Location: Lido, Ulsoor, Bangalore
Ambience and Interiors: It seems TGIF can’t go wrong anywhere with their interiors. The classic red, black and white gives it the real TGIF feel with plenty of seating available. Booth style, bar seating, comfortable sofas, tables and chairs, they’ve covered everything and not to forget the familiar memorabilia in the form of guitars, music records, sport stars and equipment, the quotes and the like covering the walls of Friday’s. They’ve also got a big screen TV and plenty of smaller ones around the restaurant showing the big games, which at that time was an IPL match. The music is right on the money with dance and club hits being played which perfectly captures TGIF’s upbeat mood and atmosphere albeit in dim lighting. The crowd wasn’t thin for a 5 p.m drink or meal as well on a weekend. And for the smokers, they’ve even got a smoking zone.
Beverage: Tropical Runner – A Friday’s smoothie that is a perfect accompaniment to a meal. Cold and refreshing with a subtle tatse of banana and a strong pineapple flavouring along with a mix of Pina Colada. Being happy hours then, we got another Tropical Runner on the house.
Appetizer: Cheese cravings got the better of us and we decided to go in for the ‘fried mozzarella’. Crispy fried in a coating of Italian bread crumbs and filled with oodles of yummy mozzarella cheese, it served as a perfect start to the meal. The marinara sauce that was served as a dip, though described as rich on the menu, didn’t quite live up to its name.
1. Cottage Cheese Tchoupatoulis was a mix of spice rubbed cottage cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and garlic in a mustard sauce served on a bed of rice. The veggies were served on the side but this consisted mainly of broccoli. The mushrooms were limited and it had an extra sprinkling of the bell peppers which took away some taste but it was made up for by the soft, spicy and large chunks of cottage cheese. The rice tasted a little too Indian which might have been a result of some of the additional spices thrown in.
2. Chicken Finger BLT – Crispy fried, tender, succulent pieces of chicken, plenty of mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and to top it off, crispy bacon in between warm, toasted focaccia bread and served with fries on the side. Heaven in the mouth. Just one issue I had was that when I had my first bite of it, I found that they had forgotten the bacon. Really? It says BLT on the menu so how can you forget the BACON? So I called in the server and asked her as to why the bacon was missing. Seems like she had no idea what bacon was so she went in to call their chef. He came to the table soon enough and I pointed this out to him to which he said, “Yeah, there’s no bacon.”(sic) I was forced to remind him again that it was supposed to have bacon and again he asks me if I wanted the bacon. Of course I wanted bacon, why else would I order a BLT!! So he takes it back to the kitchen and gets it back in a couple of minutes, this time with the bacon and some extra fries. Now, it was perfect.
Rating: 9/10 (for the taste) and a 7.5/10 (for the initial preparation)
Service: The service was quick and efficient and they didn’t take long with drinks and food. The server stood by within distance at all times and there was no issue with drawing her attention. But the issue was that they didn’t know the dishes all that well. How can you not know that the B in BLT stands for bacon. The issue was resolved quickly and they even brought in the chef to the table which gets a thumbs up.
Overall Verdict: If you want some great food, a large collection of drinks, upbeat club music and a large spot to catch up with friends, unwind and watch a big game, Friday’s is the place to go. You step inside and you’re a world away from the dusty streets and sounds of Ulsoor. As it says on the wall , “In here, it’s always Friday”, and they stick to that. They also have a weekday special dinner offer that you can check out which is a fine addition. The average cost for two without alcohol (including VAT and service) could easily come in the range of Rs. 2000-2500 which I think is a bit steep when compared to the prices at T.G.I. Friday’s in Kuwait.