Gumbo’s Seafood Jambalaya — From Ahh to Ayy


Grande Seafood Jambalaya (P425) To Share

You would always hear the chefs in the open kitchen of the Gumbo, shout “Ahh. Seafood Jambalaya” as they serve their “star” dish to their customers. Gumbo is the newest themed restaurant revolving around the concept of “A Taste of New Orleans”, their first branch. This less than a month old place in the Mall of Asia is a sister company of Burgo’s Restaurant so this is not a multinational chain but proudly Filipino owned company. You can see the servers wearing the multi-colored beads necklaces, inspired by the women collecting these beads during the New Orlean’s Mardi Gras. Bag Hag actually enjoyed her visit to this place in her posts “Salcedo Market + TRESORMAKATI update” but unfortunately, we had a different experience.

Actually the “Ahh. Seafood Jambalaya” turned into “Ayy, Seafood Jambalaya pala”. I always hate it when the photos in the menus are dishonest and typical of any marketing hype. We were fooled by the menu on how good the Grande Seafood Jambalaya looks like and was disappointed by the presentation when it was served to us. We were expecting the our jambalaya would be full of shrimps, squid and mussels like it was in the menu but to our dismay the paella rice was all over the dish! The supposedly toppings were hidden somewhere down there. Excitement turned to disappointment but to be fair and of course, we already ordered it, we digged in. I did not really enjoy the paella-type cooking because there was no consistency in taste throughout the journey with our Jambalaya — some portions were too tasty with spices, while some were bland. I guess Lori is right that we should give restaurants a good 2-3 months in operation before judging them for the quality of food they serve. So I will pause for now for my rants about Gumbo and I do hope that my readers who have a different experience with Gumbo (please post them in the comments). The last thing I wanted to do is post negative comments on my blog about restaurants. The reason I still posted Gumbo is that the interiors were lovely and the place is a very promising alternative to Fridays or Burgoo’s. Maybe we will just have our little amnesia phase about our experience with this place and check this out after some time, maybe after we finish off the MOA restaurants.

There was a free appetizer promo which is a spinach artichoke dip but it was also a disappointment. But I guess I cannot complain anymore since it is free. The garlic bread tasted homemade but with poor quality of bread. The Artichoke dip does not have consistency and tasted like unwanted calories.

The interiors are lovely and we were seated in a cozy French Quarters section with this view of the main dining area. We hate to go but when we were disappointed with the two dishes we tasted, we decided to go to Rice Table (I’ll cover this in the next post) instead.

The servers are very nice and the facade is very inviting and tempting. It actually stands out among the restaurant row facing Manila Bay. It is located in between Pink Peppers and Grappas, in the north side of Mall of Asia. You won’t miss this in the second floor and this is a perfect place to eat before watching IMAX 🙂

I’ll give this a try again after 2-3 months and we will see before we give final judgement. Let me know what you think about Gumbo in the Mall of Asia.


More Restaurants @ MoA:

Highland’s Steakhouse finally in Mall of Asia!

My Rice Table @ Mall of Asia

[Mall of Asia 05] KKK — OK!

Taste Asia @ MOA- Best Kept Secret in Mall of Asia

32 thoughts on “Gumbo’s Seafood Jambalaya — From Ahh to Ayy

  1. Admittedly, there’s a dramatic difference between the photo and what was served. But having food-styled for menus myself, I’ll be one of the first to tell you that food shots for restaurants are spiffed up so that they’ll look their best for the photo shoot. It’s unrealistic to expect the same thing to materialize at the table. But it would be nice, however.

  2. My friends and i ate at Gumbo last sunday and we were disappointed with the jambalaya grande too. We ordered the dish because it looked good on the menu picture. The actual dish looked so different from the picture. And unfortunately, the taste was also so-so and didn’t make-up for our initial disappointment. I really think its poor marketing to show unrealistic pictures to the customers because it would invariably lead to disappointment with erosion of goodwill.
    We did however enjoy the seafood gumbo.

