If you’ve seen the film Forrest Gump, then you’d have heard of the restaurant Bubba Gump – the restaurant that serves all sorts of Southern American comfort food with shrimps (i.e. prawns) being it’s specialty.
Located on the edge of London Chinatown between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus station in the Trocadero building, it’s in a pretty prime location for London locals and tourists. We got there at 7 pm on a Tuesday night and it was still relatively quiet. When you get through the shop selling all the Bubba Gump souvenirs, you go up the stairs to the restaurant. You’re instantly hit with all the photos and quotes from the film dotted around the walls – it feels like you’ve walked into a Forrest Gump museum than a restaurant though.
For the size of the restaurant, they didn’t have that many members of staff working. So it took a bit of time to get someone to take our order.
But here’s what we got to order:
“I’m Stuffed” Shrimps and Breadcrumbs (£17.50) – prawns wrapped in a crab stuffing, baked in garlic butter, and topped with Jack cheese. Served with jasmine rice and garlic bread. This was the best dish of the night. Although you couldn’t really taste or see the crab in the stuffing, it complimented the prawns really well. The garlic butter was intense and really brought the dish to life. The rice was fluffy and the garlic bread was crispy. We couldn’t quite taste the cheese topping on the prawns though. Although the price was quite steep for this dish, it was definitely worth trying.
The second best dish of the night was this Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp (£14.75) – deep fried prawns with a crispy coconut flake coating with fries, cajun marmalade and coleslaw. The first prawn we ate was nice and the combination of prawns with coconut surprisingly worked. But unfortunately, the coconut coating was quite harsh and the more you ate it, it would be cutting the inside of your mouth. The cajun marmalade was also quite interesting – it was like a citrus chutney with mustard seeds, but we weren’t really sure if it added anything to the prawns though. On the other hand, the fries were quite sad and the coleslaw wasn’t that tasty.
Next up was Jenny’s Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce (£15.95). This was pan seared tilapia over a bed of mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach served with a creamy lobster butter sauce. The fish fillet itself was cooked quite well. But the spinach had pretty much been cooked to death. The mash wasn’t as fluffy as it could’ve been and we’re not sure if there was any lobster in the butter sauce either. Certainly wasn’t worth the price we paid.
Lastly, we had the Accidental Fish & Shrimp (£16.75) – broiled white fish, jasmine rice, grilled prawns and tomatoes in a lemon butter sauce. This was our least favourite dish of the night. The fish looked moist at first, but it was actually quite dry. The sauce wasn’t anything amazing and certainly wasn’t as intense as the sauce for “I’m Stuffed'”. The prawns and tomatoes seemed really out of place on this plate too. Although it didn’t taste bad, it also wasn’t exactly an enjoyable dish either. You could definitely get something much better for the same price elsewhere.
After just 4 mains and 4 drinks, our total bill came to £94 – considering what we ate, this was a pretty expensive meal. So overall we’re only going to be giving Bubba Gump 1.5 yums. This was Robert’s 3rd time at Bubba Gump and he could tell the quality of the food and the customer service has dropped since it first opened. For Kitty, this was her first time and she won’t be running back anytime soon. Sadly, the food wasn’t anything amazing and the customer service was a let down too. We’ve been told it’s amazing in the states, so maybe that’s where we should head to if we really want to try the true flavours of Bubba Gump.