• Roxii Hoare-Smith

Bubba Gump London

We visited Bubba Gump, the inspiration behind the 1994 film Forrest Gump, located in Piccadilly Circus.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. London is the first Bubba Gump restaurant in Europe. We’d visited a couple of years back during its opening week but despite knowing what our experience would entail I hadn’t even thought about re watching the film prior to our visit. It had been a long time since I’d seen it so my knowledge was limited, very very limited. So be prepared for a quiz by your server!

Thinking back now I could have easily answered them but I couldn’t remember a thing! So if you plan on visiting, brush up on your Forrest Gump knowledge first!!

Although these tourist attraction style chain restaurants may not always be a favourite, I do love Bubba Gump. The decor is amazing. So much thought and detail has gone into it with so much replica memorabilia, fishing nets and American car number plates adorning the walls. The service is fab too. When we arrived I began to remember more about our visit two years earlier. The service had been fun and very theatric and proper Southern style however I noticed that the service had toned down a bit, although slightly disappointing compared to last time but I could not complain. Our servers were absolutely wonderful – so friendly, so chatty and so fun. They made me feel much better about getting every question wrong on the Forrest Gump trivia quiz (oops!).

There’s Forrest Gump quotes all over the tables and the walls such as ‘Life is like a box of chocolates’ and ‘Stupid is as stupid does’. There’s also a ‘Run Forrest Run’ car plate on the table as well as a ‘Stop Forrest Stop’. When you want service you simply move the plates so the ‘Stop Forrest Stop’ plate is on show.

We took a look through the ping-pong bat drinks menu and flicked our sign over to let our server know we were ready to order!

To drink we had Alabama Southern Punch – a fruity blend of Absolut Citron Vodka, amaretto, pineapple juice and cranberry juice (£7.95) and a Lava Flow which is made with Bacardi Superior, tropical Piña Colada and a strawberry swirl (£9.95). The prices are typical London cocktail prices however these come with the added bonus that you can collect a glass from the downstairs shop to take away with you on your way out!

We knew the portions were typical Stateside style sized portions so we ordered what we would call ‘light’ starters so we had room for our mains! To start we went for the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms (£5.95). These are absolutely incredible and a dish you must order when dining at Bubba Gump. The crab stuffing is baked in garlic butter then topped with Parmesan Cheese. These were by far the highlight of the night!

Karl ordered the Best Ever Popcorn Shrimp. The Popcorn Shrimp also comes served with roasted Red Bell Peppers and dipping sauces (£6.95). Again this was another great starter but the crab stuffed mushrooms were a clear winner for me. The flavour was absolutely incredible and the crab was so soft it melted in my mouth – I’m still dreaming about them now!

The prices at Bubba Gump are very reasonable as the portions are so large and also considering it’s location and the style of restaurant that it is.

Although Bubba Gump is a shrimp and seafood restaurant I decided to not order a fish dish for my main. I absolutely adore seafood however after a recent review where I ate a lot of seafood I found out that my stomach does not like it, so we have to compromise.

So for my main course I ordered Mama’s Southern Fried Chicken (£13.95). The price of the dish is great considering that the portion is absolutely huge. I think I barely managed 1/4 of it to myself so I had to have a little help! My plate was overflowing with 2 Hand Dipped Crispy Chicken Breast, fresh golden corn and mashed potatoes with chicken gravy. It was a great dish although slightly dry and I could have done with a larger pot of gravy with all of that chicken. The dish wasn’t too bad however it could have done with a bit more flavour as it became a bit bland after a while. However I had never seen a meal so large but I wasn’t complaining, this is how all meals should be. Take note Brits!

For main course Karl plumped for the Lt. Dan’s Surf & Turf (£20.95). The Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs are slow roasted to perfection along and served with succulent Grilled Shrimp and French Fries. Again the portion was huge and the dish was very flavoursome, I’d definitely order this instead next time!

Although it’s location and theme may put off many ‘foodies’, Bubba Gump should not be dismissed. The staff are absolutely lovely, the drinks and dishes are huge so you get your moneys worth (plus some drinks come with a free glass!) and the food isn’t too bad at all (especially the crab stuffed mushrooms).

Even Jay Rayner praised the restaurant so it must be good!

With bulging bellies we staggered our way back to Piccadilly Circus, not forgetting to pick up our Bubba Gump cocktail shaker and pint glass on the way!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

13 Coventry St



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