At the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong, guests can enjoy fine dining in a beautiful environment. As you dine on fresh, delicious seafood, you can see the lavish sights inside the building as well as the city from across the harbor.
In what is known as the Typhoon Shelter of Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Harbor, you will find one of the world’s largest floating restaurant complexes in the form of the amazing Jumbo Kingdom. Established over four decades ago, it has been in operation ever since, except for a hiatus for a few years after a severe fire.
Recently it underwent a multimillion dollar upgrade and transformation. It is remarkably pretty to look at and an interesting place to eat, offering sightseeing, shopping, and a unique dining experience off of dry land.
Even though it is called “floating,” the entire Jumbo Kingdom is not entirely bobbing out on the bay, as it has a stable concrete foundation in most parts. Nevertheless, the only way to get to it is by a swift boat or ferry ride from the promenade. One approaches the jetty on old-fashioned ramp-steps which segue to wooden planks on a deck.
There, while you wait for the complimentary vessel that takes you to the Jumbo Kingdom, you can admire the size and design of the colossal creation from afar. It is breathtaking at night with the façade resembling a great circus tent and magnificent imperial palace or fairytale castle.
Decoration and Dining
The Dragon Court restaurant is known for its fine dining and is so large it can cater to well over 1500 guests. It is divided into various large rooms and banquet halls, all decorated with garish colors, oriental statuettes and of course, enormous golden dragons. Adorning the walls are portraits and photos of the many celebrities and royalty who have eaten here over the decades.
There are beautiful aquariums full of lovely-looking inhabitants for display, not eating. Since this restaurant specializes in seafood, there are other aquariums and tanks with live fish also on display outside of the dining area.
Diners can take a tour of the tanks, surrounded by moving conveyor belts. In this way, a guest can see that the facilities and sea creatures are clean, that the guests can see what they will be eating and that guests have respect for what they will be eating, as this is culturally significant. There are marine mollusks and crustaceans, a myriad of shellfish and a vast assortment of live seafood as well as crates in water and conveyor belts transporting buckets containing freshly dressed oysters, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, squid and more!
After the tour, there are steps up to the Dragon Court on the first deck, and there are quite beautiful mosaics on the wall, the décor depicting the Ming Dynasty as well as more contemporary artwork too. For a small price, there is the possibility of dressing up as the King and Queen in Imperial robes. It’s perfect for photos!
As mentioned before, the Jumbo Kingdom is vast, and the whole complex can hold 4500 people. In some spots, you can look out of the window and see the pier and the Hong Kong skyline.
They prepared the Cantonese cuisine near our table, and we were able to watch the chefs prepare the meal while we waited. We had the first course of sautéed shrimp with green pepper followed by the cooking of “Drunk Shrimp” over an open flame; done as a flambé, which is still on fire when set on your plate. The menu is diverse, and the experience is a novelty.
Autism Travel Tips:
- There are many stairs and uneven ramps in the Jumbo Kingdom complex. Getting to the restaurant and up to the top deck, as well as the tour of the tanks involves climbing. It is not easily accessible for those needing the use of wheelchairs.
- The tour of the tanks with all the sea creatures can be an unpleasant and overwhelming sensation for those who are sensitive to smell.
- It can be crowded, and the noise level can be high, so make sure to reserve a place before peak time.
- We preferred to take an organized tour for safety reasons and to see the city at night.
- In general, bathroom hygiene is of a lesser grade than in the US, and you can expect in some places traditional bathrooms which you cannot sit on.
- There are very few accommodations for special diets. There is a language barrier, and in a best case scenario you’ll get a menu with a picture of the food, but there’s no way to verify ingredients.