LONDON EATERIES – Bubba Gump – From Leicester Square to New Orleans in seconds
As a massive Forrest Gump fan, when I heard about the opening of Bubba Gump; a diner Inspired by the much-loved 1994 film I had to make a visit!
The Southern USA-influenced menu features shrimp in over 20 ways and has great appeal to families, seafood fans, and Forrest Gump fans. The wooden-clad Deep South-styled restaurant is set across two floors, with the retail market selling all the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company merchandise a Forrest fan could desire on the ground floor where you can shop beneath the famous ‘Jenny boat’.
The Southern USA-influenced menu features shrimp in over 20 ways and has great appeal to families, seafood fans, and Forrest Gump fans.
The interior and décor of Bubba Gump is fantastic, you can’t fail to bubble with excitement as you see the similarities between the restaurant and film. As soon as you step into the restaurant you are taken out of Leicester Square and straight into New Orleans, and if you are a fan of the film like myself… you will feel a strong urge to recite all the famous quotes from the iconic film. The view outside of the restaurant was a bit disappointing but with the captivating décor inside, they do a good job of distracting you.
As soon as you step into the restaurant you are taken out of Leicester Square and straight into New Orleans.
The first thing I noticed as I sat down was a blue sign that had ‘Run Forrest Run’ on it, placed on each table. However if you flipped it, there was a red sign that said ‘Stop Forrest Stop’, a waiter kindly explained that the red disk should be used if we require assistance where a waiter will immediately come over, whereas if It’s blue they may check up on you every so often but they will leave you to enjoy the meal. I must admit this worked fantastically, we used the red sign a few times and within 5 seconds a waiter was there to assist us. Top service!
We started our visit with some cocktails – of which they have a good selection. I ordered the Starboard Sunrise and my companion ordered the Bubba’s Blue Hawaiian, both recommended by our helpful waiter. They were colourful, sweet and enjoyable however if you are used to the American bar in the Savoy you may be disappointed. Nevertheless they were tasty and we were allowed to take the Bubba Gump glasses home, which added to the lightheartedness of the experience.
We then moved on to our starters, my companion and I shared a the Shrimp Mac and Cheese, which was deliciously cheesy and creamy, however considering it is a shrimp cuisine the dish could have had more shrimp. We also shared the Cajun Shrimp, which was my favourite dish of the night; a delightful dish sautéed in spicy Cajun butter sauce. I would recommend this dish to those who like a mild spicy kick. The starter dishes were of a generous size…I was stuffed before I begun!
The starter dishes were of a generous size…I was stuffed before I begun!
Our main courses included the Shrimp New Orleans; an authentic spicy recipe that had a welcome tangy taste. It was a well presented dish that was just as satisfying to the eyes as it was to my tastebuds, it was a blend of broiled Shrimp, butler, Garlic and spices, served with Jasmine Rice. We also dipped our fingers into the ‘favourite Forrest meal’; the Forrest Seafood Feast that contained a selection of Hand breaded Southern Fried Shrimp, Seafood Hush Pups, Fish and Chips and Coleslaw. If you like your fried food this is the dish for you! The 3 different types of fish offer a welcome variety and it is actually quite filling; despite most of the pots being filled up with lettuce. This delightful dish also came with a selection of 3 sauces, which assisted in giving a delicious kick to each bite.
We were waited on by Jonathan, a super polite and attentive chap who was more than happy to offer his opinion on each dish. He also decided to play a little game with us after our main course, where he tested our knowledge of the famous film with 3 questions. This was a charming addition to the friendly atmosphere that surrounds the restaurant, but I suggest you watch the film before coming if you want to be known as a ‘Forrest Gump Know-it-all’!
As if we weren’t already extremely full, we finished our pleasant and lighthearted evening with the Best of the Best Sample r- the Hook, Line and Sinker. This contained 3 different deserts; Mama’s Warm Bread Pudding, Homemade Biscuit topped with fresh strawberries and melt in your mouth Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae. This was beautifully presented and almost looked too good to eat…almost! Each pudding was extremely tasty, with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae being my favourite. Each dessert was very different, yet complemented each other perfectly; this is a desert that mustn’t go a miss!
If you are looking for a laid back, fun filled experience, with lots of food then this is the place to go. All you Forrest Gump Fans will not be disappointed, it complements the film well without being over the top…and it’s probably the only place we can get away with imitating Gump without looking strange!
Bubba Gump, Leicester Square, Trocadero, 7-14 Coventry St, London, W1D 7DH
Tel: 020 3763 5288
Lianna, Heart London Magazine