If you are in USA and if anyone asks which is the best place for steaks, drinks and have some amazing family time, few brands popup in my mind and definitely TGIFriday's is one such brand which I love dining every time irrespective of which state I was residing. One of the few brands which across the nation had consistent food menu, amazing drinks and monstrous steaks and burgers. The quality of food that you get is comparable to fine dining and the flavors that make you go again and again. Such a brand value and following was evident and it always gives you the local appeal and connect. After being in India, somehow I didn't feel the connect in TGIF Banjara hills branch and I should say food didn't impress me either.
    I frequent Forum Sujana Mall every 2 weeks minimum and though TGIF has been there ever since, I never had intentions to visit it and it just didn't happen. Being a big fan of their brand while I was in US and the mixed reviews of this branch in forum mall, well may have kept me forward. But when their marketing team called for an invite and also to kind of review their "New Low Calorie Skinny Cocktails along with the New Super Foods menu" , I was curious like a kinder garden kid to just see WHAT IS IN THERE? The ambiance and decor stays the same as the US Branches much to keep it clean , red and vibrant all across. The vibe was instant and I could feel this is such a place where definitely a pack of friends can relax, sip in some amazing cocktails and have some food and have a gala time. The center attraction Bar does also provide the extra kick to the mood over there. This branch also impressed me of how effective that space can be utilized to give different seating and dining options.

Note: This review is based on Food Tasting Invite but review and opinion stands unbiased in interest of readers.

              We had an interesting discussion with our host Mr. Kalyan from Marketing & PR Team and Mr. Vamshi , Ops Manager , TGIF, Forum Mall about what are they bringing in to start making TGIF a huzz-buzz place and focus more to attract family crowd owning to its location and their focus is to enable more families to dine here though it has a full fledged bar. The ideas of 2-course Lunch 199++ Menu and 99++ Menu impressed me as I would also fall under the cadre of customers who feel their dishes are on the pricy end and that has nothing to do with their flavors and quality of dishes.

       We started off our dinner with some drinks from the bar and I should say , they are one of the best I have had in recent times. The freshness and the humongous quantity made the drinks visually appealing more than anything else.

Ultimate Breezerito which is an interesting fusion from your regular mojito with your choice of breezer. Priced at 745++ I felt again it was steep but the combination worked. The black current flavor from the breezer with the freshness of mint and line worked for me and I should say its a MUST TRY. Next was "Ultimate Skinny EnLIITenment" from their Skinny & Healthy Menu section and this LIIT as well was damn impressive. Served in a huge glass again, the flavor was spot on the alcohol was spot on mixed. Pretty impressive. On Mocktail front, we tried Triple Berry & Virgin Mojito both of which were again visually appealing and also strong mocktails by themselves. Overall I felt though pricing could be concern for many, if you are looking for some amazing drinks to last throughout your meal, I think they are worth the try.

          On veg starters, we ordered Fried Mozzarella Sticks which came in fresh and definitely appetizing. The Quality of the mozzarella cheese they use was clearly evident in the first bite. The guey but yet not too  chewy mozeralla was working absolutely well with the crispy outer batter and that marinara sauce was definitely working. Next came Ultimate Fridays Nachos which is one of my favorite dishes and being in Texas for some years in USA, I know how authentic c and fresh nachos should be. The nicely baked tortilla chips drizzled with heaps of Cheddar and monterey jack cheese was working well with the pica de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. The entire array of ingredients worked well and the freshness did come through every bite. Though I felt the chips could have been more crispier and cheese could have been more warmer, the flavors were bang on. This plate is sooo huge that you can literally have this as your mains with a normal appetite. Do not fall to consider it as a simple and small appetizer

   We had plans to try many of their non-veg starters but when the Triple Chicken Platter  came by, we were like OMG. Lets back out our order plan and first tackle this. This platter is so huge and priced for 925++. It had Frank's red hot Chicken Wings, Quesadilla and Sesame Jack Chicken Strips.Frank's red hot Chicken Wings was perfect and that's exactly how I have had my wings in US outlets of TGIF. It was not too spicy and yet flavorful on every bite. Quesadilla  on the other hand was very average. The tortilla was not that crispy and also had thick filling. The balsamic sauce on the top was the dampener as it made the already soft Quesadilla more softer and we couldn't relish the bites as you are used to having this Mexican delicacy.  Definite improvement needed on this. The star of this platter was definitely the Sesame Jack Chicken Strips. The aptly drizzled sesame on the chicken strips was so crunchy munchy that you can keep on munching on it along with sip from your amazing drink forever. Must try.

