Har Gau


Monday, 19 October 2009

TGI Friday’s, 6 Bedford Street, WC2E 9HZ, London

American food. When you want huge portions and lots and lots of BBQ sauce, there’s always American food. Call me a stereotypicalist, but you know it’s true.

Nothing wrong with that though, big portions and BBQ sauce always make a nice combination. Which is why one weekend, when we were feeling on top eating form, we decided to try out TGI Friday’s in Covent Garden.

Perhaps try out is not the correct words to be used, as we’ve tried this place out before. Usually we only go here when we’re really hungry, as the prices aren’t cheap, but for the price you pay, they most certainly don’t short change you.

Patisserie Valerie cake 1

The stroll from Soho to Covent Garden takes a good 15 minutes, so we had to stop for some nourishment along the way. Introducing the blackforest gateau from Patisserie Valerie (Covent Garden branch).

Patisserie Valerie cake 3

This shop sells the best cakes in London, and while we were in these, people were queuing up for these delectable little morsels despite prices being higher than average. Look at them, how can you say ‘only one slice, please’.

TGI Covent Garden 1

You’ll notice that when we had the cake, it was still bright. One slice of cake and a short stroll later, it was beginning to get dark. This is the front of TGI’s in Covent Garden, a place usually filled with lots of American food (and this time, 2 hungry people also).

TGI Covent Garden 2

As you enter the restaurant, you’re instantly transported into the make-believe neon-light-filled world of the American diner reception area. With bated breath, you wait to be led to your table by a chirpy waiting staff.

TGI Covent Garden 3

‘Here’s your table’, they chirp, as we position ourselves underneath the huge spot light hovering above the table. Nothing like some spot light to make you wanna order some food.

TGI Covent Garden 4

Or a spot of shopping (note the Primark shopping bag in the background).

TGI Covent Garden - menu

TGI’s have their special Jack Daniel’s sauce, which, to be honest, does not taste of Jack Daniel’s at all, though it does taste pretty good. It’s slightly sweet, slightly smoky, slightly bitter, with a tinge of treacle-like taste to it. The texture is similar to that of treacle also.

TGI Covent Garden - Jack Daniel's tower 1

A few other restaurants try to do something similar, ie Jim Beam sauce, but it just doesn’t match up to the original one here. Used as a sauce for alot of the meat dishes, it’s one of those sauces that make you want more of it even while you’re eating it.

TGI Covent Garden - Jack Daniel's Tower 2

Mmm, more sauce.

TGI Covent Garden - Chicken wings

We seem to be developing the ‘Order More Than You Can Physically Eat’ practice to a T. Is it because we’re usually very hungry when faced with a menu? Is it because the smell entices us? Is it because we’re just very greedy people with not much logic when we’re hungry? All the above, probably, which means that we end up with too much food than ever sensible for 2 people.

TGI Covent Garden - Jack Daniel's Tower 3

Baby back ribs with JD sauce, oh yummy. Each piece of rib had fall-off-the-bone meat, tender and flavourful. The slightly tangy, slightly BBQ-ey and sweet sauce was perfectly absorbed by the tender pieces of meat, altogether very enjoyable.

TGI Covent Garden - sirloin surf 'n' turf

Surf ‘n’ turf is the default choice when we want to share a huge dish, but can’t decide if we want meat, or fish. So we say, why not have both, and that’s why we ordered this here. Though the prawns could have been slightly overcooked (chewy), they were fresh and crunchy, and the piece of grilled meat that came with it was flavoured just right so as not to overpower the delicate taste of the prawns. Probably not the best way to cook either meat nor seafood, but hey, you’re here to have a nice, relaxing time, with lots of music, lots of chat, and lots of food.

Would I recommend it? Well, you know what you’re getting with TGI’s, so why not.

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KimHo said...

It is an interesting to read/hear what other people, who are not from North America, think about American food and places like this. Back in Panama, people love their TGI Fridays, Bennigan's, Hooters and similar US-based chains. There, the portions were humongous and lots (but not all) items had Jack Daniel's sauces in a way or another. After I moved here to Vancouver, the TGI Friday's are just your (usually below-)average run-of-the-mill chain with no redeeming quality. Most people here would rather go to White Spot (a local burger family restaurant chain), Boston Pizza (similar theme) or even Red Robin (again, same idea). Could it be I have overgrown it? Or is it a cultural thing?

Oh the BBQ sauce reference is somewhat stereotyping, hehehehe.

monchichi said...

Not having had much experience with real American food, I can't really comment much on it, except to say that I really do enjoy TGI's menu. Never heard of the places you mentioned, but now that I have, I'll make sure to have a try if I'm in Canada!

KimHo said...

I must mention some of these places are in Western Canada; if you happen to end up in London (Ontario, not England), Windsor (again, Ontario, not England) or Sydney (Nova Scotia, not New Zealand), you won't find them!

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