  3. We had a better experience at Gumbo. True, the free artichoke formaggio dip “valued at P150” was a big disappointment. (Maybe it wouldn’t have been as disappointing if one actually ordered it and paid for it?) Was pleasantly surprised with the fish & chips – the spice rub applied to the fish BEFORE it got dunked in batter made it more flavorful than Fish & Co.’s version (both restos use dory fish for their fish & chips). The gumbo was also quite good, with a nice smoky taste. The seafood platter for 6 isn’t exactly enough for 6 people (unless they order other things to go with that entree) but it was also quite tasty. As for dessert, I wanted to try the bananas foster which I’ve only seen on TV previously, but found it swimming in too much butter. Too bad they don’t have oyster po’ boys else that would have been interesting to try too. Hope this gives your readers some help in deciding whether to try it out or not.

  4. Well, my experience is different coz my friends and I really enjoyed the food and service of Gumbo. Our group went to New Orleans a month before Katrina and we were surprised that Gumbo’s food are comparable to Brennan’s, Arnaud’s and K-Paul’s. in fact, some food of Gumbo like jamabalya, gumbo and crab cakes are better than the restos i mentioned. We also ordered for seafood jambalaya and what came to us is the same in the picture. The food are authentic flavor of New Orleans.
    Of course, Gumbo cant please everybody. But we are pleased. And they value their customer’s opinion.

  5. Hi Anton! We went to the place Gumbo at the mall of asia last weekend, we waited for a table since there was a queu at around 7pm. Our experience was so far different from what you had. We ordered the Seafood Jambalaya, Barbecued Prawns,New England Clam Chowder, T-bone steak and Chicken Gumbo. We were all delighted with our experience, lovely ambience, great service and it was really fun because of what they do for birthday celebrations like ours. In fact,we booked next weeks party for 20 at the French Quarter for my ninang’s special day.

  6. @ Nickie,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I knew that this place would be good and I’m glad that I asked the opinion of OAP readers. I think it might be time to go back and check them out again 🙂 Thanks alot!
    @ Becky,
    wow, it must have been an awesome bday experience… thanks for sharing your comment on this and I was intrigue to go back on my father’s bday :)!

  7. Hi, anton. My family and i went there yesterday, sunday. And we all had a great time. By the way, during the manager’s visit. I was told that Gumbo is a sister company of Burgoo and not of Grappas. Thanks becuase of your blog, we found this new restaurant that my family and friends will frequent from now on.

  8. Had dinner here last week with wysgal, watergirl and joey. Personally, I think it was just all right. Nothing I would go back for. The seafood jambalaya DID look just like the picture, and as much as I love spicy food, I thought it was too spicy for comfort.
    The crab cakes were mushy, and crumbled before it even got to my mouth, and the fish (of the fish n chips) didn’t taste fresh, it was also a little gummy.
    My biggest disappointment was that they didn’t have any key lime pie available. I was really looking forward to that.
    Thankfully, the company was great, and so was the service. 🙂

  9. again, tried my luck with Gumbo…and again, i was disappointed…the seafood gumbo was swimming with its too much sauce, their seafoods were kinda hard that maybe they overcooked it, forgettable but i liked their rice, it was sticky and plump. also ordered their NY steak for my dad, didn’t bother to taste it..i guess it was jsut okay since he didn’t comment on its greatness.

  10. Hmm…sounds like Gumbo has an issue maintaining their food’s quality, judging from the disparity in your readers’ experiences. Hope Gumbo’s management get around to reading all these comments. Sure beats having people fill out those little surveys at the end of the meal. There’s a lot of qualitative data here. =)

  11. It’s been about 3 months since your initial post.
    We had dinner at Gumbo last Sunday – they were very consistent wih their inconsistency…
    We were totally disappointed with the dinner.
    Will post in my blog one of these days.

  12. I went last night. The size of the jambalaya was OK. And I think the jambalaya was fine, though a bit too spicy at the “original” recipe.
    My problem is with the dish the restaurant was named after. The gumbo. The mix of herbs and spices made it a pain to eat after a while. I guess it’s OK if you’re a group of 4 or more and you just have to eat a bit. But if you’re just a couple, finishing the gumbo is tough.
    The coconut mozarella was OK, though a bit too petite for “petite” size. The peach bellini was expensive I think at 200+ for 2 people. (But then again we all go to Starbs…)
    Even after the bellini and water, the spices were still lingering in our mouths. We had to wash it down. We went to the MoA branch of what I think is among the best coffee shops – Baang. (Anton, you should review this!)

