Last Sunday after lunch, Mom, my sister and I went to Robinsons Place – Manila for shopping. It has been quite a while since the three of us did — because of our hectic schedules. We decided to go there to check out the newest Korean shop named CNA (Culture, Nature and Arts) along Pedro Gil in Malate. Another reason was that I intended to claim my free regular milk tea from Serenitea (BDO credit card promo).

For dinner, we walked around the entire mall, scouting for new restaurants to try. Then I realized I have been to almost every one (except for those with real meaty food options), thanks to Louie (haha). Mom suddenly thought of dining in Gumbo, which now is having a promotion tied up with American Express (AmEx) credit card: Diners can get a plate of Calamari Friti that’s worth PHp 395 for free.

The catch? At least PHp 500 should be spent. Going through the dizzying list of food on the menu, Mom was elated. So we took a table and prepared to be full with a taste of New Orleans.

Review of Gumbo (Robinsons Place, Manila)

Ambiance: ★★★★★

Gumbo is a sister-restaurant of Burgoo. It is no wonder that their interiors are lovely in the same way. I once thought they were members of a multinational chain. But no, they are proudly Filipino-owned companies! In Gumbo, waiters and waitresses all don uniform colorful headdresses and beaded necklaces.

These accessories are inspired by the women collecting multicolored beads during the New Orlean’s Mardi Gras. The chefs in the open kitchen shout “Ahh Seafood Jambalaya” as they serve the star dish to their customers. I have dined in Gumbo-SM Megamall branch before with Louie and friends.

Comparing my observations with regard to ambiance, I can say that their facade, theme and interiors are seamless — very promising and inviting to the eyes.

Service: ★★★★★

The place was pretty jammed. But this did not stop the service men to attend to our requests. From the handing out of menu, taking our orders, refilling our glasses with water, taking our picture and giving us food on time to handing out the bill and packing the leftover, their service was excellent.

Food: ★★★★☆

First, we were given complementary bread with olive oil and a chopped clove of garlic as appetizer while waiting for our actual orders. It was like any ordinary bread but good enough to ease my hunger.

Second, the free calamari platter was served. The squid was super tender and juicy inside and nicely coated with special bread crumbs outside. It was insanely nice, just the best calamari I ever had so far!

Third was the petite (10 inches) smoked salmon pizza, a gourmet dish out of traditional pizza with toppings to die for. I recommend seafood lovers to try this pizza as they’ll never regret it.

Lastly, we had the belly-busting creamy seafood lasagna served hot. I must say that it cannot be part of my “favorite food list” in any way. One can’t have too much cheese unless he/she is a cheese-asaur. Melted cheese was all over this lasagna and it tasted too salty for me. I had to accompany every bite with a slice of bread or the pizza’s crust to even out the strong milk-like taste.

Price for Value: ★★★★☆

The pizza and the lasagna were at the same price of PHp 395. There was a service charge of 10% * the total food cost in the bill. I give four stars out of five for this category because we got one free meal; if not, I’d take out a star.

I must say three people eating Gumbo food for PHp 869 is reasonable already. I thought we don’t need to travel far to America’s most authentic city, the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana to sample delicious New Orleans recipes! 😀

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