Weets Eats: Jumbo Seafood opens first Orchard Road outlet at Ion
Jumbo Seafood is an institution. It started in 1987 at East Coast Seafood Centre and has since expanded to 17 outlets at home and overseas.
I am certain that many Singaporeans above 35 years old have eaten at one of its branches at least once.
Now, tourists can have their own Jumbo memory in town, because the seafood restaurant chain opened its latest outlet at Ion Orchard.
If you are there at night and are unaffected by neon lights, ask for tables around the window to get a nice view.
There are new dishes at the new branch, such as the King Prawns and Fragrant Rice in Rich Seafood Broth ($38).
The prawn stock shocks, it is umami-rich and bursting with flavours. Crispy rice is added for texture and crunch. It is a familiar dish and we have all eaten versions of it. But this one is impactful yet comforting, and being served boiling hot makes it more soothing.
On weekends and public holidays, you can get dim sum between 2.30pm and 5.30pm, and from this menu I found my other favourite item.
The Baked Jumbo Chilli Crab Puffs ($8.80 for three pieces) is a must-order. This is like the more common char siew puff, except with a chilli crab filling, which is sweet with a hint of spice and goes well with the flaky, buttery pastry.
Another standout dish is already a star at the other restaurants.
The Geoduck Blanched with Superior Stock ($18.80 per 100g, and each geoduck is about 400g and up) is a simple yet delicious dish - piping hot soup is poured over fresh sliced geoduck.
Do not take too long for the photos because any longer than a minute in the soup and the clam is overcooked. The crunch of the geoduck is appealing, as is drinking up the soup after.
Exclusive to Ion Orchard is the Cod Fish 'Otah' in Coconut ($16.80). This is nice but it is not much more beyond that. There is hardly any trace of spice and you taste more coconut than fish.
Home-made Beancurd and Mixed Seafood Braised with Abalone Sauce (from $14) is one of the dishes that you can order in XS size - that should be good enough for two.
The beancurd is delicious - it is smooth without being bland - and the sauce is chunky with bits of seafood such as prawn and scallop. Order this with rice if you are looking for an inexpensive comfort meal.
The sizing of some dishes (from XS to L) may be a fun nod to the fashion mall that is Ion Orchard, but it means nothing for most diners. I would prefer that the restaurant be upfront and state whether a dish is good for one or 10.