TGI Fridays, most apt for this region where Fridays turn out to be our weekend. Ironically, it was a Thursday when TGI Fridays invited a select few to taste their new menu offering the Wood Smoked Plates. Popular for it’s Tex Mex offerings, I was really looking forward to their apple hickory smoked menus.
There is a scene from Jon Favreau’s culinary journey movie Chef. While traversing through the country, they make a pitstop at Austin Texas, the BBQ capital of the world. Here they try out the 12 hrs plus smoked brisket which even the father doesn’t want to part with his own son. I remembered that scene when I walked in to TGIFridays @ Dubai Mall, expecting not wanting to part with my wood smoked plate.
Ambiance: The setting was good, bustling with a whole lot of food bloggers had descended to try out the new menu. There is a good outdoor seating that I would personally prefer with a view of the Dubai Mall. They have a bar setup going in with their global setting theme & a non alcoholic code going in with their Middle East theme :(. The company of the other foodies made it for a total fun afternoon.
Service: Service was to the point, efficient & timely.
We started with a bowl of breads which was fresh & not too dense.
The New Wood Smoked Plates menu offered Shrimps skewers, Chicken, Salmon, Ribs & Steak with a choice of sides – Mash, Broccoli & Onion Rings.
We were 4 of us & ordered most of the menu. I went in for the Smoked chicken with potato mash & broccoli. Also, ordered a shrimp skewer on the side.
The chicken was well cooked, with a moist center & flavored correctly. The Broccoli gave in freshness to the dish but the potato mash was a wee bit dry & could have been more creamy. The shrimps again juicy well cooked & full of flavor, especially with the green sauce on the top.
The other foodies ordered the Ribs & the Steak which were cooked to perfection, the ribs being my preference of the 2 meats.
A bad throat meant I had to choose a drink without ice & the only choice left was the Orange Juice which despite being the forced choice tasted fresh!
We stole a few Onion Rings from our fellow foodie’s plate & found them so good that we ordered a plateful for ourselves or was it because I didn’t like my potato mash?
And then came in the Chocolate Trio Dessert Platter…
The Chocolate cake with its intense dark chocolate flavor & moist innards was my pick from the 3. Would order this separately instead of the platter as the molten cake was very hard to bite in to,
Now that the food was done, I wondered whether I was as overwhelmed as the kid in Chef. The food was good, no doubt but was it smoked ? I guess not. I will order this as a part of the regular menu but I think we need more smoke in to my meats.
Pricing: Every dish is priced in the 80 -90 Dhs range. The portions are too huge for a single person so share 2 plates between 3 people & you are good. Pricing that way is reasonable.
Final Verdict: Good food, good ambiance & good service. Go in for the Tex Mex experience, just that don’t expect to be smoked away.