Sunday, May 19, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - JUMBO Seafood Restaurant @ Riverside Point, Clarke Quay

Location: Clarke Quay, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Singapore. Even though it is claimed by some to be a hubbub of cuisines, which is not wrong in all sense, most have difficulty to recall what is truly Singaporean, and not some imported taste made local. If you are one of them, look no further than JUMBO, one of the chain of seafood restaurant, and its famed chili crab. 

In truth, even JUMBO could not lay full claim to its food as a truly Singaporean cuisine. The seafood it offers is really a fusion between Hong Kong style cooking and local tastes, but the chili crab it serves is something which Singaporeans are proud to say is their local trademark. 

The restaurant is usually crowded, filled to the sidewalk border. The amber sign beckons diners to visit its confines.

A panoramic shot of the Singapore River, with JUMBO Restaurant to the left of the view.

I had not visited all 6 of its restaurants, but the one in Riverwalk, right beside Singapore River and in the midst of the vibrant nightlife of Clarke Quay, is so far the only one which captured my attention. Choosing between an air-conditioned interior and the open air ambient next to the river is a personal preference. I, or rather we, chose the latter in case you are interested to know. 

If the day was not so hot, sitting outdoors was not that bad. Watching sexy ladies walking past was not a favorite pastime of mine, but it suffices in killing time while waiting for the dish to be served. The waiters and waitresses were kind and patient enough to wait for our order, and to provide details of individual dishes as well as recommendations. 

Picking crab flesh from its shell is messy work. Fortunately JUMBO provided each diner with a paper napkin, although it makes a salivating eager diner looks like a drooling stroke patient.

Let there be no argument that crab is the word of the day in JUMBO. Even their paper towel advertises the famed Singaporean dish.

Despite its name, the pot of chili crab is by no means salsa hot, merely a tad spicy to the Malaysian taste bud. For beginners dining in spicy food, this would be a good start. The fragrance wafting out from the pot is positively mouth-watering, with the egg-filled gravy mixed with chili and assorted spices covering the hard shelled crustaceans beckoning for a bite. If you know how to twist the flesh out from its protective casing that is. 

A pot of chili crab, served right up! Despite the size of the pot, which is rather large, the available crab meat within is disappointingly low. The egg-filled gravy is mixed with assorted spices, and the fragrance wafting from the pot is positively inviting, with slight sweetness and spiciness mingled subtly in it. Digging the crustacean out of the pot will reveal that while the crab filled the pot, not that much is held within that hard casing.

That does not mean that every diner must be a fan of seafood though. Other oriental dishes are also offered within the pages of the menu, dishes that are a norm to locals but still tasty nonetheless. And who wouldn’t love desserts, those sweet and inviting items that make a person’s taste buds cry for more. 

Some steamed rolls (馒头) served as appetizers, or as your main staple if you wish to.

Scallops Wrapped in Yam Ring (荔茸干贝) is one of the recommended dish in JUMBO. It is really worth the price to try this dish. A crunchy exterior allows me to satisfy my love for crunchy food before the chewy scallops sweetness reach my taste buds. Everyone could be grabbing for the last piece while you are still savoring the taste.

Stir Fried Broccoli could be your choice for balancing the diet with some greens.

For one like me who must have rice as his main staple, try out the fried rice. Don't put your hopes too high though...

A large platter of fruit will serve to cool you down under the hot Singaporean weather.

The number of desserts in JUMBO's menu is quite high, so there is enough for everyone to try something out from the list. Here are but a few of those colorful ones. Some of the desserts are served warm, so it is best to consult the waiter/waitress before placing the order so as not to be surprised by the served item.

We all sighed in relief after having finished the array of dishes despite the complaints of a filled stomach. And the job of satisfying my taste buds completed, my mind wandered around with my eyes, and in the midst of observing sexy butts near the riverside, I realized that the logo chosen for this restaurant coincides with the image of a floating seafood restaurant in Hong Kong which shares the same name. I wonder if they were related.

Suitable for:            for a celebration with family and friends
Cost:                             Costly as it is usually frequented by seafood lovers. Seafood will not be cheap here, but dining in groups will help lower down individual expenses.

Website:                    Official homepage
Contact:                     +65 - 6532 3435
Address:                     30 Merchant Road #01-01/02, Riverside Point, Singapore 058282

Operating hours:   Daily lunch (12 p.m. - 3 p.m.)
                                       Daily dinner (6 p.m. - 12 a.m.)
Directions:                 Exit at Clarke Quay MRT, and walk towards The Central. Exit the mall towards the direction of the river, and look to the left, where the building with large shining words of 'Riverside Point' beckons. The restaurant is visible from the outside.


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