new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Jumbo Seafood: Salt Toast Shrimp in the Dark Heart of Freeport

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Jumbo Seafood: Salt Toast Shrimp in the Dark Heart of Freeport

Jumbo Seafood
5651 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 391-8221

This Freeport boulevard spot is one of Sacramento's host of authentic Chinese restaurants. In a rather rough neighborhood, it's a distinctly no-frills place, although the service is very friendly. The menu is a bit shorter then that featured at New Station and New Canton - it seems Jumbo's speciality is seafood, seafood, and more seafood. Fish tanks, a marker of superlative freshness, are in evidence here. (It is Very Bad in a Chinese restaurant if they are not.)

This was seafood in X.O sauce. X.O sauce, a piquant and rather pungent combination of various chopped seafoods with chili, garlic, onion and oil, is one of my favorites. This was a nice dish: the seafood, a combination of scallops, shrimp, fish and squid was evidently fresh and had a nice, perfectly cooked texture. The food came out hot - which was another good indicator that the kitchen was on the ball.

These are stir-fried oysters in ginger and scallion sauce. These were apparently fresh but incredibly pungent with an almost cheesy flavor (one would think that is a dangerous sign but I feel okay - admittedly, I seem to have the Iron Stomach from Hell). I enjoyed three or four bites and was done. My dad tolerated them better.

Salt toasted shrimp is a legendary Cantonese dish and is a must-order at Chinese seafood restaurants. These were very good: a rather thick salt crust concealed fresh and nicely crunchy shrimps. They were also extremely hot - there are few things as profoundly disappointing as lukewarm salt toast shrimp. Never order these during dim sum hours.

A standard Chinese greens dish, combined with black mushrooms. This was in Oyster sauce and a pretty typical dish - but a good rendition, with a fresh flavor.

Jumbo Seafood isn't as flashy or menu-extensive as other Chinese joints in Sacramento, but it's a good choice for simple, economical, and fresh food. It didn't knock my socks off, but it did a very good job with the things it did - I imagine I'll be back to try some more of the menu.

1 comment:

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