Monday, January 30, 2012

Gumbo Kitchen, Brunswick by Big Fil

There aren't that many food trucks around Melbourne. I've been told that this is mainly because the local councils don't really like them, which is why you only ever seem to see them in Brunswick and Northcote. I don't know why the councils don't like them, whether it's because of hygiene or parking concerns, or the impact on local residents, but whatever the reason Gumbo Kitchen seems to have gotten around it by parking itself at Lux Foundry to dispense a slap up feed of New Orleans favourites gumbo and po'boys.

It pays to get here fairly early. Arriving around six'ish we were able to walk straight up to the front and place our order. Twenty minutes later though the line was around 20 people long. The other thing is that there is only a limited amount of food available, and once it's gone that's it.

The variety of food offered isn't great, from memory a couple of gumbo's, two po'boys and one dessert, but then the kitchen doesn't have much space to work with. The punters are a real mix, from families to the too cool for school, but it gives the place a real friendly vibe.

First dish up was our seafood gumbo. While it came with a nicely flavoured broth with pieces of crab, prawns, calamari, fish and okra and served with a chunk of bread, we all agreed that it could have done with a bit more rice to soak up all the liquid. One unusual highlight, the alien face-hugger like crab that came with one serve.

The shrimp po'boy though was a bit of a letdown to me. It was certainly generous with the shrimp and the pickle added a bit of bite, but I thought it was a little bit salty and dry. Based on some other comments around the table that it could have used a little mayonnaise I don't think I was the only one who thought so.

Only one dessert was available, the lemon ice box pie. Sweet and tart, it was basically designed to appeal to me but didn't seem to be such a big hit with the others. With texture like a frozen cheesecake it's not too complicated or sophisticated but I could imagine sitting at home at the table or in front of the tea eating a slice or two in the hot, humid weather.

All up, there was nothing really wrong with the food but I didn't enjoy it was much as I expected. I don't know if it's the style of food or the execution, but other than the dessert it just didn't do it for me. Based on its obvious popularity I may be in the minority here though. I did enjoy the experience however and the Foundry is a great spot to set up.

Food - 7
Service - 6.5
Ambience - 7.5
Price - 6.5

21 Hope Street
Brunswick VIC 3056

Gumbo Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

Pity I couldn't come. I've never tried gumbo or po'boys.

Kenny said...

Gumbo is a soup - it's generally served with only a small amount of rice, about half a cup per bowl, in New Orleans and South Louisiana. It's a mistake to pile on more rice to soak up the juices/whatever, although I suspect it happens a lot around the world outside that magical area!

Anonymous said...

Haven't been to the Southern US but ok then if it's meant to be a soup. Still, would have liked some more rice at the end after eating the okra/seafood, as it went well with the broth.


katy_em said...

hey fil, did you manage to find the "Gumbo Kitchen" in Melbourne Central on Thursday? I was there and I bought a po boy. They were MASSIVE. Loved it.
Pity, I've never tried an actual Gumbo meal :(. My review coming now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, tried the surf and turf po boy when they were at Melbourne Central. Liked it more than when at Lux Foundary. Fil

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