bother.

                    1. re: missybean

                      Missy, that is darned impressive of your little Sprout! Catching fish, making rolls, damn!

                      By the way, Fluke is one of Koreans' favorite sashimi fish. It's absolutely delicious when it's fresh and raw. My mom and I occasionally hit up the Belmar marina to buy fresh catch coming off the party boats - the fish gets eaten raw and the leftover bits go into a big pot for spicy maeoon-tang. The freshness of fish really makes a huge difference in this soup so it's a treat to have such fresh catch. Oh by the way, some times you can score real fresh wasabi at H Mart, and almost always at Mitsuwa. It's expensive but definitely worth a try.

                      As far as seasonal sushi - that indeed is the problem. We unfortunately seem to be living in a place where the big sellers are hibachi volcanos and insanity rolls. Every now and then I spot someone eating a plain ol tuna roll or yellowtail roll but just about every table seems to have a kitchen sink roll on it. Not that it's bad but people don't seem to know or care to enjoy the flavor of the fish itself. Thumbs up to you guys for being crazy enough to make something as simple and beautiful as a tuna roll at home.

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        Yup, The Sprout is quite a Renaissance girl. Not only does she catch fish but she baits her own hooks and takes care of the killie trap we keep behind our house. She is a fearless eater and will try just about anything at least once.

                        Mr. Bean will be fishing in a tournament this weekend so chances are we'll have fresh fluke on Saturday. We're looking forward to trying it as sashimi. Do you have a recipe for the maeoon-tang?

                        Wish I saw your post regarding real wasabi earlier. We did a Hmart run last week. As usual, spent way too much restocking the pantry. Maybe next time.

                        - Missy