My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
And momma was right! A little trivia- Do you know what movie this famous line is from? If you don’t know the answer to this, I FORBID you to read this post! 😉
Forrest Gump enjoys a cult status among movie buffs. It’s been 20 years since the movie was released! Can you believe it?! Man, I feel old…
But let’s not dwell on that and let’s focus on the newest kid on the ‘touristy’ block- Bubba Gump Shrimp. This is the latest American import to hit us and this seafood restaurant chain takes its inspiration from Forrest Gump hence the name and the whole interior done up as a homage to the film.
It’s located at the corner of Trocadero opposite TGIF. I would’ve preferred this place to open some where less touristy but hey! they want customers and they will get plenty! If you haven’t been put off by the location, read on.
The first time I walked in to the restaurant for their launch, I thought I was in the wrong place or I had confused this place with another because all I saw around me was t-shirts and other Forrest Gump memorabilia and NO food. *gasp* *shock* *horror* But don’t worry people! On enquiring further, the restaurant was upstairs. Phew!
On my second visit though, I knew where I was going.
Bubba Gump has bought a HUGE space and they can easily entertain big groups on the premises.
They’ve gone all out on the interior (a bit too much in my opinion but goes with the whole Forrest Gump/American theme) I do like the booths! They remind me of Sophie from 2 Broke Girls haha!
Anyway, I’m sure you want to know how the food was so I will stop yapping away and share my experience. The staff are very friendly, which is great! It’s always a positive sign when the staff are happy and enthusiastic. We were seated at our booth and given a little explanation of how their ‘system’ works. Every table has two red and blue plates. Once you’ve gone through the menu and know what you want to order, you put the red sign at the front and a staff member walks over, ready to take your order or help you with whatever you need help with. (I’m hoping it would be food related…!)
Word of caution: Make sure you put the sign back to blue once you’ve ordered and don’t need any help. If it’s red, the staff will keep on coming to your booth to check if you’re okay and need any help etc. They won’t bother you if you’ve got the blue sign up.
Their menu has a lot of dishes- you definitely cannot have all of them in one sitting. Feeling a little overwhelmed, I asked for recommendations. Our lovely waitress, Jusefin, happily suggested Shrimp New Orleans and Cajun Shrimp. I definitely wanted to try Shrimper’s Heaven and we also decided on Lobster Roll. We ordered some drinks and we were ready to go! 😀
In the mean time, we were treated to a fun trivia about Forrest Gump. Now this may not be everyone’s cup of tea but we definitely enjoyed and made the time pass quickly as I was STARVING! (Question is: when am I NOT starving…? Probably never)
Having done quite well at the trivia, we were ready for our food! The wait time didn’t feel long- which is a good thing. And lo and behold! Our food arrived.
I always dig into the fries first and we were a little disappointed that they weren’t HOT and didn’t feel fresh. They were warm but not hot like you expect fresh french fries to be. Anyway, we weren’t here for the fries so we moved onto the main food. An advice when eating Cajun Shrimp. Don’t pick off the shrimp and eat the garlic bread separately. You won’t like it. Instead, dunk big chunks of garlic bread in the warm and spicy cajun gravy and top it off with shrimps. It was delicious and sooo moorish! I could’ve happily eaten this on my own and ordered more bread to dunk in that rich gravy. Definitely save this meal for your cheat day! 😛
Just look at it!! Makes me salivate even while I’m writing this…
Next up was the second recommendation, Shrimp New Orleans. This dish had a spicy and tangy taste- a bit Oriental in my opinion. Nonetheless, worked really well with the Jasmine Rice. True to American portions, they added more garlic bread which they could’ve easily done without. We weren’t complaining though- we had more bread to dunk in that spicy cajun goodness!
I saw Shrimper’s Heaven during the launch and made a mental note to try it next time I’d be visiting. It had the hand breaded shrimp, coconut fried shrimp, cold shrimp, Japanese tempura shrimp and fries. I was quite excited to try this particular dish and I loved the presentation…until I discovered the cold cabbage 😛 I loved the fact the batter was spot on- fresh, crispy and you could hear the crunch with every bite. Each type of shrimp had an individual taste although at some point my taste buds got confused and it all seemed the same at the end. I was disappointed to find cold pieces of cabbage that filled the cone almost to the top. It’s unnecessary. For £20 a pop, this dish is on the expensive side. If I had not ordered quite a few mains, I would have definitely been hungry eating this dish on its own.
The final dish of the evening was the Lobster Roll and the least favourite of all. I was quite disappointed. Not only was the coleslaw quite dry and as I mentioned before, the fries did not seem fresh. The lobster roll itself was really dry and the ‘salad leaves’ mixed with the lobster meat just made it worse. I couldn’t help but compare it to the Lobster Roll at Burger and Lobster. Complete opposites in every way! I definitely prefer the Lobster Roll at Burger and Lobster. One positive thing about the roll was the Lobster meat itself- it was cooked well and was fresh. Sadly, everything else on that plate let it down.
Cajun Shrimp- one more time! it was that good 😛
Overall, it was a great night. They definitely score high on their customer service. In terms of food- it’s decent but not mind-blowing. This fast-food joint is definitely on the pricey side but there’s something for everyone. It’s a good place for families with young kids as they will love the ambience of the place. It will be interesting to see how well they do as time passes. It’s good to see another American fast food joint in London. However, they’re in for some stiff competition as London is full of some really fantastic places to eat (and that aren’t chains). So they’ve got their work cut out for them to pull that crowd towards them.
I won’t be rushing back to Bubba Gump but I may go back for the Cajun Shrimp, mmhmmm!!
^ Aren’t we all! 😛
I love the walk from Piccadilly Circus- the Christmas lights are up and my favourite time of the year has begun! Everyone is (mostly) happy despite the cold and miserable weather. London looks gorgeous as does Carnaby Street. Well done to whoever was in charge of the Christmas lights this year 😀