The Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant is, without a doubt, Hong Kong’s most famous eatery. Moored off the Aberdeen coastline its unique selling point is the fact that it floats - enough of an attraction to convince Chow Yun Fat and HM the Queen amongst others to sit down for lunch.
Seating more than 2000 diners, it claims to be the largest floating restaurant in the world. It’s also a Hong Kong icon. Built-In the style of an ornate Chinese Palace, the tiered pagodas and bold red and green facade is either ornate or gaudy, depending on your outlook or if you’ve got sunglasses on. From the outside, it's set alight by what appears to be the world's largest collection of fairy lights.
Inside it’s more of the same. Painted dragon statues, heavy chandeliers, and embossed gold decoration. It’s brash, garish and completely fun – although a refurbishment has tamed some of the wilder elements.
Food at Jumbo Kingdom Hong Kong
Ok, so it floats, but what about the food? Jumbo Kingdom attracts a lot of criticism for the quality of its kitchen – it’s a hazard of being a major tourist attraction. Is the criticism fair? In part. The Cantonese food is certainly not the best you’ll find in Hong Kong and the mid-range price tags are marked up, but it's not as bad as it was. No Michelin stars but very decent food.
Something that’s often overlooked is that Jumbo Kingdom is actually a collection of three different restaurants on the same boat. There is Jumbo, where most diners sit down, but there is also the more intimate Dragon Court dining room and the completely separate and more contemporary Top Deck. For the full experience, both in décor and dining, head for Jumbo. If it's better food and something a little more modern you're after, try Top Deck.
What to Eat at Jumbo Kingdom
The menu on offer at Jumbo is a full biography of Hong Kong food, from rice and noodle dishes to a comprehensive selection of seafood. Hong Kong seafood is famous and Jumbo does that fame justice, with delicious crab, razor clams, and seafood soups. Much of the catch is still local and almost everything is caught fresh that day.
Perhaps the best experience at Jumbo Kingdom is Dim Sum, with the main hall packed with diners on Sundays. The experience is popular so it's worth booking in advance.
Jumbo Kingdom Bottom Line
Don’t come here for the food. While the kitchen is good, the food is overpriced. For the same price, you could eat in one of Hong Kong’s better restaurants and enjoy the really superb food.
Do come for the experience. Don’t let the grumbles about this place being a tourist trap put you off. It is a tourist trap but it’s also a lot of fun. The overblown décor is fantastic and the raucous main dining hall is a great place to bring a group.
How to Get to Jumbo Kingdom
Many tourists have been fooled by the sampan taxis that ply the water around the Jumbo Kingdom offering to ferry you over to the restaurant for a bargain fare. You don’t need them. Jumbo Kingdom offers frequent and free shuttle free services to the restaurant from the Aberdeen waterfront.
There are numerous buses from Central and Hong Kong Island to Aberdeen, some of the most useful include bus 70 or 75 from Exchange Square in Central.
You can make a reservation, but you probably don’t need to. The restaurant operates on a first come, first served basis and given its size you can usually bank on being seated fairly quickly.
- Phone 852/2553 9111
- Address: Jumbo Kingdom Restaurant, Aberdden