Breakfast at TGI Fridays.

TGI Fridays, decorated with all the flair of an American diner, has what sounds like a great deal for breakfast. Starting at Rs. 350++ they promise breakfast and tea to shake off your weekday blues as soon as your day begins. The Breakfast at Ceylon Tea Moments set the bar high with a customisable three course breakfast at Rs. 850++. While TGI Fridays sounds far cheaper, that’s only its starting price. The more scrumptious your main gets, the more steep your bill will become. But in all honesty it’s not that taxing on the wallet.


If you head there now (Until early August) with your HSBC card, the cardholder dines free. What was 1500 for two brekkies became Rs. 660.


Being the dutiful Yamu Scout I am, I surveyed breakfast at TGI Fridays on two days to get a grasp of what you should and shouldn’t order. Snug and sound, right next to the Dutch Hospital, TGI Fridays is a large diner-styled restaurant with a bar on the side. The building itself actually predates the first world war, which is pretty groovy.

I’ve always wanted to try a diner ever since I watched Jughead Jones sneak past Mr. Weatherbee to grab a cheeseburger at Pop Tate’s Chock-lit Shoppe during school hours, and I suppose this is the closest you can get to the experience in Colombo. 

Day One

Wandering into TGI I was greeted by a resounding “”Welcome To TGI Fridays””. In a moment I found a cosy looking seat and had the breakfast menu spread out in front of me. Rather unpleasantly in the background the head-chef was going all Gordon Ramsay on his staff. It was ugly. I don’t think they were aware their first customer for the day had arrived, but still, while I understand keeping your kitchen in check, you’ve also got to keep the peace, man. Apart from that there’s loud techno and what-not blaring over the audio system. I’m more of a Sting and Michael Jackson type guy myself, so I didn’t much care for the music, but I assume my contemporaries will.

Essentially you get an option of ordering one of the six breakfast dishes available with a cup of tea. This was certainly disappointing when at Ceylon Tea Moment’s you got a customisable three course breakfast with an entire pot of whatever tea you desired for Rs. 850++. Here you’re stuck between the option of ginger, green and ordinary english tea. I opted for the rather unorthodox Tuscan Chicken Melt with a cup of ginger tea.

The tea is all right considering it’s only a packeted Dilmah option which you brew yourself lacking the bits of sweet fresh ginger I had the other day. However this was, still at the very least, a decent cup of tea. Boy, it finishes fast. On the other hand, the Tuscan Chicken melt is nothing to rave about. It isn’t a usual breakfast-type dish. You get two chicken melt sandwiches and a side of chips to accompany what is pretty ordinary. The chips, are evenly salted and crisped well. However the chicken comes off as very bland meat. There’s a bit of sweetness that sinks into the bread from the tomatoes that are done pretty well, but it really can’t save the chicken. On the bright side the crisped bread blends nicely with the swiss cheese to leave room for a small measure of crunchy and chewy textures.

With a bill at Rs.550 I was ready to call it a review and end it, until I decided to try it out a second day.

Day 2

Maybe I just ordered incorrectly on Day One because all in all the other options I tried the second day weren’t bad at all. For roughly Rs. 1500 I stuffed myself with a BLT Sandwich, and a Friday’s Egg Breakfast and an additional latte.  If you’re a man of your meat these guys do offer real bacon. The BLT has a fair portion, but the Friday’s Egg Breakfast comes with a rather small serving of it since there’s other proteins tossed into the mix. The latte is a quite good, with a nice creaminess about it. While it isn’t the best in town it makes for a good espresso kick.

The ciabatta bread goes well with both options; lightly toasted with a bit of oil on one side they have a decent crunch factor. Both come with baked potato wedges, that are full soft yam goodness. Try smearing your bread with a bit of the stuff and the accompanying bell peppers.

Apart from bacon sizes the main differences between the two boil down to the fact that the Friday’s Egg is better armed with more breakfasty options – you’ve got two bullseyes, two (rather cheap) sausages, and strawberry jam for all that left over ciabatta.  On the other hand, The BLT comes with an omelette. This is good, but really can’t hold a candle to the one at Ceylon Tea Moments. It’s flat and thin, and tastes okay, but compels the BLT to rely on its portion of bacon for taste.

My query with the Friday’s Egg is the quality of the sausages. The sausages here are quite obviously Keels chicken and cheese sausages. Even the jam, you can quite clearly tell is a dollop from a Kist jar. But it’s got those nice strawberry chunks so what am I complaining about?

*burp*

Conclusion

TGI Friday’s isn’t bad depending on what you order. Equip yourself with an HSBC credit card to halve the already minuscule damage done to your wallet. 

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