|At H&Y Marketplace in Ridgefield, fresh fish are displayed on plenty of ice.|
|Women making kimchi in the store offer samples to customers.|
By Victor E. Sasson
Several weeks ago, the Oh family closed their celebrated kimchi factory in Englewood, promising to reopen at a Korean supermarket in Ridgefield.
The family chose H&Y Marketplace, not the much larger Super H Mart down the road.
The Oh family's handmade kimchi is preservative- and MSG-free, and the best commercial product in North Jersey.
I've been eating their spicy, fermented cabbage, radish and cucumber kimchis for more than a decade, and always had a bottle in the refrigerator.
So, on Saturday, I drove to H&Y Marketplace, which I haven't visited since the store opened a couple of years ago, and discovered it's the perfect place for Arirang Kimchi.
The smaller market is far more manageable than H Mart, and on weekends, customers are offered free samples of Korean food made in the store -- including pork sausage, seaweed-wrapped brown rice and kimchi.
Other samples were raw conch, and homemade tofu, also available with black sesame seeds.
Fluke Tang ($9.99) is a container of fresh fish and other seafood, as well as vegetables, for making soup at home.
I saw kimchi being made in the store, but it wasn't Arirang kimchi.
At customer service, I was told the store had invited Arirang kimchi to set up shop, but it still hadn't happened.
I purchased a half-gallon of the Kimganae Kimchi being made in the store ($9.99), and jumped in the car to buy rice and spicy soup at the Super H Mart.
I had to park in the back of the large lot, and the store was a madhouse, compared to H&Y Marketplace.
I usually shop at H Marts in Englewood and Little Ferry, and it took awhile to find the rice and soup I wanted, fighting the crowd all the way.
At the Super H Mart, a 15-pound bag of Kokuho Yellow Label Rice from California was on sale for $10.99, a savings of $3, but other H Marts discount it more.
A 16-serving box of Shin Ramyun spicy instant noodle soup was $11.99, also a savings of $3. Previously, I wrote the box contained 20 servings.
Vicky Oh of Arirang Kimchi says construction in one of the stores at the H&Y mall in Ridgefield has just started.
She expects Arirang Kimchi to open in December or January.
H&Y Marketplace is at 1 Remsen Place, off Broad Avenue, in Ridgefield. Telephone: 201-943-7400.