After the first miserable experience at TGI Friday’s, we decided to give the restaurant another go. Given some time to train up and settle down, it’s actually doing pretty well.
Food & Drinks
The drinks menu was extensive, with a good range of cocktails. They had a whole range of Cargills brews on tap – 3 coins, Sando, Power etc but we decided to test their mixed drinks. The regular mojito at Rs. 350 was suspiciously large and had a fair proportion of alcohol. The Long Island Ice tea at Rs. 690 was also large and tasty albeit a tad weaker. I’m fairly confused as to how an international franchise offers such large cocktails for so cheap when any mid range to upscale restaurant/ bar in Colombo charges Rs. 700 upwards for much smaller volumes. So that’s a 10/10 for the drinks.
On the other hand, the food was frankly exorbitant. Sure, the portions were massive but each poultry main was Rs. 1500 upwards, and meat mains were Rs. 2500 upwards. That means you’re looking at a minimum of about Rs 5000 for a meal for two which is ridiculous for anything but fine dining in Colombo.
We ordered a Jack Daniels Ribs at Rs. 2500 and a sirloin steak with wild mushroom sauce and cheddar cheese mashed potatoes at Rs. 2500. Any fellow House of Cards fan in Colombo will attest to the craving for good ribs and the difficulty of finding them in town. The Jack Daniels ribs were perfectly done, and incredibly tasty. Not spicy enough for a Sri Lankan palate but had great flavor and the smoked JD sauce was delicious. It came with some oily fat fries that really just paled in comparison to the meat and we ended up ignoring.
The steak was alright, a sort of straightforward flavouring and done exactly according to my specifications (medium well done) but nothing to write home about. At Rs. 2500 plus taxes, “alright” is not really acceptable though.
Service & Ambience
In comparison to our last review, service was great. They were a little slow, but the restaurant was packed so I think they did very well given how busy they were. The staff was competent, quick, and friendly and (thankfully) knew their way around the menu. There was a table next to us with a bunch of preteens celebrating a birthday and the waiters milled over en masse with a free sundae and sang a dorkily adorable TGIFs birthday song which embarrassed the girl to no end. Pretty amusing and sweet and really hammered in the diner ambience.
It’s commendable that despite their initial teething issues, the place was completely full on a Saturday evening and we had to sit at the bar (which was actually turned out to be a lot more fun than a table). The crowd itself was very varied, and seemed to have a motley crew of families with kids, groups of friends, guys out for a drink and tourists. So they seem to be doing really well for now, which is great to see.
There’s been a massive improvement in service and food. Kudos to the restaurant for really working with all the criticism they got and fixing their glitches. The drinks prices are brilliant but the food is still way too expensive for a mid-range “casual dining” franchise.