Well, Christmas and New Year are over for another year and it’s time to get back to reality, which means back to blogging! I took a little hiatus over the festive period but now I’m back with a brand-new review of Bar Gumbo on Byres Road…
Gumbo has been a fixture on Byres Road since 2013, but just before Christmas it relaunched with an all new look and menu. If you visited it before, you know it was quite a dimly lit space, now it’s full of light, with gorgeous wood furnishings and, because what new restaurant doesn’t feature it, exposed brick! The interior has been completely transformed and it looks fantastic.
I arrived on a dreary Friday before Christmas to grab lunch and experience their new menu, which is a mixture of the classic dishes from before like gumbo and jambalaya, and new dishes filled with seafood and steaks. I decided to opt for the smoky BBQ ribs, which were served with corn on the cobb, tobacco onions and a potato salad, and what arrived on my plate was a big old hunk of meat!
The crispy tobacco onions on top of the ribs were really delicious and moreish, and the meat on the bone was tender and glazed in smoky BBQ sauce. I didn’t touch the corn on the cob as I’m not a fan, and the potato salad was pretty simple, and I think I would have liked something more substantial to go with the ribs, as once you remove the bone, it’s a lot less meat than it looks! I probably should have ordered one of the rather delicious sounding mac ‘n’ cheese sides, like classic pulled beef and jalapeno or spicy wild boar sausage and red chilli!
My dining buddy Alan originally ordered the Gumbo’s Gumbo, after checking with the waitress that there was no seafood in it, which he doesn’t eat. Unfortunately, when it arrived, delicious looking though it was, it was filled with prawns, so he had it replaced for the New Orleans Fried Chicken, which turned out to be a blessing as the fried chicken was delicious with a really crunchy and flavoursome batter. I can’t fault the service either when this problem arose, they were so quick to fix the problem and offer us something different.
For dessert, I went for the French Quarter Beignets with Southern Comfort chocolate sauce. If you don’t know what beignets are, they’re kind of like churros, kind of like doughnuts, regardless, they are delicious. They were crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and coated in lots of sugar! The sauce, which I was expecting to be a dark chocolate sauce, looked more like white chocolate or caramel. You could certainly taste the Southern Comfort in it, but it was a bit too sickly for me, and the beignets were so delicious by themselves I could take or leave it, or maybe replace it with a rich, dark chocolate sauce…?
If you’re concerned about cost, most of the dishes were pretty reasonably priced, but they also offer a £6 lunch deal, which includes dishes such as nachos, burgers, moules frites and more!
Overall the service was quick, friendly, and attentive, and they were quick to fix any issues we had, and my ribs and the beignets especially were very tasty, but I would have liked a more substantial side with my ribs and a less sickly sauce with dessert. I think on my next visit I’ll try the seafood bites, which I have only heard good things about, and possibly one of those delicious and indulgent sounding mac ‘n’ cheese dishes! Oh and bonus for you and your doggy pals – the bar area is dog friendly!