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06 June 2008

Restaurant Review | Gumbo: A Taste of New Orleans

Gumbo: A Taste of New Orleans
2nd Level, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia
Type of Cuisine: New Orleanian
Average cost per person: Php 300-350 (USD$7.5 - USD$8.75)
Overall Rating: starstarstarnostarnostar

To tell you the truth, when you say New Orleans, Tiffy thinks of vampires -- as in the vampires in Anne Rice's novels. Thoughts of Brad Pitt as Vampire Louis will serve as food for the mind (according to her). But for Bong, it's a different story. When you say New Orleans, he thinks of fresh seafood, and good old creole-Cajun comfort food.

So when we passed by Gumbo in SM Mall of Asia, Thea, Tiffy's sister pointed out the place and mentioned that it was Burgoo's sister company, as well as being one of the places whose food she likes. A big factor in helping us choose this place for lunch (to tell you the truth) was the server with the really awesome-looking headdress.

After being seated, the one who escorted us in signaled someone from behind the bar to play the music. I guess since it was still early that time, there was practically no one at the place.

Deciding what to order was tough -- so we asked our server to recommend a salad, a pizza, and something else (which we told her should be based on what she liked). For the salad, she recommended the Four Seasons Salad and the Mardi Gras Salad. For the pizza she said that the Meat Extravaganza was great, plus the Quattro Formaggio for cheese lovers. And of course, your New Orleanean food adventure wouldn't be complete without the Seafood Jambalaya.

After putting in our orders, she asked our names and introduced herself -- Tess.

Mardi Gras SaladMardi Gras Salad (Petite: Php 225, US$5.36, Grande: Php 445, US$10.60)
So between freshly grounded pepper (lots of it), and the sour vinaigrette, we had our own little Mardi Gras on a plate. The addition of corn, though, was a bit weird. We're not entirely sure if it fits in with the status quo.

Quattro FormaggioQuattro Formaggio (Petite: Php 295, US$7.02, Grade: Php 365, US$8.69)
My, my, my, Tess was right! If you're a cheese lover, you're going to love this pizza. The strong mozzarella taste is just fab. Plus, it's a semi-thickly crusted although still very crunchy -- the kind of thing that you wouldn't want to get cold cause we all know it's going to be hard to bite into.

Seafood Jambalaya (Petite: Php 325, US$7.74, Grande: Php 475, US$11.31, Chicken Petite: Php 275, US$6.55, Chicken Grande: Php 425, US$10.12)
It has mussels, clams, squids and shrimps. The seafood bed plus the cajun spices blended well. It wasn't so much that it was salty. There were just really strong flavors -- the rice alone can stand on its own. Although the flavors may come off as powerful, the dish was really a comfort food.

Bong, Thea, Tiff

And after everything has been paid for (it's a pain washing dishes), we asked Tess if we can borrow the headdresses displayed around to take pictures with. Guess what, she said yes! :3

Gumbo Resto Shotour waitress, tessSeafood JambalayaQuattro Formaggiotiff and me with the hats

Reviewed by Bong and Tiffy.
Photography by Tiffy.


  1. Sayang you should've tried their crab cakes, they're really good. I'm actually quite surprised that this is only a three

  2. well, my opinion, i think New orleans in High street serve better new orleans food, and this is from a person who went to new orleans last year:p

  3. Well, actually, after this Gumbo escapade, I ate at the Gumbo in RP and their quattro wasn't as good. :/

  4. Hmmm. Is pizza really native New Orleans cuisine? I agree with sakai. New Orleans is better but still...

  5. I like their food, but it's expensive! Haha :P

  6. yeah. i did find it kind of odd that you guys went for the pizza. when i think of New Orleans Cuisine, i think of crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, shrimps, lobsters; seafood and loads of spices and flavour :)

    as for Mardi Gras, one thing comes to mind for me: King Cakes! hahahh ;) and loads of fatty awesome food :9

  7. re: quattro formaggio, the best one in manila i've had so far is from amici (got to try it lately :9) and, a couple of years ago, the one from piadina (thin crust, savoury cheeses and that chili garlic oil they used to have a pot on every table of).

    my last visit to piadina wasn't that great tho :\ i think they really toned down the quality of their food since i've last been there (eons ago).

  8. I was in Amici Tomas Morato yesterday and their Ai Quattro Formaggi wasn't as good as I tasted before. I was disappointed, but I don't know. I hope they can retain the consistency. xD

    sakai and franco
    I'm not sure if Pizza's a native New Orleans cuisine. But I must agree with the both of you.

