I often forget about ‘Forrest Gump’ but it’s certainly up there among my all-time favourite films and it was only a few months ago that I heard there were a couple of Bubba Gump Restaurants in Tokyo which were inspired by the 1994 movie. In the film “Bubba” and Forrest Gump agree to go into the shrimp business as partners after the end of their service to the U.S. Army. However, “Bubba” dies in the line of duty and following his triumphant victory in a ping-pong tour Forrest earns enough to buy himself a shrimp boat. Of course theres way more to the story than that but this is not the place to go into such details.
It’s a rarity in Tokyo but the ‘Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.‘ restaurant in Kasuga is actually located in a very picturesque area among the shops, boutiques, restaurants and theme rides of LaQua. There’s even a fountain in front of it which has water displays every hour similar to that outside the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Just round the corner from the restaurant is a mock-up of Forrests bench (where he tells his story to a stranger in the film) for the photo opportunist featuring the logo, his bag and even his trainers which are so big you can slide your feet into them.
As someone who is always on the look out for movie related stuff I jumped at the chance of going here last weekend when a colleague invited me along. The themed restaurant is full of interesting Gump-related stuff like ping-pong bat drink menus, memorabilia from the film, licensed merchandise, quotes on the wall and tables, screenshots, food & drink with specific Forrest Gump names and to get the attention of the waiter one has to flip over the blue ‘Run Forrest Run’ sign to a red ‘Stop Forrest Stop’ one meaning that they will stop by your table to take your order.
I actually really liked this place but its not the kind of restaurant one returns to too often and especially not with such sky-high prices! I splashed out on a pina colada type cocktail (1200 yen) and we kind of shared our meals; shrimp rigatoni and “I’m Stuffed!” Shrimp (shrimp stuffed with crab, baked in garlic butter with cheese and served with rice) which were 1980 yen each! They were both really nice (and so they should be at that price!) and really filling too but we decided to move on to a way cheaper place for a couple more drinks but not before I had my photo taken in front of the cream-coloured suit worn by Tom Hanks in his academy award winning role.