  13. Gumbo just opened their 2nd branch at The Block at SM North. The chicken Jambalaya is a disappointment (haven’t tried the seafood version though), but the Seafood Gumbo was great! My sister also ordered their grilled porkchops, but I was only able to taste the fries (awesome fries).

  14. i tried dining out at the newly-opened Gumbo restaurant at the Block of SM North EDSA. in spite of the not-so-good comments you and your readers made about it, i was willing to give it a try. but, i had to quickly agree with you.
    service was not that good. for one, my server mistook my jambalaya order into a gumbo. and to make it worse, she was insisting i ordered a gumbo.
    yet, to even out my comment, food was ok, but not exceptional. and the complimentary bread came as an add-on.

  15. I agree with you anton. tried it out because of the 20%? discount from hsbc. also ordered the jambalaya which had so little toppings. very different from picture. to top it off everything else was bad too. either it was too bland or the taste was just odd. i actually like creole food, having eaten it often when i lived in the states. But this was nothing like it.

  16. Yes you’re right. The pictures in the menu are deceiving. I’m expecting that the dish will be filled with seafoods. We also ordered Seafood Jambalaya and The Sicilian Pasta. I swear, that pasta is one of the worst pasta I’ve tasted in restaurants. Pasta without flavor.. Haizz.. But anyway, I love the crab in Gumbo.

  17. My family and I went to the The Block branch of Gumbo. We were surprised by the huge serving of Seafood Jambalaya. It looked better than the picture in the menu. We liked it! The creamy dory and stuffed crab and ribs were good too. Maybe the management of Gumbo is reading your blog 🙂

  18. I never thought people would like this place, I had a really bad experience that I might not go back to that place, even if I’m not paying! I went to the branch at the Block for my horrifying experience.
    I ordered the ribs which were grotesque to say the least! They were really dry and tough and the sauce was dripping everywhere! Needless to say that meal was a mess!
    My brother had a fish dish that was steamed I think and it was just so-so while my mom had the roasted chicken which was too tough and dry to be appreciated as real food.
    For dessert we had the ice cream cake thing which was way too big and was just that, ice cream formed into cake slices, nothing special really.
    Knowing that this place is owned by the same people who operate Burgoo, it’s quite disappointing really since I always have a great time at Burgoo with their food and service but I’d have to flunk Gumbo unless they make a total 180 to fix their food and their horrendous service (it took them 15-20 minutes to produce our bill and another 10 to return the transaction slip for signing…)
    Boo Gumbo!

  19. I have been hearing a lot about Gumbo, there are negative but mostly are positive. So, I said to give it a try, my friends and I went to the block since work nearby. Amazingly, there were a lot of people on a weekday dinner time. Guests were laughing and seems to be enjoying their food as i observed. We got a table, and ordered for their famous Jambalaya, Gumbo, Fish and Chips. Our visit was a positive one, the mgr. inquired if we are enjoying our dinner, waiters are friendly. There will be more visits to come.

  20. i had a bad experience at Gumbo MOA. They served spoiled squid, smells like a shit. yes its true. crab cake is bad. actually i can afford to forget what they have.

  21. We had a bad experience when we first tried Gumbo at the Block but decided to try again last night at Robinsons Manila. The pictures in the menu were appetizing to look at so we ordered the one that looked yummiest – the bourbon style ribs then added the seafood jambalaya. Since this is a mid-priced restaurant and not a fastfood, we were expecting food to be cooked just before serving. To our dismay, the ribs served were very tough, dry and cold, like it was grilled that morning and just waiting to be served to suckers like us! The seafood jambalaya was also bad – like a leftover meal the day before, salty shellfish, shrimp and squid (they make them salty so it won’t spoil easily!) and just like what others here said, lost in a sea of paella (also salty!). After the meal we were in a bad mood and argued that we should have gone to DENCIO’s (our fave) or Friday’s or even went to Saisaki P. Faura or to one of the hundred different restaurants in the area. Needless to say, I will tell our experience to everyone I know and never go back to GUMBO!