  9. Bong
    oooh really?? :( i hope it doesn't become another piadina! everything's expensive na kasi :\ and the tendency of most people here is to retain the old prices and just lower the quality. i wish they'd just up the prices and retain the quality.

  10. jakedharrison@gmail.comJune 6, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    Nice post! It's a different voice and style, but still easy to read. I'm a big fan of New Orleanian cuisine. By the way, you misspelled "shrimps" in your description(?) of the SEafood Jambalaya.

    Pizza isn't native to New Orleans as far as I know :)

    Keep up the good work, Foodistas!

  11. How's the New Orleans vegetarian cuisine, Tiffy? No seafood jambalaya for you? :-P

  12. I have being brutally frank but I think this review = Epic fail.

    I was very disappointed about the dish choices. Gumbo can offer a lot more than those, and the dishes you ordered DEFINITELY DID NOT highlight New Orleans Cuisine.

    I know you can't do it all over again but if you intend to go there casually once more, go and have:
    >> Fish and Chips. Made of cream dory, ha.
    >> Bourbon Style Ribs. They're rather sweet, but they're really good.
    >> Something porkchop I don't really recall the name but it's the best dish ever. Now that's authentic.

    And those main dishes come with side dishes according to your choice. I suggest you ask for fries and their gravy. Wonderful combination.

    And did they not give you complimentary bread and some olive oil when you came in? They should have. And it's totally not a bad idea to ask for more, they're simply wonderful.

    That's all.

  13. Josh, this was last month -- I wasn't vegetarian then. :-P

    Joey knows you: We just went with what was recommended. Of course, that's not assuming that Tess didn't know what Gumbo has to offer. My deepest apologies. Brutally frank is always welcome. LOL.

    And no, they didn't give us bread and olive oil when we came in!

  14. @joey: One question, are you familar with the Authentic New Orleans Cuisine? have you personally been to New Orleans?

  15. oh sorry, those were 2 questions.

  16. Lol wait! That's not Joey! :-D

  17. 洛克人X
    that's like asking someone if they really know authentic Japanese cuisine and, if they say they do, if they've been to Japan? that's just silly.

    and i made no claims of knowing authentic New Orleanian cuisine. all I said was "when I think of New Orleans cuisine, i think of.." or something like that. browse through the older comments and please reread it.

    and if that comment was for Joey Knows Me, please double check that you're addressing the right person next time :\


  18. dude, am just asking. why are you getting so defensive? and sorry about that, I was too lazy to type the whole "joey knows me said" not realizing that i'm reffering to another person.

    but anyhow, you said "that's like asking someone if they really know authentic Japanese cuisine and, if they say they do, if they've been to Japan? that's just silly.". well guess what, that DOES make a difference. are you aware that almost all Japanese cuisine here in the Philippines are way way off the standard in Japan? A Japanese professor of mine actually said that. I forgot the 2 restaurant that he mentioned being the closest, but resto like terriyaki boy, tempura, and the likes, have modified the taste to suit that of Filipino mouth. Yes it taste good, but not the real deal. So that means if you really want authenticity, you really need to go there. Other than that, you don't really have any right to claim what dish highlight what cuisine. That would be personal opinion, and not authentic.

    Joey, sorry again for my ignorance.

  19. 洛克人X
    did you mean tsukiji? there's still a difference between knowing what it is and having gone there and actually had it. but it's true, most cuisines, when brought to another place, are modified to suit the preference of the locals. i never questioned that.

    sorry for being defensive. you caught me at a bad time. but i also wanted to make it clear that, if it really was me who you were addressing, i've never made claims of knowing what is the authentic cuisine of any place is. everything i've said was a matter of personal opinion, as you said, and i never claimed otherwise.

    and like i never said i was knowledgeable of the authenticity of one cuisine or another, i also never said you were ignorant.

    thank you for your comments, however. i'm sorry if i came off as defensive. the comment by Joey Knows Me also threw me and, well, your comment was just perfectly timed (but that's not really an excuse).

    Sorry again and thankyou for your input

  20. "i also never said you were ignorant."

    no, that's my part, I was ignorant/lazy to check if I'm referring to the right person. I'm apologizing for my mistake.

  21. Great post! But all the while I thought Lestat was played by Tom Cruise. Anyways, I've been to Gumbo TWICE in April this year but haven't been to New Orleans. So I have nothing to measure it up against. But my tongue remembers quite well how yummy the food were. Will definitely come back for more.

  22. Oh nooooo! My bad! D: How can I mistake it! Brad Pitt was Louis! I'm so sorry! You're right! Vampire Lestat was Tom Cruise! Shame on me! And I thought I was a fan XD


  23. Pizza is not native to New Orleans. However, Gumbo is a sister company to Sbarro in the Philippines.


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