Jumbo's chilli crab does not scrimp on the gravy | Photo: Julia Khoo
The restaurant known for its chilli crab (seasonal; from $56 per kg) might not have started out as a hawker stall, but its iconic dish has put Singapore on the global map many times over.
Founded in 1987 by a group of partners, it was then a restaurant at East Coast Seafood Centre that was struggling to stay afloat. In 1993, Ang Kiam Meng, 50, took over the business from his father (who was one of the partners). The former computer software engineer had little experience in the food industry, but it must count for something that he has kept Jumbo going for 26 years now, with six outlets around the island.
For more chilli crabs in Singapore
look at this list.
It might have been that the restaurant listened to its customers, something many successful hawkers do. Over the years, the recipe for chilli crab has improved according to feedback from diners. The original recipe was much simpler but the current one has more ingredients for a complex but extremely balanced taste. The mark of a good chilli crab dish is that the sweet, piquant, savoury, and boldly spicy flavours stand out without overwhelming each other – something Jumbo has mastered.
It helps that it stringently pick Sri Lankan mud crabs for their sweet, succulent, and meaty flesh.
Tian Tian Chicken Rice is one of Singapore's 12 hawker heroes who could be pitted against celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in SingTel's Hawker Heroes challenge. Vote for themhere.
EXCLUSIVE TO HUNGRYGOWHERE USERS: Secure a pair of tickets to front-row seats at Gordon Ramsay's cook-off with SingTel's Hawker Heroes. Enter the contest here.
Write a review here | Address: 1206 East Coast Parkway #01-07/08, East Coast Seafood Centre | Tel: 64423435 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5pm-11.45pm, Sun and public holidays noon-midnight
Food writer Julia Khoo has been a regular contributor to inSing.com since its launch in 2009. Her obsession for writing and photographing all things epicurean is lovingly documented in her long-running food blog, AromaCookery, making her one of the most established food bloggers in Singapore.