A Little Hawaiian Vocabulary - We're here on the Big Island again (visiting Kona), and it struck me that knowing a few Hawaiian words can come in handy while visiting the islands. Aloha ...
Friday, June 11, 2010
Philip was in town from LA this weekend, so we got together with him, Ruth and Paul at our place for a drink in the tiki bar to catch up before heading out to dinner. Dan and I decided to make dinner a surprise for everyone. I'd heard great things about a local spot from a coworker, and on the bus ride home this week realized they're having a grand re-opening, so it seemed like the perfect place:
Grand Jumbo Chinese Restaurant!
The restaurant was called Jumbo, but as part of the reopening, they've changed to Grand Jumbo. Having not been before, I'm not sure what else was involved in the reopening, but there definitely seemed to be some fresh stenciling on the walls.
The space lives up to the name - a HUGE banquet hall filled with dozens of round tables of various sizes - including large tables with lazy Susans in the centers - a stage, and a full lighting grid including disco ball. The ceilings are lofty and the walls between the restaurant and bar (BOSS Cocktail Lounge) appear to open up. It's obvious why they're advertising that they rent the space - it would be perfect for a large wedding reception, birthday or bar mitzvah.
The menu is also worthy of the Grand Jumbo name, with pages and pages filled with dishes ranging from the familiar (Kung Pao Chicken) to the exotic (Crispy Duck Feet).
We opted for mostly standard fare - BBQ Pork, Honey Walnut Prawns, and General Tso's Chicken - plus a recommendation from our waiter (Beef Short Ribs), one exotic dish that our waiter thought he was teasing me by suggesting, but I went for (Salt & Pepper Duck Tongue) and a pretty exotic hot pot featuring coconut, taro and duck.
Our waiter was enthusiastic and engaged, telling us some very interesting (though not always appetizing) stories of his childhood in Southern China. Everything was delicious. I even enjoyed the duck tongue, though I think I was the only one who did. It tasted like little bits of fried chicken (mostly crispy skin), though it was a little tricky to eat due to a small bone running through the center.
One might think the name Grand Jumbo is a little redundant, but given the size of the place, the depth of the menu, and the tall tales from the staff, it seems perfect to me. And we'll definitely be back for a dim sum adventure.