By: Anne-Marie Brown
From up here at the Peak, the view might be pure Hong Kong, but inside Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – the only casual restaurant chain based on a film (yes, Forrest Gump!) – we feel transported to American in the 60s.
The atmosphere is buzzing; diners come and go quickly, as do the young restaurant staff, dressed in American-style jeans and t-shirts emblazoned with the Bubba Gump logo. They answer the call of the signpost that we’ve been presented with; “Run Forrest Run” it says on one side, but flip it over to the other side – “Stop Forrest Stop” – and it brings the next passing waiter to a grinding halt.
There’s music playing in the background – something familiar that makes me want to hum along – and the walls are covered with memorabilia from Forrest Gump, everything from his college football uniform to jars and bowls from the kitchen of “Bubba’s Mother”, and a hand written sign that declares, “Forrest is my best dearest friend”.
We’re here for lunch and the family is already busy with the aforementioned sign, or ordering from the drinks list (shaped like a ping pong paddle) or discussing the answers on the Kids’ Menu quiz sheet.
The menus are entertaining, with dishes such as Lieutenant Dan’s Drunken Shrimp and Mama Blue’s Southern Charmed Fried Shrimp. We agree to share a starter called A Run Across America Sampler, a combination of chilled shrimp, fried shrimp, popcorn shrimp, spicy chicken strips and some little balls called Hush Puppies. It arrives in a “shrimping boat” and is served on purpose-made newspaper (nice little touches of theatre).
From there, we move on to a smorgasbord of traditional American fare. For my oldest daughter, slow-roasted Dixie-style baby back ribs and fries; for my older son, Shrimpers’ Heaven, a collection of shrimp done in various ways. The youngest son opts for Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp: deep-fried beer-battered shrimp in sweet coconut with Cajun marmalade. It’s a burger and fries for Dad, and I order a salad – Roma tomatoes, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs and bacon tossed with a raspberry dressing, and of course some grilled shrimp.
It’s a lot of food. We enjoy sharing it all and chatting in a casual atmosphere.
Friends have told us not to miss dessert – That Chocolate Thing or the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae. But we’re so full we can’t order either of them, even though they both look amazing on the menu.
Bubba’s is a lot of fun: a family restaurant in a movie set. The food is simple and fast, and the kids are offered plenty of stimuli to keep them engaged (not an iPod or iPhone in sight); the view is spectacular and the atmosphere upbeat.
For our family there will definitely be a second visit – this time for dessert followed by a nature walk around The Peak.
You’ll Love It If: You’re a fan of Forrest Gump – and shrimp!
Must-try Dish: A Run Across America Sampler
3/F, Peak Tower, 128 The Peak
2849 2867 | bubbagump.com