Jumbo Signatures at MBS differs from other Jumbo Seafood outlets in two ways: the menu collects the best and most popular dishes of Jumbo for the past 30 something years; and the food is presented in individual portions like in Western restaurants. This means that you can visit the restaurant alone or in big groups.
The 3-course set lunch starts from $58 while the 8-course tasting menu from $158, allowing for flexible customisation. If you know a particular dish that you want, you can ask the server if they could change certain items although additional costs may incur. A sommelier is around to recommend wines or simply go for the wine pairing (4 glasses at $118).
For the purpose of this invited tasting, I sampled the 8-course tasting menu and it is glorious. After two amuse bouche–which is a nice touch but unnecessary–it’s off to the races. The three appetisers are good: the shelled prawn with seaweed and pork floss is sweet and crunchy, a similar palate profile with the common cereal prawns; people who prefer savoury food may not like this. The scallop wrapped in Thai yam ring is a traditional Cantonese dish that requires some culinary finesse.
The third appetiser, a generous portion of half a “live” Australian lobster coated in sesame dressing, could do with less (Kewpie?) dressing, which is overpowering, and let the freshness of the crustacean speak for itself. It is a waste of good ingredient; it should have been coated very lightly with a lemon mayo sauce.
The fish maw soup, which is thickened not with starch but with pork fat and collagen, is the best thing on the tasting menu. It’s sweet and thick it’s almost like a lip-smacking gravy. At this point, I was already full. But poor little o’ me, having to sacrifice and fatten myself to write this review.
For the mains, the menu offers 5 choices which, of course, includes Jumbo’s most famous dish, chilli crab pincer (supplement $20). Even if you order a la carte, you don’t have to order the whole crab, you can just order the part you want. But since I have eaten Jumbo’s chilli crab a couple of times before, I wanted to try something new. They offer non-seafood items such as A4 wagyu steak and black pepper lamb chop with foie gras.
Having tried the lamb chop, I find it cute that it is done in a Chinese way. They do not ask for the doneness. It is well done but still tender and doesn’t come across as fatty or greasy like some lamb chops do. They also somehow eradicate all gaminess of the lamb, but personally, I prefer it to be just a tad gamy so that my tongue knows I’m eating lamb.
If there is a dish that could rival the fish maw soup in the fourth course, it is the vegetable, the luffa, because they are both based in the collagen soup. Similar ingredients shouldn’t repeat themselves on a tasting menu but since I can drink a ton of the soup, I didn’t mind as much in this instance. Here, bits of pungent, crispy, deepfried sakura shrimps deck the soup—these are really tasty little bastards that break the monotony of luffa and soup, giving a textural contrast. It’s a genius move to add shrimps.
We swopped out the carb dish to the pao fan or rice in seafood broth (supplement $38). Other people on the same table seemed to like it a lot; a petite woman actually finished it after such a filling meal. But I am not a fan of pao fan in general, it’s just rice and soup. This prawny soup tastes sweet, but I wouldn’t have paid a supplement for it.
Like the pao fan, the cheng tng with peach gum and bird’s net (supplement $28) seems extravagant to pay for in this clime; I won’t pay for it. The durian tart with coconut ice cream and pandan sauce on the tasting menu without any supplement is good enough for me.
The food is fantastic and the price, while not cheap, is value for money given the premium ingredients and the amount of food. It’s a place to bring business associates. Currently, Jumbo Signatures is in running for the 10 Best Restaurants in 2022.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands #B1-01B, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972
Tel: +65 6688 7023
M – F & PH Eve 11.30am – 3pm
Weekends & PH 12pm – 3pm
Sun – Th & PH 5.30pm – 10.30pm
F, Sat, & PH eve 5.30pm – 11pm
You may be interested in…
–Yi Qian Private Dining, Redhill/Alexandra: Serving Cantonese & Teochew Fare That Parents Approve
–Mimi Restaurant, Clarke Quay: Affordable AND Delicious Reunion Dinner Sets at 150 Year-old National Monument
–Pi Food, Dhoby Ghaut: Former Lei Garden (Hong Kong) Sous Chef Heads New Cha Chaan Teng
–Seafood Paradise, Vivocity: OG of Paradise Group Reopens After Two Years. The Crabs Are Expensive But Fantastic
This was a tasting. Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.