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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Food Review - Tony Roma's

Name
Tony Roma's
Food
Casual American Dining (Halal )
Location(s)
There are several TR outlets in Malaysia (and all of them are in the Klang Valley I believe)
- Pavillion KL
- Curve
- Sunway Pyramid
- Gardens @ Mid Valley

Getting there
As they are all located in the biggest shopping malls in the Klang Valley, just go to the respective malls and once you get there, ask for the outlet location from the info counter.

Parking
As all of the outlest at the moment are located within shopping malls, you can park at the respective malls.

Service
I must say that the service is pretty good! I was impressed with the level of courtesy, not just from 1 staff member, but from several different ones! Kudos to the Ops/Training Managers.

I was however a little taken aback by the greeter - who was a cross-dresser in a tight mini-skirt! Well, if any of the TR Management (or if you are a friend of theirs), please not that that is quite an unpleasant 1st  impression for diners like me (of course there may be some who might like this sort of thing) who like men to NOT wear skirts, make-up or sway their hips as they walk.
Ambience
The outlets are clean, as they are fairly new in Malaysia (only 3+ years here) and the decor is the typical casual American dining (TGIF, Bubba Gumps, etc come to mind) only that the feel is a little less homey/comfy than those. I would be a little hesitant to really let my hair down here than those places. However, it's still pretty comfortable, with 2 types of seating tables -the standard wooden tables & chairs and the also standard cushioned u-shaped seating for couples of friends who might want to share their meals or get cozy.

Taste
I must admit that when they first opened a couple of years back, I tried their purportedly famous ribs at the Pavillion outlet but to my disappointment, the ribs were almost burnt with the meat texture coming close to being like jerky or charcoal, as the moisture was gone. Plus the sauce they use is pretty standard BBQ-flavored despite it being their Tony Roma's house recipe. There's a sauce bucket (see pic) with 4 special flavours of sauce for the ribs:
- Original
- Carolina Honeys
- Blue Ridge Smokies
- TR Red Hot

This time however (Since I won't be going back to the Pavillion Outlet), the ribs I had were much much better. They were still moist and tender. But the sauce used to baste was still the same. While my steak was just ok despite having them done at medium. Which to me, again, was very  disappointing as this place is supposed to be an American Restaurant. However, the ribs my wife had were still pretty much too dry and semi-burnt (like my previous experience at Tony Roma's Pavillion).

So, I guess you can conclude that I won't be headed back to any TR's outlet anytime soon.

Variety
Of course they have quite a number of menu items to keep diners going back for more. They have starters, salads, beef (of course), fish, chicken, burgers, Sandwiches, deserts, drinks (both with and w/o alcohol). Each main a la carte item also comes with 2 sides from the following choices:
- Cole Slaw
- Rice
- TR Pesto Salad
- Fries
- Veges
- Ranch Style Beans (which I chose)
- Mashed Potatoes  (which we both chose)
- Corn
- Baked Potato

Value for Money
I have to say that this place scores pretty low on this segment as their items are mostly on the high side. The full slab of ribs goes for RM99++ and the Rib/Steak combo I ordered set me back RM55.90++ while the Roma Rack were RM 49.90++. Credit where credit is due, their portions are huge! I barely was able to finish my plate of food! So, if you intend to order desert, i suggest that you finish your food before ordering or share your food with your friend/partner.

Overall
Fantastic service, above average food (if you're lucky) at steep prices but in a nice comfy environment. Strictly for those who're trying to impress someone and that someone insists on Ribs served by TR (as there really is nothing outstanding or memorable here). If not, there are many more places to eat better & tastier Ribs, Fish, Chicken, Burgers, sandwiches or Steaks.

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