Taking home dining to new levels

Jumbo Seafood's takeaway service softens the lockdown blow

Award-winning chilli crab complemented by deep-fried mini buns.

Here we are again in the midst of gastronomic despair.

Cereal-coated buttered prawn.

Thailand's third wave of Covid-19 outbreak, which erupted last month, might have seemed at that time ephemeral. But in less than two weeks, emergency measures were enforced throughout the country by the government. Restaurants in maximum-controlled cities including Bangkok are now forced to halt dine-in service. This has left proprietors in disheartening situations and diners simply in woe.

Prior to the coronavirus resurgence, I was planning my visit to Jumbo Seafood at Siam Paragon for my Eating Out column.

A famous restaurant brand from Singapore, Jumbo Seafood first opened in 1987 at Singapore East Coast Seafood Centre. Over the past three decades, it has garnered a reputation for serving prime-quality seafood, becoming one of the Lion City's must-visited dining spots for tourists.

And as its popularity grows, the brand has expanded from the its home country to many cities all over Asia. The Siam Paragon branch is the brand's second venture in Bangkok, following the Icon Siam flagship, and among 20 outposts in China, Korea and Vietnam.

Homemade spinach skin bean curd braised with crab meat.

Despite similar names, Jumbo Seafood has nothing to do with Hong Kong's legendary Jumbo floating restaurant at Aberdeen harbour.

The Singaporean restaurant chain is much cherished for Singapore-style seafood fare. Its best-known dishes include chilli crab, black pepper crab and golden salted egg prawns.

Just timely to the mandated dine-in ban, Jumbo Seafood Bangkok restaurants are now offering promotional discounts and attractive deals for the takeaway menu.

It's a nice quick fix especially when many of us diners have been tired of mediocre delivery food and missing the taste of overseas travelling so badly.

With no need for flying, connoisseurs of Singaporean seafood can enjoy their favourite dishes in the comfort of their home from just a phone call away.

My lunch arrived on time, fresh and hot.

Braised assorted seafood in clay pot with bean curd.

There were the whole chilli crab (2,400 baht) to be eaten with deep-fried mini buns (20 baht per piece), cereal prawn (368 baht for a small order), mocha pork ribs (421 baht), spinach skin bean curd braised with crab meat (358 baht), braised assorted seafood in clay pot with bean curd (219 baht) and golden salted egg fish skin (114 baht). These prices are special and will run until May 15.

Jumbo's chilli crab dish, which has garnered the brand many culinary awards, is prepared with a live mud crab carefully selected to weigh 1-1.1kg. The crab came whole with its shell pre-cracked and an ample portion of sauce -- a thick emulsion of tomato, chilli paste and egg -- on the side. The crustacean was fleshy and naturally flavoursome while the sauce was sweet, savoury with an airy hint of spiciness.

Complementing the saucy crab dish were the warm mantou buns, which boasted a light and crispy golden exterior and chewy doughnut-like centre.

An order of a whole crab dish currently comes with a free order of deep-fried tilapia with sweet and sour Nonya sauce; fried prawn with salted egg yolk sauce; or mocha pork ribs.

The mocha pork ribs were satisfying for the succulent meat that came underneath a savoury sweet dark-hued glaze.

Mocha pork ribs with toasted almond flakes.

Jumbo's rendition of cereal prawn featured six prawns butter-fried and coated generously with crispy golden oatmeal flakes. The dish, which has long been my most favourite Singaporean food, was truly delectable thanks to the super fresh and supple quality of the prawns, although the overall taste was a bit too sweet for me.

Of the braised bean curd dish, the tofu was homemade and featured a crispy green surface made with spinach. It was presented alongside crunchy broccoli, while the crab meat topping was provided on the side to prevent sogginess during delivery.

The assorted seafood in clay pot with bean curd featured the likes of prawns, scallops, squid, Napa cabbage, iceberg lettuce, carrots and a zest of ginger.

The golden salted egg fish skin, a Singapore-originated snack that was so popular it has become Asia's gastronomic craze over the past few years, was made with palm-sized fish skin deep-fried and coated with salted egg yolk sauce. Jumbo's take of the dish proved of gourmet quality and very addictive.

Jumbo Seafood takeaway and delivery service are available daily 10am-8.30pm. For more information or to place your order, call 02-118-6290-1 or 099-110-5888 (IconSiam branch) and 087-785-7997 or 088-061-5028 (Siam Paragon branch). Or Line: @jumboseafoodbkk.

Golden salted egg fish skin.

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