I haven't tried many places at the UDMC Seafood Centre at East Coast, the seafood hub of Singapore (nor visited it too many times). Mainly because seafood is expensive! Well, on this day (two Sundays ago), I originally wanted to try out the famous Mattar Road Seafood BBQ but hubby did not want to suffer a crowded place with no air-conditioning. So off to UDMC we went, and specifically Jumbo.
Oh yes, the black pepper crab was good! Huge Sri Lankan crabs with claws on steroids, yielding plentiful meat that was finger-lickin' good. Drenched in savoury pepper sauce (we wished there was more - is there a world pepper shortage or something?) and with shells cracked at just the right places, we barely needed the tongs. Dang, I'm craving for more right now...but they were pricey, at $43.20 for a 1.2kg dish. Ouch.
The rest of the dishes were crap. Just look at the cereal prawns (S$16). Seems like the chef just dumped half a tin of Nestum cereal into the thing. This is also the first time I've seen prawns shelled for this dish, and there weren't many either, maybe five or six only. Blandest version I've ever tasted.
The mee goreng (S$8) came with generous bits and pieces of fish, prawn and squid but was not spectacular. The Punggol Mee Goreng we had at Greenwood Ave is leagues above it.
These greens had seen better days, I thought. Some pieces were kinda browning already at the ends. Sure the stir-fry was not badly executed - veges still crisp to the bite - but again, not something you'd lust after.
I'm a sucker for those fried mantou (fluffy buns) that always are served with chili crab, so I asked for a couple, even though we weren't having chili crab. The waitress kindly offered us a bowl of the chili crab gravy as a dip. Well, it was an unexpectedly HUGE!!!!~1 bowl. For two tiny buns. Not that I'm complaining. The sauce was sweet and fairly tasty but not really that great, so we were glad we chose the black pepper crab and not the chili one.
One thing I liked there was simple harnessing of tech for greater efficiency. The wait staff use PDAs to take orders and the kitchen get those immediately - no delays with walking to-and-fro using paper chits. Before you know it, food starts arriving at your table shortly after orders are done. If only it was better food (the non-crab dishes). Well, I hear Jumbo's quality varies from outlet to outlet, so you may have a different experience elsewhere (we were just too lazy to wander far).
JUMBO SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Block 1206 East Coast Parkway
#01-08 Seafood Centre