  22. I’m willing to work in your restaurant.I’m a student of Hotel and Restaurant Mgt.Hope you read my comment…thanks

  23. After about 20 minutes of looking for a place to have our lunch last weekend, I and my husbund together with our two year old kid decided to have it at Gumbo in MOA. We ordered seafood jambalaya and fish and chips. Just like you, we were so disappointed of the seafood jambalaya, the actual presentation was 50% different from that shown in the menu and worse, the seafoods are gummy. My daughter loved the fish and the music though.
    I wanted to have a soup but the menu was already taken from us after our first order. So, I asked one of the waitress what soup do they offer and among them, what is the most delicious. She said something whis she assured me that it tastes good. My husband tasted it but was not able to take a spoonfull. Obviously he didn’t like it. It appears and taste like a cream or a sauce rather than a soup.
    I hope GUMBO would do something to improve their foods and service beacuse I liked the ambiance of the place.

  24. we had exactly the same experience, we ordered the same item because the picture looks so inviting. when the order came woooaahhh it seems the seafoods had dried up. me and my wife just look at each other and oh well we already ordered it , we swore never to eat there again

  25. Last night my boyfriend treated me to this restaurant but we went to their branch at The Atrium in SM Megamall. We really enjoyed the food especially their Seafood Jambalaya, the spices were just right for me and I liked the dish spicy. It’s nowhere near the picture above in terms of presentation. The one the tops my list is the good service that they have and their serving sizes. When they mean “petite” what they meant was a platter good for 2-3 person. We ended up so stuffed.
    We ordered the artichoke dip, new orleans clam chowder, seafood jambalaya and cajun chicken all in petite sizes (except the soup). Although the food tasted great, I have quite a few setbacks. First is that the dip was not all artichoke, they have mushrooms as fillers. And second, the soup’s herbs was from a bottled italian seasoning, which oddly gave an italian taste to it. I’m not sure what an authentic clam chowder should taste like but I’m pretty sure it’s an American dish.
    Overall I would still go back to Gumbos if only to have a fix of New Orleans on a reasonable budget. Bubba Gump just hurts our wallet if we go there several times in a year:P

  26. i had experienced working there at Gumbo SM the block, and for me all things came out well. i didn’t encountered any guest complaint because i was doing my work as hard as i can. i even had the time to taste there food( of course i bought it) the pizza was s0 go0d( if you request bourbon sauce instead of pomodoro ) they still serving g00d food for all. i guest every nega-feedback here was already handle by the management of gumb0.

  27. Had a SUPER terrible dinner. Saw a fat and alive cockroach floating on my glass of water.. And what’s more disgusting is that the staff and the manager did not know how to handle the situation. She even gave us a “suhol” (a slice of dessert which di namin ginalaw) and told me “Ma’am o, para mawala naman ung nangyari kanina”. She even told us na first time lang sila nakakita nun at parang pinaparating nila na nilagay lang namin un. Wtf! I just told her na we ate there because its our first choice and I value money so much and we pay for good service. Nakakapanghinayang magbayad ng thousand pesos and makikita mo na ganon. DI SANA SA KANTO NA LANG KAMI KUMAIN DIBA? Di pa umabot ng libong piso. Jusko! — at Gumbo, Mall of Asia

  28. Gumbo is on our list of “Never-going-back-there-again Restos.” We had dinner there before, it was the Holiday season and MOA had these pretty light displays outside so we wanted to seat somewhere to enjoy it. It was full everywhere so we settled for Gumbo since it looked nice. It was a real disappointment. Not one of the things we ordered met our expectations. One of the stuffed crabs (I forgot the name of the dish), was undercooked. It was almost raw. It was actually inedible. Never having dinner there again. It’s not worth the price. We can have a much better meal elsewhere for the same value.

  29. GUMBO is a huge disappointment i ordered blackened chicken steak and they gave me fried chicken breast which is close to home cookes fried chicken except homecooked is not overly done and super dry. Not a value for money i should have went to mang inasal instead or chillis if i want a good dining experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *