C-town seafood joint meets jumbo-sized expectations
Situated on Hudson Street just off the main drag of Chinatown, New Jumbo Seafood Restaurant awaits those who seek authentic, “fresh-from-the-tank” Cantonese cuisine. I came here with my dad, who was visiting from out of town, and even though it was a Saturday night, we were seated immediately. I wouldn’t go as far as to call the interior elegant, but it was certainly a step up from your typical Chinatown establishment. Food-wise, there are some comparable places in the neighborhood, including Peach Farm and East Ocean City, but for whatever reason I ended up here (maybe the Tufts student in me was drawn to the “Jumbo” on the big sign out front). More importantly, the place was packed with almost exclusively Chinese clientele. That’s a good sign, right?
We were quickly served a pot of tea, and given menus, which I found to be a little overwhelming, especially when the giant family next to us was being served what seemed like an endless progression of unidentifiable, mouthwatering dishes. Even if seafood isn’t your thing, there is a huge selection of veggie and meat dishes to choose from, ranging from duck tongue to General Gau’s chicken (please don’t order that). For us, however, shellfish were the way to go.
After grueling over the menu’s many pages, my dad and I finally decided on string beans with garlic, crispy and salty squid, and ginger and scallion lobster. Before long, we were served all three in unison, and it was a sight to behold. The string beans were among the best I’ve had—moist, crunchy, and flavorful. I ate mine on top of some steamed rice, and then enjoyed the flavor left behind by the glorious legumes. The squid was no disappointment, either; I found it to be tender, crispy, and well seasoned with sea salt and sliced mild jalapeños. Lastly, the lobster, although pricey, was a delightful component of the meal. The newly deceased crustacean was cut into pieces and coated in a thick, buttery sauce. Also, in keeping true to its name, the dish featured a generous helping of scallions and huge pieces of ginger scattered throughout. Because it was served with the shell intact, I had trouble eating it without using my hands, but that also forced me to slow down and savor each bite.
Unfortunately, we were rushed in, and rushed out. Even before we had finished, our waiter would circle our table like a hawk, swooping in to try and take away our plates and send us on our way. It didn’t take away from the deliciousness of the meal, but it certainly wasn’t good for digestion or the conversation I was engaged in, either. Overall, that is my only real complaint, but definitely don’t go there at prime time if you’re hoping to spend quality time at the table with friends, or your date. Aside from that, it’s a promising place to experience some pretty fantastic food, especially if you come in a large group and order a ton of different stuff. …And did I mention they’re open ‘til 2 AM?
Food (taste): A
Food (presentation): B