        Each of their starters were so huge that we were getting filled up sooner but the moment they said Pork Ribs, I was like a joyful tad jumping and saying bring it on. TGIF has trademark to make amazing meat dishes with original Jack Daniels and also label them in their menu and that is a huge selling point with a brand using a well renowned whisky king in their recipe and even more important, master and deliver them to customer's palate.

        Jack Daniels Pork Ribs both served Cajun onion rings and coleslaw and their trademark Jack Daniel's sauce. The Cajun onion rings was Okish as the crunch was there but I didn't get any appeal of Cajun flavor in it. The BBQ sauce was an instant hit in my palate. The imported baby back pork ribs just fell of their bone and I didn't have to use my fork. They just sliced into the spoon and on savoring, they literally melted in mouth and that's exactly how that BBQ pork ribs should be. Another place that mighty impressed me in pork ribs and that's WOW. The coleslaw was passable as it didn't have that kick.

          Then we tried Pomegranate Honey Mustard Salmon which was from their special "Skinny & Healthy Menu" additions as the sauce and the explanation of the used ingredients impressed me. That too with honey mustard and pomegranate sauce excited me much. The dish definitely was served typical to International cuisine dish in terms of presentation. The ribs was absolutely splendid and a must try and they also got options for half rack and full rack. 

         Their 2-Course Weekday Lunch Menu @ 199+ mighty impressed me which is served from Monday to Friday 12 - 5PM at 199+ taxes with choices to choose from a salad/appetizer along with a main course entrée or a dessert. I felt for the place which otherwise has a pricy menu, this was a steal deal and its much better option than dining in Burger Kings or any food court outlet there. at 250 Approx, you get a completely king size meal for you and you just cannot skip it when you are there in Forum Mall. This would do wonders for them as their portion sizes were justifiable and pricing is definitely aggressive. Also interesting was their 99 Rs Menu which had lot of quick bite options along with mini drinks for a quick meal kind and it's definitely another valid reason why families can dine there with variety of options.

TGIF Press Release on Skinny & Healthy Menu (Source : TGIF)

        For a limited time, diners can enjoy a whole new menu packed with health and nutrition which is flavorful too. Super Foods like beans, broccoli, blueberries, salmon, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts and yogurt are powerful natural ingredients that are loaded with excellent nutritional benefits. “Instead of regular boring salad to stay healthy, our Super Foods menu is packed with delicious items like Wasabi Miso Glazed Chicken, Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, Cranberry & blueberry couscous and Kale. The concept of Super Foods is that each ingredient is packed with an abnormal amount of vitamins, nutrients and minerals which put you in best shape of your life!” says Rohan Jetley, CEO and Owner, TGI Fridays India. With the New Super Foods menu, TGI Fridays has also introduced The New Amazing Low Calorie Skinny Cocktails. These drinks are made low calorie or ‘Skinny’, as we popularly call them, with our special in-house made Skinny Agave sour mix that adds the same zing to the taste but none to the waist! Your visit to Fridays now becomes delicious and healthy too.

         As we all know, super heroes can never linger long in one place, so hurry in soon to try these limited time Super Foods and Low calorie beverage promotions. The Super Foods menu features appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts that are filled with nutritional multi-taskers to keep guests feeling healthy and fantastic. ( Menu Additions shots below from Press Release as well)

Verdict:

           TGIF Friday's - definitely impressed me as such as I didn't had a opinion on this outlet in particular though frequently the mall every alternate week. The food and drinks definitely made a good impression on me and yes, they have scope of improvement, yes - they are steep in terms of pricing for that area, but once in a while I feel, you can dine with your family without any concerns or hesitation as the place is quite adaptable to family dining as well in spite of serving alcohol and that itself can be their USP for sure. You don't get much family diners where you can sip in a drink at still have a lovely dinner with your loved ones. Overall, I should say this place definitely impressed when I had not much or rather low expectations. They are now into serious marketing strategies and are going to re-vamp lots of promotions which already was evident in their 199 2-course lunch menu and 99 menu and the new skinny menu. Thanks much for the invite to Mr. Kalyan , PR Marketing & Mr. Vamshi,  Manager.

 

Note: This review is based on Food Tasting Invite but review and opinion stands unbiased in interest of readers.

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