Ground Floor, The Terraces
Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City
Geus - 3/5
Everybody loves Fridays. And everybody loves to eat out, hang out with friends, and enjoy during Friday nights. And with this, Cebuanos welcomed the opening of T.G.I. Friday's with open arms.
There had been a lot of buzz about this restaurant. Weeks before it opened, people started talking and blogging about it.
Of course we did not go there during the opening. We wanted to give the restaurant a fair review so we avoided the opening day jitters of the crew.
It was a Thursday when Geus and I decided to dine in the restaurant. The greeter led us to a table good for two and showed us the menu. She then introduced us to the waitress assigned at our table.
I ordered the 6-pc Buffalo Wings because that is the only dish I have tried in a Friday's restaurant in the US and I wanted to compare the taste.
6-pc Buffalo Wings Traditional upstate New York style chicken wings marinated in our spicy sauce, then deep fried. Served with crispy celery sticks and tangy Bleu Cheese dressing.
I love this dish. The spiciness is just right and it was complemented by the Bleu Cheese Dressing. The chicken wings are, of course, smaller than what they serve in its US counterpart but this is mainly because of the size of the chickens here in the Philippines. The size did not really matter because the 6-pc serving was enough for both Geus and I. My only complaint about this dish is the accompanying celery sticks which were no longer crispy.
Geus ordered one of their Friday's Favorites the Jack Daniel's Chicken and Shrimp. The waitress asked us if we wanted cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, or French fries to go with the chicken and shrimp. We chose French fries. I was surprised that we actually had a choice since they only mentioned mashed potato side dish on their menu.
Jack Daniel's Chicken and Shrimp Juicy fire grilled chicken breast drizzled with our Jack Daniel's sauce and some crispy Cajun-spiced fried shrimp with more sauce for dipping. Served with our cheddar cheese mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
The dish tasted like it was home-cooked. I know some people like their food to taste like that but not me. When I eat out, I want to eat food that I cannot cook at home. There was nothing spectacular about the grilled chicken except for the sauce. I didn't feel the Cajun-spice in the fried shrimp. Their seasonal vegetable was corn. Corn is always available here in the Philippines, as far as I know, so I don't think that it belongs to the "seasonal" vegetable category. However, the French fries was delicious. I normally do not eat fries but the one they serve at Friday's is probably the best that I have ever tasted.
We ordered Coke but they ran out of soft drinks in can. They need to replenish their supplies as soon as they are dwindling down. If they run out, they can always buy in the nearby grocery just so they can provide the customers what they want to order.
T.G.I. Friday's in the US is more like a pub with dim lights and wooden fixtures and furniture. The one in Cebu is a little bit modern with bright lights. I like the decoration. I had fun having my pictures taken with old posters from Charlie's Angels and other TV shows plus posters of musicians like The Beatles and Bob Marley.
Our waitress was a jewel named Job. She was very attentive although I found it a bit funny how she would say "certainly" every time you ask for something. Can we have fries with the meal? Certainly. Can you please give us the bill? Certainly. Can you dish out our plates? Certainly. I think they were taught to answer this way in their training but maybe the trainer forgot that certainly has a lot of synonyms. I loved how our waitress never forgot how we wanted our orders cooked and how we wanted our water served. I also like how the waitresses were taught to squat when taking orders. This way the customers won't have to strain their necks while looking up at the waitress while they place their orders. Good job trainers!
If there is one thing that I despise about my T.G.I. Friday's experience, it is the presence of the manager. In other restaurants, I would not notice the managers because they do their work discretely. The only times I felt the presence of managers was when the restaurant did not have enough crew to serve all the customers. However, the manager in Friday's acted a little bit weirdly.