Outlets: East Coast Seafood Centre, Riverside Point, The Riverwalk, Dempsey Hill, Ion Orchard, Jewel Changi Airport
Jumbo Seafood was operating as a single outlet back in 1987 and has since opened multiple restaurants in Singapore and The People’s Republic of China, with franchises all over Asia.
The restaurant quickly gained a loyal following with its reputation for serving only the freshest seafood cooked to perfection, with signature dishes such as Singapore Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab capturing the hearts of both local and foreign diners.
With a variety of available outlets of Jumbo Seafood not only available in Singapore but all over Asia as well, I knew that there was good reason for the hype. As a seafood enthusiast myself, I was excited to try Jumbo Seafood after seeing so many of my closest friends flock to this particular place when the dinner cravings involve seafood (and this happens quite often.) The past weekend was no exception, and I took the opportunity to go ahead and try the place for myself. We headed to their flagship outlet located at East Coast Seafood Centre so we could attempt to feel like we were in Batam having seafood by the ocean amid all the Covid crisis.
The ambience of Jumbo Seafood, with its communicable dining format which is similar to the majority of Chinese fine dining restaurants, has remained more or less unchanged over the years. Its noisy and bustling environment with the table crammed closely together added to the overall vibe with the added benefit of the sea breeze which was a great plus point. The lights of the ships anchored out in the Strait twinkle through the humidity.
With staff from many different countries and backgrounds at Jumbo Seafood, it was a little hard for me to ask questions or make my order, what with my very minimal grasp on the Mandarin language. Thankfully, my friend was the opposite of me and managed to put her A1 Higher Mother Tongue skills to good use. As we went on a weekend and the place was extremely busy and crowded, it was difficult to get their attention. In the meantime, we had our tea and peanuts during the 10 minute wait for our order to be taken. When we finally did get to order, they were quick with service and ensured all our requests were being met. Although it was pretty busy, the turnover was quick.
Fresh seafood and Chinese style Zi Char are the available picks at Jumbo Seafood and we couldn’t resist trying their signature dishes. We wanted to explore their full range so we got all their bestsellers such as the Award-winning Chilli Crab, JUMBO Signature Black Pepper Crab, Golden Salted Egg Prawns and Crispy Fried Baby Squid.
Delicious and flavourful, I was not disappointed with the Chilli Crab. With its price at 900gms for S$70++, it was definitely not cheap but good for a splurge.The gravy that came with the crab is really thick and it’s still good paired with other food. The crab has lots of meat and cooked well. It was consistently good with the very fresh and meaty crab. However, the crabs here have a very thick and hard shell. Despite it not being easy to work with, it’s worth your effort.
Succulent, every single mouthful! The crab was a good size with great depth of flavour albeit the butter for black pepper crab was a little overpowering. We ordered a mix of steamed and fried mantous to go with the crabs and the black pepper sauce was so good that I dipped it more into the black pepper than the chilli crab which is saying a lot. If you’re not a fan of Chilli Crabs, this one won’t disappoint and will give you a good taste of the local flavours as well.
Steam Dungeness Crab with Wine Sauce
We got this recommendation from a friend but it was unfortunately a miss instead of a hit. The crab was average and there was little to almost no taste of the chinese wine. It was almost like a normal steamed crab and the seasoning from the chili cod was too overpowering. This was a disappointment so maybe stick to their signatures if you’re planning on a visit.
Golden Salted Egg Prawn
I loved the grainy texture of the sauce and the prawns were de-shelled, making them a lot more convenient to be eaten! I personally hate peeling prawns so it made it a lot easier to just indulge. The salted egg sauce was not the runny type, more like mixed into the flour and fried together, but I’m not complaining. It had good flavour and the prawns were very fresh and had a good texture.
Crispy Fried Baby Squid
This is a definite must-try appetiser. Each squid is beautifully coated with their house marinade, deep fried and tossed in sesame seeds. The pricing is rather steep but if you love fried baby squids, this is a good option. The combination of crunchy fried texture and flavourful marinade is sure to tantalise your tastebuds.
Signature Seafood Fried Rice
The Signature seafood fried rice wasn’t as good as we expected as it was lacking a lot of flavour. Maybe it was because our paletes were too used to the other flavourful dishes but it did not leave any special impressions that we could take away. Good as a filler dish to combine with others but wouldn’t necessarily get it on its own.
Mocha Pork Ribs
Not a seafood dish, but definitely worth a try if you’re feeling up for an interesting mix of east + west flavour. This was an unexpected hit during the meal. Unlike the typical “coffee pork ribs” which can sometimes taste artificial, the ones here are succulent, tender and fragrant. You can tell they use real coffee which takes away the artificial strong aftertaste of coffee essence. The pork ribs are a good balance of lean and fatty meat, chunky and incredibly satisfying. It also comes with a sprinkle of almond flakes too.
Overall, I would rate the place a 8/10. The food was delicious despite there being certain misses but the service was good and food turnover was fast. A good place for friends or family members to gather and enjoy a good meal anytime.