New Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, Chinatown, Boston

Upon entrance into New Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, patrons are greeted by the tanks filled with fresh seafood including fish, shrimp and lobster. The servers wear black vests, are super efficient and our main server was a man of few words. If there was any request, there was a sense of urgency to execute, which we all appreciated considering how large our dining party was.

New Jumbo is a great location for weddings and larger family celebrations. The dining room is filled with round tables fit for 6-10 people and banquet style dining. Although there are few smaller tables for duos, the lazy susan tables are truly a great way to share dishes.

In terms of more exotic Asian dishes, the menu also includes Shark Fin soup, Sea cucumber, Frog with garlic and Duck Tongue. A few of us ordered some refreshing Tsingtao beer to cut the grease of fried dishes.

Fried Stuffed Tofu ($9.95) was one of our favorite dishes of the visit. A translucent paper thin rice crepe is stuffed with tofu, minced shrimp and scallion and served with a slightly sweet soy dipping sauce. The outside is crisp and yields a smooth slightly jiggly contents when bitten.

Be careful when eating it, since dishes tend to arrive as quick as the kitchen can make it. You could burn your tongue. New Jumbo is one of the few restaurants that serves this dish according to our father.

Cold jellyfish salad ($9.50) with savory dressing and smoked pork hocks with pineapple ($9.50) are two traditional Chinese appetizers. Jellyfish salad may sound strange but it simultaneously marries sweet and salty, crunchy slippery together in a dressing of soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Don’t they look like a big pile of rubber bands?

The smoked pork shin alone tastes cool, rich and fatty, much like pork belly, but I don’t detect any smokey taste. Once you eat a slice with pineapple, the sweetness from the fruit cuts through the decadent pork to create well-rounded flavor duo.

Pan-seared Roast Chicken came with the head and all (reserved for our father). A half chicken costs $11.00 and the whole chicken is $20.00. The meat was tender and juicy well seasoned, while the crispy skin provides a contrasting crunch. Most of the chicken fat appeared to have been rendered out during the cooking process.

The fried quail ($4.00 each) had crispy skin and very lean meat. It came with lemon and sprinkling salt. Some folks in our party chewed on the bones as well for the extra flavor.

The Seared Beef tenderloin with mixed vegetables was very tender and the sauce was very flavorful. The kai lan, sauteed in oil and garlic was a great excuse to pretend we were eating something green and semi-healthy.

The celebratory feast on the lazy susan.

General Tso’s pork was nicely fried, with pineapple, green and red peppers for $10.50.

Salt and pepper shrimp is a staple Chinese dinner dish for us. These particular shrimp were scooped out of the tank right after our order, so they were extremely fresh before being pan-fried in salt and pepper seasoning. Don’t be afraid to try eating them whole with the head on.

Salt and pepper calamari ($10.50) is another family Chinese dinner staple. It’s the same preparation as the salt and pepper shrimp. The squid tentacles are the crunchiest part. This is our little sister’s favorite item.

The sweet and sour pork chops ($10.50) were fried before being sopped in sweet and sour sauce. The chops still had a light crisp, but absorbed the sweet and tangy flavors.

Warm coconut tapioca soup, which you can get served cold at dim sum or in the summer, is one of my favorites. The sweet, ripe orange slices are a good alternative dessert if you’re looking for a healthy option or are too full from eating.

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