Discussion: Mitsuwa Marketplace, Edgewater, NJ (Share your experience)

Fellow New Jeseryans. Have you been to the Mitsuwa Marketplace at Edgewater? It is a Japanese marketplace with an amazing food court, ranging from ramen and tempura to Western-Japanese style bakery.

(borrowing Yelp for some nice photos: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mitsuwa-marketplace-edgewater)

The supermarket is also pretty good especially offering raw fish filet for sushi and sashimi.

So what is your experience like and what do you like?

The first time I went was a zillion years ago on a (terrific) first date , believe it or not! This was long before Asian markets were within reach (or at least, to my knowledge) outside of Chinatown and I was blown away by the sheer size and scope of the place. We saw huge tuna, all kinds of weird frozen and dried foods, and sampled a bunch of stuff at the food court. I believe I declared it mall-like.

Since then, Kam Man Foods opened in Morris County, and HMart in central NJ, so I’m sorry to say I haven’t been that far north in a while, but it’s certainly worth the trip!

From a grocery shopping point of view Kam Man and HMart are just as good. From the food court angle though, I think Mitsuwa is still head and shoulder above the other two. :slight_smile:

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Sorry, but Edgewater is too far to go when there is a perfectly good Asian Food Market 5 mins from my house in Marlboro. I go to AFM every week and the only thing I can’t get is really fresh uni. Maybe if we got a bunch of HOs together and drove up to shop and eat at the food court?

Yeah, if it just for the grocery shopping, then you won’t be that impressed with Mitsuwa. Its real highlight is its food court. I guess not that many people have been there. I just thought it is a popular place.

I have been a few times and love it, both the food court and the supermarket. There is not a giant Japanese supermarket anywhere near where I live, so for me it is a nice cultural experience to wander the aisles for an hour and ponder mysterious foodstuffs. On one of these trips I bought a jar of umeboshi (sp?) and then made the mistake of eating one. I guess you have to eat those things in childhood to get a taste for them.

The second time I went there it was on New Year’s weekend and it was absolutely heaving with people. Apparently it is a thing to go for New Year.

There simply aren’t many Japanese supermarkets. There are plenty Chinese and Korean supermarkets, but not many Japanese supermarkets. I wonder why.

Do you mean it is too sour or it just tastes bad to you? If it is too sour, then you are fine. It is not meant to be eaten as whole by itself. It is used as a condiment.

[quote=“Chemicalkinetics, post:7, topic:6211”]It is not meant to be eaten as whole by itself. It is used as a condiment.
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I found that out after I had eaten it. The idea of a pickled plum sounded good to me, but it didn’t taste anything like what I would imagine a pickled plum to be. I couldn’t really imagine eating that intensely salty, sour thing as a condiment on anything, so I tossed the rest of the jar.

As for the dearth of Japanese supermarkets, I don’t know why that is, but it is. Within 45 minutes I can get to a giant Korean supermarket, a giant Chinese supermarket, and a giant Vietnamese supermarket, but not Japanese.

I love Mitsuwa but only get there a few times a year. They have a better selection of Udon and Soba noodles and Japanese condiments than the other Asian markets and Sapporo and Kirin beer at good prices. And the food court is terrific - I especially like the tonkatsu. Last time I was there I didn’t see the red bean pancake place, but maybe it moved to another spot in the court.

Where is the giant Vietnamese supermarket? I want to know.

It depends. There is a shop (Oishinbo) which sells red bean fish shape pancake and cream filled cakes. It is next to the information booth if I remember right:

http://www.mitsuwa.com/restaurants-shops/bakery/oishinbo/

but there is also a more famous one which comes up here now and then during special events and set up a table.

Washington St. in Philly. The offerings are not 100% Vietnamese (just like the products in Korean groceries are never 100% Korean) but that’s the focus.

While we’re on the subject of Asian markets … I need to buy a good green papaya shredder. I don’t like the one I have now. Ideas?

I didn’t even know there is a thing called green papaya shredder. I think a Benriner Japanese Mandolin will do the job. Maybe someone else will have better recommendations.

I guess I should spell out a little more.

In term of the supermarket, what I like the most are that: (1) the raw fish selection and quality are very good, (2) Japanese sake selection is good, (3) Japanese rice from Japan.

As for the food court, some of the food stands there rival good quality restaurants.

Santouka Ramen: I went to the Toronto restaurant 3-4 years ago. The ramen from this little branch at Edgewater is just as good. I dare to say that none of the Ramen place I know in Philly can rival this little stand.

Wateishoku Kaneda: the udon there is good. It bought back memory from my childhood.

Hannosuke’s tempura is excellent.

Omusubi Gonbei’s O-musubi (rice balls) are great. So warm, tender and favorful.

To me, this market place condensed many high quality foods into one small location.

Sorry. I am an idiot. I should have just checked online first. This is what I wanted. Although I bet that mandolin would work as well.

Oh yes, I heard good things about the Kiwi slice/peeler too. Have you used this Kiwi brand before? I have a couple of the knives. Not bad, especially for the low price. Probably some of the best $5-7 knives out there.

I am totally obsessed with this place, but I live an hour-and-a-half away from it. My husband and I take a day trip there about 2 or 3 times a year.

My first stop is always the food court because otherwise I would buy everything in the grocery section. To start off, I get the salmon omusubi - it’s so delicious. For my meal, I normally get the melty pork ramen :yum:, but during my last visit, I tried a tempura bowl, and I still dream about it; the soft-boiled egg tempura and seaweed are out of this world! Next time I really want to try one of the chirashi boxes (on the stall menu, they’re called “jewelry boxes”, which I find so charming!). For dessert, I get a black sesame soft-serve cone from Matcha Love.

Between munching away, I browse the market, mostly for snacks. Some recent favorites were Meiji chocolate-covered strawberry gummies and Lotte Sasha chocolate. I also like to visit the stores in the adjacent strip mall; as a huge Miyazaki fan, I typically end up purchasing something Studio Ghibli-related.

Now that I’ve summarized my routine when I visit there, I’m ready to go back :laughing:

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That is far. That being said, I have visited NY quite often, and it takes me 2 hour (used to be 3 hour). So it isn’t too bad. It just isn’t something we can afford to do all the time.

We are the same.

The tempura bowl is very interesting. Unlike the regular tempura, the tempura in the bowl is actually seasoned, soft and tender. The soft boil egg in that tendo bowel (tempura bowl) is awesome. I tried the chirashi boxes. It is pretty good in my opinion. Tasty and relatively inexpensive. I have to agree the omusubi is awesome – and very affordable (~$2).

Yes, I tour the adjacent stores too.

Japanese mandolin much more of a multi-tasker and inexpensive too!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold