Fridays are emblematic of weekends, or the break at the end of the week, which many look forward to after a full week of five working/schooling days.
In short, Fridays are synonymous with the word 'holidays', and for that very reason is sufficient to justify its popularity through the years and among the majority (at the very least).
The person who came up with a restaurant named after the fabulous factor of Fridays must have idolized, or even obsessed with the best day of the week that it was deemed proper to only have a restaurant in its honor and for the purpose of celebration (woohoo!). However, that is not quite the story behind the beginnings of this restaurant.
Alan Stillman, is the founder of this chain restaurant named TGI Fridays; when he started the very first outlet in New York in the year 1965.
Fascinating though, the notion of the restaurant started as a way for him to meet and to get to know the population of the women with whom he shared his neighborhood; comprising mostly of high profile occupations such as air stewardesses, runway models, secretaries, among many other single women in different career streams. During that time, Alan Stillman wanted a place for people to hang out as there were none, and while his original concept was still more inclined towards the male dominant interests in the cocktails and guys-drinking environment, he then proceeded to establish a brand new environment (though he had no experience whatsoever in business) for young people of certain ages (between the early twenties to the mid thirties which he claimed were the neglected target group for the bars and pubs at that time) with a starting capital of $10,000 as he purchased a local pub in the area; The Good Tavern.
The name TGI Fridays was conceived by Stillman himself, following his years in the university; after the popularized expression of 'Thank God It's Friday!'. The first restaurant was opened; conceptualized on serving good old American and bar food, along with a variety of cocktails and beverages suited for chilling out.
What started out as a simple idea of a hangout place for the specific age range, probably would have stunned the founder, Alan Stillman himself as the restaurant boomed into a fast-growing American bar-restaurant chain which came out as one of the top and most popular in America and also around the world today.
TGI Fridays is definitely popular and easily recognized by its iconic red and white stripes, wooden floors and tables, and the jovial 90s-style interior design centering on the famous icons from America clearly depicted in the overall concept of the restaurant.
The chain restaurant stands out unmistakably with these striking elements forming its identity; and is everyone's favorite restaurant to enjoy a good meal and celebration.
(* TGI Fridays is also known for their extraordinary and exceptionally lively way of celebrating birthdays where the birthday celebrant would be made to stand on the table while the servers gather; and sometimes along with the restaurant crowd to sing the Birthday song while presenting the cake to the celebrant.*)
The restaurant took the local Malaysians by storm when it first landed here, and today the growing numbers of its branch outlets around the country attests to its popularity here as well.
It has been a while since I have been to TGI Fridays, though I have had in on my mind for some time and finally, I visited for some good Fridays' dosage of happiness.
While most of the restaurant's decor are centered on the iconic red and white stripes and the wooden furnishings along with the bar rails, what differs is perhaps the touch of the 90s' interior where each of their outlet personalized with their very own favorite icons to establish their very own character and identity.
Strawberry Surprise (MYR8.90) is a refreshing and juicy combination of strawberries, pineapple and apple juices mixed together giving that light pleasantly sweet fruity scent over the slush of ice.
A delightful drink for those who favor fruity flavors over carbonated drinks and with a very light note of sweetness in the taste.
Buffalo Wings (MYR17.90)
(New York-style chicken wings marinated in our own spicy sauce, then deep-fried. Served with crisp celery sticks and tangy Bleu cheese dressing).
This is one of their recommended starter; and also a rather popular one.
I was craving for salmon again lately, and it was a good thing that one of the new items on their menu is this Salmon with Tomato Basil Salsa (MYR44.90), which is a sense-invigorating toss of tropical tastes enhanced with a light squeeze of that lemon juice over the tender flesh of the pan grilled salmon.
The crisp outer of the salmon was a stark contrast with the juicy flesh of the fish on the inner part was a perfect match to satiate that salmon-invoking craving, and the lively mix of freshly chopped broccoli, cherry tomatoes, onions drenched with the exciting sourish basil salsa sauce is a sublime companion to the omega-rich fish. The fresh French beans and broccoli as the sides added to the pleasure of the health-conscious.
If you are in the mood for dessert, well, TGI Fridays do offer a modest selection of indulgent treats which are pretty impressive for a chain restaurant.
Take for instance the Molten Chocolate Cake (MYR18.90); which is a heavenly thrill for the chocolate lovers.
Albeit a little pricey, the portion was much to speak for to justify the price tag and one can have the choice to have it served with freshly whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream; of which we chose the latter.
The name Molten chocolate is derived from the nature of the cake which was designed in a mound style holding its contents of rich, dark chocolate sauce oozing in a lava-like style when one presses the fork to the center. Chocolate lovers would know to enjoy this decadent creation; and would be taken on a thrilling sensation with each taste of the creamy luxe of the thick chocolate secretion melting with a slight bitter end in their mouth; a true testament of the natural characteristics of dark chocolate.
(I have learnt to make this Molten Chocolate Cake before, and though I am not a chocolate fan, I have tried one of the best of this from a luxury resort chef).
This version is yet the best we have tried, but definitely a very impressive and close effort from a chain restaurant to rival that of a renowned designer chef.
We have enjoyed a hearty meal at TGI Fridays along with the attentive service from their friendly servers.
The menu is still good, offering many others we have yet to try and also the brand new items which were added since the last time I was here, so it is definitely not going to be my last visit here and it is good news that Penang is now home to two TGI Fridays outlets; Queensbay Mall and Gurney Paragon.
Looking at the growing popularity and increasing number of outlets, I am sure Alan Stillman would be proud today~
At TGI Fridays, every day is indeed a Friday! :-D
TGI Fridays Gurney Paragon
*This is not a sponsored post, and is based on my personal visit and experiences. Opinions may differ according to individuals. *