When you walk past Piccadilly Circus, it’s impossible to miss Bubba Gump. Even if you haven’t been paying attention to it, you surely must have somewhat noticed its ground floor with its Forrest Gump-themed retail products. And right upstairs above all that merchandise, is the Forrest Gump-themed restaurant – Bubba Gump.
Bubba Gump first started out in California and expanded with numerous locations not just across the US but all over the world today. Apart from the UK and US, they have international branches in Cancun, Doha, Hong Kong (it’s at the Victoria Peak and have AMAZING views), Hawaii, Japan, etc. It specialises in shrimp dishes but, of course, also offers a range of other dishes. Halal options are available upon request.
Update: Everything (except pork dishes) are halal at Bubba Gump. Confirmed by management.
The restaurant has a very adorable and lively setting. It’s very family-friendly, casual and fun. The venue is pretty massive too. Each table has a ‘Stop’ and ‘Go’ sign, and it’s basically a recreation of the movie scene in Forrest Gump. You flip the sign from ‘go’ to ‘stop’ when you are ready to order or need anything from the waiters. The fun doesn’t stop there, the drinks menu comes on a ping pong bat! If you’re looking for somewhere fun and entertaining for kids, this is the place to be. A separate kids menu is available.
Here is what we ordered:
To start with, we ordered some Calamari. Rings of squids are battered and deep-fried to a beautiful golden colour. There are also deep-fried bell peppers and pepperoncini’s. They are all served in one massive paper cone, topped with a lemon wedge, and accompanied by dipping sauces.
The frying batter is well seasoned and lightly dusted with cajun spices. I think it was slightly greasy but nothing overly oily. The portion is relatively big – ideal to share among a table of friends.
The dipping sauces served included tartar sauce and the seafood ‘cocktail’ sauce. The sauces were not particularly impressive. I personally preferred the seafood ‘cocktail’ sauce more because of the combination of sweetness and tangy flavour from the blend of ketchup and Tobasco.
“I’m Stuffed!” Shrimp (£20.95)
The “I’m Stuffed!” Shrimp dish consists of large shrimps with crab stuffing that’re baked in garlic butter and topped with Jack Cheese. It is served with Jasmine rice.
I really enjoyed this dish. The seafood quality was decent enough. The shrimp was juicy and retained a natural freshness. It’s not overcooked and had an al dente texture. Very often stuffed seafood are really just a big ball of floury mixture, but there’s a mix of real crab meat in these stuffed shrimp, which was a delightful compliment to the natural saltiness from the shrimp.
In my opinion, the rice was a bit damp but it was really fragrant and tasted really nice with the garlic & lemon butter. The garlic butter sauce was rich but was balanced out by the acidity from the lemon at the same time. The sauce really elevated the crab meat in particular and simply added another layer of texture and flavour to the dish.
Forrest’s Seafood Feast (£22.50)
The Forrest’s Seafood Feast is apparently voted #1 guest favourite at Bubba Gump. This dish consisted of hand-breaded southern fried shrimp, seafood hush pups, and fish & chips, served with coleslaw and dipping sauces. Each fried component was placed in a separate paper cone over a bed of chips. They are all fried to an alluring golden brown colour.
The southern fried shrimp wasn’t particularly impressive to me. While I mentioned above how I enjoyed the crab meat taste in the stuffed shrimp, I find these a bit floury and lacked that distinct shrimp flavor. The fish & chips, on the other hand, had better flavourings.
The seafood hush pups were my most favourite among the three. In a nutshell, they are a mix of shrimp, fish and golden corn, which was then deep-fried and served with Remoulade sauce. The combination makes a pretty interesting flavour and texture.
The chips were nicely seasoned and again mildly dusted with cajun spice. They are fried to golden brown with a nice crisp on the outside and having a fluffy texture inside. This Forrest Seafood Feast was truly a feast. While it looked just like three small cones of fried food, when you add it altogether it is actually quite a lot. Especially when the food is more of finger food dish, it would be perfect for sharing.
…all in all, it was a decent meal at Bubba Gump. The food was okay but it’s more about the atmosphere and vibe here. It’s a fun family-friendly restaurant and gives out such a relaxing and casual vibe. At the end of the day, I do think it’s more of a family/kids restaurant to be.
All meats, except pork dishes, are halal at Bubba Gump.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus